Editorial November 17 2017

The question was pretty simple.

It is not like we asked for an explanation of a scientific equation or an opinion on a matter of philosophy.

We would simply like to know why the Transport Minister would meet with the taxi industry five times in the lead-up to announcing the government’s decision to introduce fares on the free Gong Shuttle as of 2018.

Four times.

There might be an innocent answer but we wouldn’t know because Transport Minister Andrew Constance has flatly refused to answer the question.

Why? Makes it sound like he has something to hide.

Frankly, we smell a rat and the Member for Bega can rest assured we will not rest until we find out why.

His justification for this decision has been nothing short of pathetic.

And not only that, there was no consultation of the Illawarra community about this decision. None.

We were simply told to “suck it up”. Disgraceful. 

The issue hit the NSW Parliament this week with Premier Gladys Berejiklian stating the Illawarra has “never had it so good”.

Sydneysiders could be forgiven for thinking the universal rumble of laughter coming from the region in reply was an earthquake.

Sorry Premier but we have never laughed so hard.

The contempt, Premier,  you have shown for the Illawarra on this matter sadly reflects the contempt that your government has routinely shown this region.

And we are picking this fight – starting with Mr Constance who has continually been shown to be found wanting in his portfolio.

Member for Wollongong Paul Scully has called on Mr Constance to reveal the details of his meetings with the taxi industry and we would echo that call loudly.

“It seems that there could potentially be more to this than meets the eye,” Mr Scully said. 

“I’m very concerned that it doesn’t seem that one Illawarra voice has had the opportunity to have their say.”

Surely the shuttle has not been scuttled on the whim of the Transport Minister.

Andrew Constance, you can run but you can not hide on this matter.

We will continue until we Save Our Shuttle.