The Member for Macquarie Fields, Anoulack Chanthivong MP, has called on the Baird Government to come clean on its plan to drastically raise public transport fares, which will see local commuters paying 48% more for a train trip from Glenfield to Central Station.
Following more than 1000 community and stakeholder submissions, the Baird Government has asked the independent regulator IPART for an extension of time to approve higher public transport fees. This is despite the Government having almost four months to respond to the draft proposal.
Mr Chanthivong said the release of the proposed new fare structure by the Baird Government late last year had sparked outrage amongst local commuters, with many facing train fare increases of up to $959 a year. He believes the Baird Government is simply buying time so that it can develop a slick spin campaign using valuable taxpayer dollars to trick public transport users facing significantly higher fares.
“With virtually zero real wages growth, and the ever-increasing cost of living, commuters in my electorate cannot possibly tighten their budgets any further. The Baird Government’s 48% proposed increase to transport fares is unfair and cruel.
“Slugging commuters with 48% higher fares will not solve Sydney’s transport woes or improve public transport service times. Our local roads are already congested, and yet the Liberal Government would rather have commuters join the queue and drive into the city at snail’s pace than catch public transport. It simply doesn’t make sense,” Mr Chanthivong said.
“Yet again, the Liberal Government is demonstrating that they don’t understand the needs of my electorate, nor do they care. Why should local commuters pay 48% more for a trip into the city when the Baird Government has failed to improve services at Macquarie Fields Station and failed to deliver a lift?
“All we want is our fair share and a fair go. A 48% increase is unfair and unjustifiable,” Mr Chanthivong said.