Partial privatisation studies included in DB restructuring
The Next Federal Election and Passenger and Freight Rail
Transport and Logistics symposium to gauge railway link
Rail gets another CRC. Third time lucky?
Chinese high speed rail should confine the XPT to history
Hendy heads to NR
Urban rail news in brief - July 2015
Inland rail a trifecta for Toowoomba region: mayor
SOME 150 protesters were the ants that spoiled the Country Labor picnic in Bathurst on the weekend.
Most of the State's ministers, the Country Labor MPs and 300 conference delegates were greeted by the protesters outside Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre.
Shouting slogans and waving placards and banners, a sea of Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) members, the Bathurst Regional Ratepayers' Association, teachers and clubs' representatives converged on BMEC's front doors as top political leaders and delegates entered the conference venue.
Greg Standen of Bathurst told a rally he knew what rail employees were going through.
"I was a rail employee here in Bathurst but I lost my job under former Premier Nick Greiner in 1989,” Mr Standen said.
"It was devastating not only for me but also for my family and the Bathurst community.
"Over a period of three years, from 1989, there were well over 150 people who lost their jobs in this area.
"At that stage, the cost to the Bathurst community was well in excess of $6 million.”
The RTBU is worried about the loss of hundreds of NSW country rail jobs as a result of rail reform scheduled to come into force on September 4.
Mr Standen said if former Bathurst Labor Prime Minister and rail locomotive driver Ben Chifley "could see what his favourite Labor Party was doing to the NSW railways and the state of health, education, the tax on the club movement and the closure of 32 Business Enterprise Centres, who assist small and micro businesses, Ben would turn in his grave”.
"Has this Government lost the plot totally?
"This rally puts Bob Carr and Country Labor on notice that we in the bush are raging.
"Why? Because your performance is pathetic. You are seen to abandon the grassroots from which the ALP grew, especially those rail workers and their families who live west of the sandstone curtain.
"All we ask Bob Carr is give the people in the bush a fair go. Is that asking to too much of a Labor Government?”
Member for Bathurst Gerard Martin addressed the rally and thanked the protesters for being there.
Mr Martin said the weekend had attracted a lot of Government decision-makers, including Transport Minister Michael Costa and he and Country Labor members were pushing for the retention of CountyLink passenger rail services.
"So I can assure you that we understand the issues.
"We understand where the RTBU and the other unions are coming from,” Mr Martin said.
Former Evans Shire councillor Bill Gates grabbed a megaphone to address the crowd.
He was sacked more than three weeks ago after Local Government Minister Tony Kelly amalgamated Evans Shire and Bathurst City.
"I want to know where Country Labor was when they were needed?” Mr Gates asked.
"We needed them through our local member Gerard Martin when in excess of 75 per cent of Evans Shire ratepayers, indicated in a written survey, they wanted nothing to do with amalgamation,” he said.
"We told you, Gerard. We presented the information to you but you were not able to achieve anything.”
Secretary-manager of Bathurst RSL Club David Veness said he believed this was a "better opportunity than we've had anywhere along the way with the Labor Party because the bulk of the people attending this are the grassroots people”.
"Many of those people are members of clubs and I know people in there who are supporting us,” Mr Veness said.
"Unfortunately, the way the Labor Party operates is, it doesn't allow for dissent but eventually the grassroots members of the Labor Party will start getting the message across to the backbenchers, and the backbenchers to the ministry, not just about the pokie machine tax but about everything else that's been represented here this weekend.”
Mr Veness said the club must come up with $12,000 a month to pay the new tax come September.
Bathurst NSW Teachers Federation spokesman Wayne Patterson said "their tactics on teachers' salaries, their refusal to play fair, has outraged teachers”.
Mr Patterson said teachers meet this Friday to discuss industrial action.
"With the behaviour of the Carr Government in the last few days I have no doubt of the outcome,” Mr Patterson said.
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2020 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.