It seems that the Labor Conference last weekend did not resolve the issue of whether Sydney ferries will be sold by this state’s Labor Government to a private operator. There is huge resistance to such a sale as most Sydneysiders understand that a public transport service is not about making money but about providing a safe, efficient means of transport that happens to take pressure off the roads.
At the conference, delegates passed a resolution that demanded any proposal to privatise or franchise the ferries would need to be approved by the party and not just by the cabinet.
However, it is not sure that the Rees Government will abide by the resolution. According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald (16 November 2009), a spokeswoman said that the ‘market-testing’ process (read, steps to privatise) would go ahead as planned for a final decision later this year.
However, it is not just the Maritime and other unions that are determined to ensure that Sydney Ferries stays a part of the public and publicly-owned transport system. From the meeting at the Balmain Town Hall recently, there is huge community support for the campaign to keep Sydney ferries in public hands.
Watch this space!