Labor wary of train station's staffing

Potential changes to staffing levels at Berry Railway Station could have consequences for the rail line from Kiama through to Bomaderry, according to Labor candidate for Kiama Glenn Kolomeitz.

Mr Kolomeitz said after discussions with rail staff and unions it appeared Berry station would no longer be staffed on weekends.

"Not staffing the train station will make it harder for train commuters to get the latest transport information and assistance," Mr Kolomeitz said.

"This is unacceptable for a community that has such an influx of travellers on the weekend. There are many small business owners that rely on tourism, especially on the weekend."

Mr Kolomeitz said it was his understanding service cuts were based on fare revenue taken at the station.

He said on weekends Berry was a destination so it was only natural people would be buying tickets outside the area.

"Having no staff on weekends would deny people access to services and waiting rooms ... people don't feel safe on unmanned platforms."

Kiama MP Gareth Ward.

Kiama MP Gareth Ward.

Mr Kolomeitz said freight services from Manildra's ethanol plant in Bomaderry could also be affected if Berry station was left unmanned.

"I understand the government has to pay penalties to Manildra if there are delays.

"This is not something I have plucked out of the air ... there are wide-reaching concerns."

Kiama MP Gareth Ward said it was his understanding there would be no change to staffing levels at Berry at this point in time.

"I understand Transport for NSW is in negotiations with transport unions," Mr Ward said

"The station is not going to be closed down and no final decision has been made in relation to staffing."

Mr Ward said automated signalling and the introduction of the Opal card were factors in the discussions.

"I will always stand up for public transport because I use it frequently," Mr Ward said.

Last week, Mr Ward announced two rail staff car parking spaces at the Berry station would be "unlocked" and released to customers.


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