Illawarra Labor MPs Ryan Park and Paul Scully have attacked a surprise move by the Berejiklian Government to start charging commuters for using the current Free Gong Shuttle.
The Government is planning to start charging standard Opal fares from 29 January 2018.
NSW Labor asked during Budget Estimates for the transport and infrastructure portfolio in September whether the Government had any plans to introduce a fare for the free bus service.
The Government avoided answering this question (see attached).
The Free Gong Shuttle was established by the former NSW Labor Government in March 2009.
The Government pledged to maintain a free service for Wollongong in the last two state election campaigns in 2011 and 2015.
A petition has been launched and is available at www.paulscullymp.com.au or the Offices of Paul Scully MP and Ryan Park MP.
Comments attributable to Ryan Park MP
“The Berejiklian Government is trying to impose a new charge on a free bus service from next year.
“The Free Gong Shuttle has been extremely successful in Wollongong and the Government has
pledged to keep it free, including at the last two state elections.
“I was closely involved in the establishment of the Free Gong Shuttle and I will fight against any move by the Government to impose a fare on its users.”
Comments attributable to Paul Scully MP
“The Government has always wanted to introduce a new fare on the Free Gong Shuttle, it just never had the courage to tell the people of Wollongong until today.
“The Free Gong Shuttle is part of Wollongong’s tourism and transport infrastructure and has helped reduce unnecessary congestion on our city streets.
“Today marks the fight by the community to keep the Gong Shuttle free as it has been since March 2009.”