Bus and Tram Express
Bus and Tram Express

Hunter MPs slam Andrew Constance for answer on Newcastle bus changes

Feb 7, 2018Uncategorized

By Matt Carr. Read the full story in the Newcastle Herald here. 

HUNTER MPs have slammed Transport Minister Andrew Constance over his response to questions about issues about Newcastle’s bus network. 

Swansea MP Yasmin Catley said Mr Constance’s response to questions about how the problems on the network, implemented last month, would be fixed left much to be desired. 

Responding to a question from Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp on Tuesday, Mr Constance rejected the suggestion services for disabled bus users had been cut as “simply wrong” and asking for evidence to substantiate the claim.

“Given that that fleet operates under a franchise model, any suggestion that we are cutting services for people with disabilities is simply wrong,” he said. 

“If the member has evidence of it, I am happy to see it.”

“If the member for Newcastle is alleging that people with disability have been affected, I am happy to look at that, but he has not raised that issue with me outside this Chamber. I look forward to meeting with the member for Newcastle to hear his concerns.”

Both Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery and Ms Catley, who along with Port Stephens MP Kate Washington was called to order twice during Mr Constance’s answer, said they believed the response was underwhelming. 

Ms Hornery said her office had written to the minister and Keolis Downer more than 100 times to outline issues involving “the elderly, people with disabilities and school children”.

“The hundreds of constituents in my electorate who have raised serious concerns about losing their ability to get around, who have been forced to give up their job, who have had their children just dumped on the roadside or who because of their disability can no longer get to a service, to appointments or work, would be disgusted in this response from the Minister,” she said. 

“He is choosing to bury his head in the sand in the hope that eventually these issues will just go away.”

By Matt Carr. Read the full story in the Newcastle Herald here.