The following article comes from the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU), which, in Victoria is conducting a campaign to bring the sold off public transport system back into public ownership.
A lot of people use public transport as their only means of transportation. Some people use it while learning to drive with someone like Master Driving School, others can’t pass their lesson so are forced to use public transport and some people can’t afford to run a car. With all these people using it as a necessity to get around, you would think it was actually a good system but it’s fair from that. With the major public transport franchise agreements set to expire in 2017, the government has a responsibility to the Commuters and Taxpayers of Victoria to find options that ensure the public interest is protected in the years ahead. Having made clear that they are exclusively negotiating with the current operators behind closed doors, we as the community must hold them accountable. After 20 years of privately run Public Transport, enough is enough.
Sign this petition and/or send the Premier an email to remind the Government that the interests of the public are paramount.
Our public transport system was privatised by Jeff Kennett in the 1990s, under the promise that government subsidies would diminish. Almost two decades on, subsidies have more than doubled, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill for lucrative private profits to be sent offshore while our assets fall into disrepair.
With the contracts nearing expiry, this Government has the opportunity to explore more cost effective options that would protect the public interest while providing better maintenance and service delivery.
Governments around the world are waking up from the privatisation induced hangover of the failing thought bubble of the 1990s and 2000s. Sucking more and more taxpayer money, while offering next to no public oversight, the privatisation of a monopoly industry must be questioned and addressed.
Victorians deserve better than a multinational corporation all too happy to skip stations, cancel services and poorly maintain State owned assets.
Having now sucked more than $7 billion from the Victorian economy, it is high time that the Victorian government put an end to this open exploitation of taxpayer funds and explore how the public can benefit from the sustainable industry of the future.