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Issue #1902      February 10, 2020

Marshall must come clean on planned cuts to public transport

Tram and train workers today demanded that SA Transport Minister Stephan Knoll and Premier Steven Marshall come clean on the details of their confused and chaotic privatisation plan.

It was recently revealed that the State Government has budgeted $3 million for consultants and public servants to manage the transition to a private operator. Mr Knoll claimed that this expenditure would be “more than offset” by future savings due to privatisation.

Rail Tram and Bus Industry Union (RTBU) SA/NT Branch Secretary Darren Phillips said Mr Marshall needed to outline the full scale of his government’s planned cuts and how they would affect commuters.

“The Marshall Government has been plucking savings figures out of the air since their announcement to privatise tram and train services in July 2019,” Darren said.

“The fact is they have not produced any details to show how these savings will be achieved, or what will be sacrificed to achieve them.”


The RTBU has been calling on the State Government to release the full business case for privatisation since July last year, but details have been kept secret.

“Stephan Knoll comes up with a different story every week. He is desperately trying to hide the truth of his privatisation swindle from the public of South Australia,” Darren said.

“The public deserves to know how many services will be slashed, how many routes will be downgraded and how many jobs will be lost?”

“Mr Knoll is removing security guards from night-time train services. But if he can’t provide answers to these basic questions, then Mr Knoll should remove himself and resign from the transport ministry.”

Darren Phillips said South Australia’s tram and train assets belonged to the people, and the State Government did not have a mandate to privatise them.

“Steven Marshall plans to gleefully wrap our valuable public assets in a big bow and gift it to his corporate mates.

“It has been twenty years since the Liberal’s disastrous privatisation of ETSA – we cannot afford to do the same to our train and tram system.

“South Australians do not deserve to be fleeced by the Liberals again.”

Rail Tram and Bus Industry Union

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