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Opponents of the privatisation of tram and train services have taken heart from the State Government’s spectacular abandonment last week of its plan to rejig the bus network, and believe public pressure could see the operation return to public hands.
A small crowd gathered at Adelaide Railway Station on Sunday to protest the operation of the tram network being moved into private hands.
Adelaide trains will also be run by a private company from next year.
However, Rail, Tram and Bus Union branch secretary Darren Phillips said “collective power” could drive change.
“The public previously thought it would only take an election to make change but if people get out there and protest and make their voices heard we can see changes to bad decisions,’’ he said. Transport Minister Stephan Knoll has said privatisation would be more efficient and allow for reinvestment.
Branch secretary Darren Phillips, Natasha Brown and Nev Kitchin from the Public Service Association at the North Tce tram stop in front of the train station. Picture: Emma BrasierThe union leader said there had already been job cuts due to the transition and was concerned there would be more to come.
“At the end of the day a private company has to make a profit and they will make a profit,’’ he said.
Mr Knoll said tram drivers had given a “massive vote of confidence’’ to the privatisation when 92 per cent had voted in favour of new enterprise bargaining conditions.
However, Mr Phillips said if the government had been proud of the new arrangement it would be “cutting a ribbon’’ to mark the moment, “which begs the question are they ashamed of what they have done’’.
This article first appeared on www.adelaidenow.com.au
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