Opposition Leader’s Public Transport Comments On FIVEaa Trigger Fiery Twitterstorm

Jan 8, 2019

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Debate is raging online after Labor opposition leader Peter Malinauskas spoke about his experience riding one of the thousand-odd bus services set to be cut by the Liberal government.

Mr Malinauskas told FIVEaa breakfast on Tuesday:

“I don’t think the minister has spent too much time talking to the people that are going to be affected by these cuts -- these are real people.

“We’ve heard the minister talk about cutting bus routes that are close to train lines. Well, we know some of those bus routes are still a very substantial distance away from the closest train station and for elderly people or people who might be suffering from a disability they don’t have the capacity to go that extra distance.

“Yesterday I caught the bus back from Noarlunga on one of the bus services that is slated to be cut from the government and I was speaking to elderly people who are in that exact position…”

The comment prompted a tweet from SA Liberal Media querying why anyone would catch a bus from a train station, which set off a heated debate.

Transport Minister Stephan Knoll defended the service cuts on air saying there “isn’t an endless bucket of money”.

“Under the former Labor government it’s not like we had 24 hour bus services across the network,” Mr Knoll said.

“What we’ve had is a government that hasn’t been willing to reform our public transport network… we rate as one of the worst in the country for the amount of people that use public transport. The best way to fix that is to listen to what customers are telling us.

“There isn’t an endless bucket of money here and we have to make the difficult decisions.”

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