The NSW Government and the Transport Minister Andrew Constance have failed to protect transport workers and consequently our public transport services by not fighting for COVID-19 support including prioritising vaccines for workers. 

We now have confirmation that up to 560 workers are currently in isolation after being close contacts – and a situation where Sydney’s bus network could potentially come to a standstill.

Shadow Minister for Transport Jo Haylen said Labor had written to the Transport Minister urging him to provide important protection measures for drivers to avoid a situation like this.

“The NSW Government has failed to prioritise transport workers for vaccination, failed to give every worker paid vaccination leave, and failed to provide rapid testing and vaccination hubs at their workplaces,” Ms Haylen said.

“It is not good enough for our public transport system to come to a halt because drivers are doing the right thing and isolating – they should have been protected”.

“Andrew Constance needs to tell the public if he has a plan to protect our transport workers from the spread of the delta variant and how he will guarantee vital public transport services during this outbreak. He needs to do this now.

“The Minister and Transport for NSW need to be clear with the public about how many drivers and transport workers are isolating and what that means for services.

“What does this mean for drivers, their families and their colleagues? How will this affect the delivery of vital transport services that our essential workers rely on?

“There are nurses, health workers and other essential workers who rely on bus services to get to our hospitals and our testing clinics every day so they can protect the public. Does Andrew Constance have a plan to deliver these services if the outbreak gets worse and more drivers are effected?

“How will he keep our drivers safe? Is he thinking about alternatives if he has to shut down the network so drivers can safely isolate and get tested to protect their families and the public?

“There are now many questions for Andrew Constance. The public are relying on him to provide answers.

“Transport workers are our pandemic heroes. They do essential work every day to keep our city moving and the NSW Government must do everything it can to keep them and their families healthy and safe,” Ms Haylen said.