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A war of words has erupted between NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance and the ABC over a news report claiming the NSW government planned to cut trains in Sydney’s west to favour more express services on the Liberal-voting north side.
Mr Constance yesterday accused the ABC of “knowingly reporting false information” on train timetables by using an old draft, now redundant.
The minister said the ABC was told the night before its report that questions put to the government were based on “a three-year-old working draft”.
The ABC hit back yesterday, saying documents released under freedom of information law on which its report was based were obtained less than two weeks ago after a NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal ruling found in the ABC’s favour “for release under public-interest considerations”.
In an updated report, the ABC said former Railcorp executive Dick Day “lamented” Mr Constance’s department had failed to release more up-to-date information “as requested by the ABC”.
According to Mr Day, actual work on a 2018 timetable would now be highly advanced with hardly any time to alter.
“So why do they refuse to make real information available?” he said.
Labor Opposition Leader Luke Foley accused the government of shrouding its transport policy in secrecy.
“The government has kept this hidden because they didn’t want the public to know there would be far fewer services for western Sydney commuters and more inconvenience,” Mr Foley said.
This article first appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au
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