The wheels of the

Perrottet bus are falling off

Liberal Premier Dominic Perrottet has backed in his government’s failed model of bus privatisation even though his government has cut thousands of bus services last Tuesday. But the wheels aren’t just falling off bus privatisation, they fallen off their commitment to NSW -  nothing has been done for domestic violence survivors and Perrottet’s abysmal health record speaks for itself.

3 February 2023



AS the race for the March 25 election heats up the Perrottet voting bus is running on its axles – from January 31 more than 100 driver shifts and thousands of bus trips were cancelled, yet Perrottet had the audacity to say “The franchise system of bus services in this state is much better.”


Dominic Perrottet has made these claims even though a report from the NSW Legislative Council's Transport Committee found that the Government’s privatisation of bus services led to a decline in the quality of transport services available to passengers.


Jo Haylen, Shadow Minister for Transport, said “The Liberals said that their privatisation of bus services would deliver more services and better on time running. Instead hundreds of services are now on the chopping block. It’s clear bus privatisation has made things worse for passengers.”


And what about the survivors of domestic violence? The rear-wheel brake drums are scraping on the bitumen! The Government’s announcement this week around establishing specialist domestic violence courts – a policy that Labor has adopted for almost a decade now, and that advocates have been calling on for some time, is desperately needed, but after 12 years and worsening trends, people have a right to ask, why so little after so long?


In Australia on average one woman is murdered every ten days by an intimate partner, with 31,775 recorded incidents of domestic violence-related assaults in the 12 months to June 2022 in NSW, and 137 domestic violence-related murders in the five years to December 2021.


There is no denying the lack of action after 12 years of this Liberal Government. Tragically, the rates of domestic violence offences have never been worse.


Family and Domestic Violence matters in local courts are taking 100 days longer to finalise than just a few years ago - on average now 271 days.


And despite it being a “priority” for the Premier, the rates of domestic violence reoffending have increased by 11 per cent since 2015, instead of the targeted 25 per cent decrease.


Additionally, only two in five of the NSW Domestic Violence Death Review Team’s (DVDRT) recommendations made over the last 10 years have been implemented, according to the DVDRT’s latest report.


Jodie Harrison, NSW Shadow Minister for Women and the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, said “NSW Labor has made clear that when good ideas are the table, we will back them. We did it this week, ensuring that if Labor is elected we would ensure victims of domestic and family violence will be able to access First Home Buyer concessions, and rental bond loans.


“This is a Government that has had 12 years to make a difference in this sector – instead, the figures are heading in the wrong direction.”


Michael Daley, NSW Shadow Attorney General, said “The lack of action here is inexplicable and inexcusable.


“After 12 years in government and in the shadow of an election, the best they can come up with is a feasibility study. This is hugely disappointing. Domestic and Family Violence survivors deserve more. Much more.”


And what about our hospitals? There’s no doubt that on the Central Coast the wheels of the Perrottet bus have completely fallen off and the bus is running on nothing but its axles.


Secret documents reveal that the Government has failed to deliver on their promise from last election to hire additional nurses.


Where NSW should have had an additional 4,000 nurses and midwives in the system by June 2022, nurse hiring fell short by over 30 per cent - leaving a shortfall of over 1,200 nurses and midwives.


The bulk of this shortfall is in regional NSW, which is behind by more than 700 nurses and 98 midwives.


The failure to hire these additional nurses has meant that existing staff have been working overtime to fill the gaps. Nurses worked the equivalent of 1,596 additional FTE in overtime during the 2021-22 financial year. While this was during COVID it has left nurses feeling overworked and underappreciated.


The end result of the Government’s failure to invest in nursing staff has left hospitals overwhelmed, under-resourced and severely neglected over the last decade.


A quarter of patients waited longer than 30 minutes in the back of the ambulance outside emergency departments – and 10 per cent waited almost seven minutes.


Once in the emergency department, half of patients triaged as critical did not start treatment on time, and one in 10 patients spent almost an entire 24 hours in the ED.


Meanwhile over 66,000 patients simply left emergency without receiving or completing their treatment, and almost 18,000 patients were left sitting on the elective surgery waiting list longer than medically recommended.


Chris Minns, NSW Labor Leader, said “This is simply unfair on our hardworking healthcare professionals who are working in a system that is stretched to its limits.


“Residents right across NSW have been saying for a long time that they need to see additional staff in their local hospital. The existing staff do a fantastic job under the circumstances, but they are understaffed and under resourced.


“Our health system needs structural repair. If we are elected in March we are committed to taking urgent action. Labor has committed to mandating minimum and enforceable safe staffing levels in public hospitals.”


NSW Shadow Minister for Health, Ryan Park said “The NSW Liberals have given up on their responsibility to deliver on their health promises. “This is another failed election commitment - along with the failure to deliver the Rouse Hill hospital they promised before the 2015 and 2019 elections.


“No wonder they are missing their targets in health - Dominic Perrottet can’t even tell the people of NSW who the Health Minister would be under a Liberal government.”


And wait times in hospitals over the past decade have escalated – a quarter of patients waited longer than 30 minutes in the back of the ambulance outside emergency departments and 10 per cent waited almost seven minutes.


So, what’s the answer? Reforming federal funding for health is important and will be delivered, but Dominic Perrottet pinning all his hopes on it won’t turn our state’s health crisis around. A commitment to mandating minimum and enforceable safe staffing levels in public hospitals is needed, including more rural and regional paramedics  – it will help with workloads; it will take pressure off nurses and ensure they can treat patients with the care they deserve and need.


But let’s not forget Wyong Hospital in this public hospital crisis – it was the Liberal Government who wanted to privatise it. If it wasn’t for the dedication of local Labor Members David Harris, David Mehan, Liesl Tesch and Yasmin Catley, who fought unrelentingly, alongside hospital staff and the community, Wyong Hospital would be there for profit only and denying those who need the public health system no local medical care.


And where was Adam Crouch, the Member for Terrigal, while the fight to save Wyong Hospital unfolded? He wasn’t on the front line lending his voice against privatisation. He wouldn’t give comment to the Grapevine about his government’s push for privatisation – it’s the same attitude and silence on any issue affecting the community that the Grapevine publishes.


Let’s also not forget that Adam Crouch supported his Government reneging on their promise to stop the South Koreans from building a longwall coal mine beneath the Central Coast’s major water catchment district – he supported the mine. But the community won, with the support of the other state members and the Member for Dobell. So, where was Adam Crouch while the ‘battle to save the Central Coast’s drinking water’ was being fought? Maybe his head was buried in the sand on Terrigal Beach?


Then of course when have the Liberal ‘rollout’ of Nathan Bracken, who is in the political race yet once again, this time for the seat of The Entrance.


Bracken previously tried, and failed, to win a seat on Central Coast Council as an independent and as the Federal Member for Dobell for the Liberals. During both campaigns he did not waver in his support for the South Korean Wallarah 2 coal mine project.


The Grapevine attempted to contact Bracken, via email, and asked “We would appreciate comment from you today (2 February) where you stand on the failed attempt of the South Korean Government to build a long wall coal mine beneath the Central Coast’s water catchment district.” He did not answer the question! Maybe he too has his head buried in the sand, this time on The Entrance beach?


There is no doubt that the wheels of the Perrottet bus have fallen off at the expense of NSW!

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