21 March 2013

LNP Bus Cuts Canned

Labor’s campaign against the LNP’s bus cuts has forced an embarrassing back down by State Transport Minister Scott Emerson, followed by a back hander by the Brisbane City Council.

In the face of a fierce community campaign facilitated by Labor, the Transport Minister abandoned his planned cuts, buck-passing the decision on future route changes to the Brisbane City Council.

Now the BCC has scrapped the Minister’s review process entirely and has promised to start route planning from scratch.

The announcement – made under the cover of national affairs - is a humiliating admission by Minister Emerson that he has failed to consult adequately, and that the LNP has failed local residents by planning to cut vital services.

It is also an admission that Minister Scott Emerson was wrong when he told Parliament recently, that the campaign spearheaded by South Brisbane MP Jackie Trad and Yeerongpilly Labor spokesperson Cam Crowther (pictured) was “a fear campaign” that only “Labor stooges” cared about.  The Minister told Parliament the community was not behind Labor’s campaign to protect local services, and then personally attacked Cam Crowther and Jackie Trad in the process.

Unfortunately, in Yeerongpilly, our State MP has not been able to credibly campaign to protect local bus services because he had previously spoken out in support of cutting the Transport budget and sacking Transport staff.

But when our local State MP let our community down, Labor stepped up its local campaign.

Labor has campaigned tirelessly to protect these services.  Cam Crowther organised volunteers to letterbox fliers along with a petition, and the community response was enormous.

However, the Transport Minister’s admission of failure marks only the first significant victory in the battle to stop the LNP bus cuts. The next challenge is to make sure the LNP-controlled Brisbane City Council properly consults on any future changes.

Given the LNPs form on service cuts, the fight is likely to continue.

Yeerongpilly Labor spokesperson Cam Crowther, and Moorooka Ward Cr Steve Griffiths, have already been working together to promote the local campaign against the cuts, and have committed to continue representing the interests of local commuters.   

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