A PETITION against the proposal to sell off state government-owned transport company CountryLink will gather signatures in the Hastings from Monday.
The opposition says the government plans to sell CountryLink to a private operator by splitting it away from RailCorp Management.
Two state opposition spokespeople were in Port Macquarie on Wednesday to drum up support for the campaign against privatisation of the company.
Spokeswoman on transport Penny Sharpe, MLC, and spokesman on investment for regional infrastructure and Services and for Regional and Rural Affairs, Mick Veitch, met with their Country Labor counterparts and council officials at the Gordon Street bus terminal. Ms Sharpe said 2 million people who rely on CountryLink will face higher ticket prices and cuts to services under any privatisation plan.
“CountryLink is the single most important public transport link for people living in the Port Macquarie local government area,” she said.
“For many, it is the only public transport service.”
Mr Veitch said he was concerned The Nationals were doing nothing to stop the plan.
“It is an absolute disgrace the Nationals are allowing the government to even consider privatising CountryLink,” he said.
Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams says the claims of privatisation are untrue and misleading.
Mrs Williams said the future operating model for RailCorp will be two new agencies – Sydney Trains, and NSW Trains – of which CountryLink will form a part.
“The government is committed to enhancing regional public transport, not cutting it as the former government did.”
Port Macquarie’s Country Labor branch will join other branches throughout NSW from Monday to Sunday, collecting signatures for the petition. Members will be at the bus terminal on Gordon Street from 8.30am every day next week to seek out support from Hastings residents.
The petition can also be signed at the Country Labor Information Office, Suite 1, 157 Gordon Street.