New start for PT

By: Amie Hickland

Tasmania’s public transport sector may have to build new relationship with government

New start for PT
TasBus General Manager Geoff Lewis

The Tasmanian public transport sector may have to work to build relationships with a new Minister for Sustainable Transport after the current minister had his Ministerial commission withdrawn last week.

Tasmania State Government announced the State Election will be held on March 15, which means the agreement between Labor and the Tasmanian Greens will come to an end.

Tasmanian Greens Leader Nick McKim was the Minister for Sustainable Transport – effectively including public transport – and had his Ministerial commission withdrawn last week.

The party’s second and only other Member of Parliament Cassy O’Connor’s also had her Ministerial commission withdrawn.

The Premier Lara Giddings says the agreement between the parties was made solely in response to the outcome of the 2010 election, in order to provide stable government for the life of the current Parliament.

Giddings is recommending Labor member Craig Farrell become the new Minister for Sustainable Transport.

TasBus Managing Director Geoff Lewis says the public transport sector has experienced a very good relationship with McKim.

He says they will now have to try and build a similar relationship with Labor.

"So now we’re got to build that [relationship] in a very short time – which we’re doing."

Lewis says Greens have traditional supported passenger transport and Labor have been committed to it in the past.

He says the parties need to release their policies to see where public transport stands.

"Now we know a date, it’s now for them to get their policies so we can assess who’ll be the best for passenger transport."

Giddings says now the election date has been set, the party has reached the logical end of the agreement between Labor and the Greens.

"We have succeeded in providing responsible government and strong leadership through difficult times but this was never an arrangement that was intended to continue beyond the current term."

She says the caucus has endorsed her motion that Labor will not have Greens in Cabinet again, regardless of the result of the March election.

She the government still has important business to attend to and will not enter caretaker mode until February 12 when the House of Assembly is dissolved.

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