The Baird Government has given its strongest indication yet that a sale of Sydney Trains is on the cards after it refused to release any documentation to the NSW Opposition.
The Government has thrown a veil of secrecy over plans to privatise part or all of Sydney and NSW’s train network, as well as Sydney’s buses.
In response to an Opposition freedom of information request, the Government refused to release 100 briefing notes, emails and reports relating to options to privatise or outsource trains and buses.
Such was its desire to suppress information the Government also took the unusual step of refusing to publish a schedule of the 97 documents in question and to disclose the freedom of information application on the NSW Treasury log.
Tellingly reasons it cited for knocking back the request included the claim that disclosure could impact the Government’s ability to manage the economy and potentially derail a potential sale.
A sale of Sydney Trains was first reported in the media in February with Transport Minister Andrew Constance saying that he wouldn’t rule anything in or out.
Sydney Ferries has already been sold, a sale of Newcastle’s ferry, bus and light rail network is on the cards and the new metro will be privately operated.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Treasurer Ryan Park
"This Government must come clean about whether or not it intends on selling Sydney Trains.
"It is time for the secrecy to end and to tell the community and workers exactly what is going on to public transport services in NSW.
“The Government would rather just sell off the family silver to the highest bidder and not have to explain itself to voters. Fortunately democracy doesn’t work that way.