Labor Leader Luke Foley has spearheaded a protest meeting to bring pressure on the NSW Government to fix the problems with Newcastle buses.

Mr Foley joined Member for Swansea Yasmin Catley, Member for Charlestown Jodie Harrison and Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp at the Belmont 16s Auditorium to demand an independent review into Newcastle Transport.

If Minister Constance won’t do it, a Foley-Labor Government will.

Hundreds of affected commuters attended the meeting to support Labor’s campaign.

Selling off Newcastle Buses has left commuters stranded, late for work and frustrated.

Since the new timetable was introduced on January 14, local Labor electorate offices have been inundated with complaints including about excessive wait times when trying to lodge a complaint on 131 500.

Transport Minister Andrew Constance has come under fire from Hunter MPs in State Parliament over the past fortnight. Astoundingly, the Minster’s response was that he is yet to see any evidence of disruption.

The new bus routes and timetabling has resulted in:

  • Longer journey times
  • Poor connectivity
  • A more inconvenient service
  • Cuts to services
  • Reduced operating hours

Of most concern is the impact the cuts and changes have had on the most vulnerable commuters including the elderly and people with disability who rely on public transport to get them from A to B.

Mr Foley said NSW Labor was calling on Minister Constance to:

  • Conduct an independent review of the timetable
  • Publish the terms of reference for the review
  • Guarantee public consultation as part of the review

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“We’re calling on the Minister to intervene and conduct an independent review the network. If the Minister won’t, we’ll call on the Premier to take action.

“You can’t leave a bus service in complete chaos and attempt to wash your hands of it.

“People who rely on public transport can’t wait 13 months until the 2019 election- the NSW Government must act now and support Labor’s call for an independent review into Newcastle Transport.”