Vital community transport services are being crippled by ongoing state government meddling and bureaucracy. NSW Government has rescinded the fleet management rights of community transport operators; taking control and changing the rules for buying and replacing vehicles.
As a result, community transport operators are currently in danger of having to retain inappropriate and substandard quality vehicles, affecting passenger safety and wellbeing.
Community Transport Organisation, Chief Executive Officer, Dianne Hallett said decisions about good fleet management for passenger safety and comfort should be made by individual community transport providers.
“Community transport operators need to be able to implement commercial practices such as making a decision as to when a vehicle needs replacement, they know their vehicles not the NSW Government,” Ms. Hallett said.
“Before the rescindment, community transport service providers were making commercial decisions based on their individual communities and people, enabling better value for money for safe and reliable transport.
“They must remain operationally viable, to enable a broader range of transport, and to ensure the most vulnerable travelling public are not missing out,” she said.
Community transport services are located in every local government area across the state, filling gaps in the public transport network, increasing transport options for people, and connecting those in need to everyday living.
“Elimination of the hands-on approach of NSW government will result in less financial burden on government and more funds to spend on transport services for people who really need it. This sector is astute in managing appropriate and economical fleets, caring for people by taking them where they want to be, in safety and with dignity.”
Community Transport Organisation calls on the NSW Government to declare ownership back to community transport operators of their major asset: their fleets and asset replacement funds.
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Community Transport Organisation is the peak body for community transport in NSW and ACT.
The New South Wales community transport model provides the best transport outcomes for people living in metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas, bridging the gap between isolation and community inclusion.
Community transport focuses on the needs of people: community, affordability and quality. Tailored responses take people where they need to go, and more often, because community transport is agile and responsive.
Not-for-profit organisations provide good value for money by improving services and keeping costs down with safety, inclusion and wellbeing of people as its prime interest.
The community transport sector has been demonstrating safe, affordable specialist transport for 40 years.
It services people who can’t use other public transport and demonstrates on demand and point to point capability.
Community transport has a NSW government measured 95-99% client satisfaction level. It’s vital that the viability of community transport across all of New South Wales is supported by NSW Government.
Caption: Colleen Thomas CEO of HART Services, Northern Rivers and Dianne Hallett CEO Community Transport Organisation.