Shadow Minister for Transport Jo Haylen has called on newly appointed Transport Minister Rob Stokes to release his plan to keep Sydney’s transport network Covid safe before restrictions are eased on Monday.
Ms Haylen said: “The Government is already talking about a plan to open Covid safe nightclubs, but as of yet there’s no plan for a Covid safe Transport network.”
Labor is calling on Minister Stokes to urgently address a number of issues to ensure Covid safety across Sydney’s transport network before Monday, including:
- Whether the ‘dynamic timetable’ will still be in place for Sydney’s rail and bus networks.
- A plan to maintain social distancing requirements across the network and for increased frequency of services, especially for including for students using school bus services.
- Updated guidelines for mask wearing across the network – especially regarding schoolchildren under 12 years of age.
- A comprehensive plan to protect staff and prevent mass transmission across the transport network, including for rolling out workplace rapid antigen testing for all bus drivers.
- Whether the Minister’s office has reached out to rail workers and their unions in good faith to listen to their concerns and avoid further industrial action as NSW opens up.
“No plan to ease restrictions and open up is complete without a comprehensive plan to protect our public transport network from Covid”, Ms Haylen said.
“If the new Minister doesn’t move quickly and get the right protocols in place, we run the risk of passengers being exposed to the virus, of staff having to self-isolate, and of cancelations and delays across our public transport network. We simply can’t afford that as we open up.”