MPs hit out at Opal fare hike

LUKE FO­LEY LEADS CRIT­I­CISMS

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Jil­lian Mc­Kee

MT DRUITT com­muters will be slugged al­most $1000 ex­tra a year af­ter the State Govern­ment in­creases Opal card fares from July 1.

IPART has rec­om­mended the govern­ment scrap the cur­rent eight-trip model in favour of a plan to make com­muters pay for their 10 most ex­pen­sive weekly jour­neys.

Un­der the changes, peo­ple trav­el­ling from Mt Druitt to Black­town five days a week for work would see the cost of their travel in­crease by up to 54 per cent, to $41.60 a week.

For those head­ing to Strath­field the fare would in­crease by $18.44 a week to $57.

State Op­po­si­tion Leader Luke Fo­ley urged the govern­ment to scrap the changes.

“At a time when we should be get­ting more peo­ple onto pub­lic trans­port the Baird Govern­ment is plan­ning to make trains more un­af­ford­able,” Mr Fo­ley said.

“This is bad pub­lic pol­icy that will re­sult in more cars on the road as peo­ple avoid pay­ing hun­dreds of dol­lars more in train fares.”

Lon­don­derry state La­bor MP Prue Car said at a time when the cost of liv­ing was so high, price rises for travel were un­fair.

“Con­cerns, like hous­ing stress, are at record lev­els across this re­gion. How is it that some­one who is do­ing the right thing … can be slugged with an in­crease of al­most $1000? It is sim­ply un­fair,” she said.

Mt Druitt state La­bor MP Ed­mond Atalla said one of his big­gest con­cerns was for pen­sion­ers.

“From July 1 tick­ets for pen­sion­ers will in­crease from $2.50 to $9. That is mas­sive in­crease,” he said.

“No com­mod­ity ever in­creases by that per­cent­age but the govern­ment sees it fit to hit the most vul­ner­a­ble in our com­mu­nity and that is not ac­cept­able.”

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