(Committee's Report, 23 February 2017, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)
Transport disadvantage is a serious problem that can strengthen the already large divide between rich and poor. Without access to frequent, reliable, efficient and affordable transport options, people who are disadvantaged can’t access employment or education opportunities, or health and welfare services. They are unable to participate in social activities leading to isolation and poor wellbeing.
Many people live in rural and remote areas without a car and many that do have a car, can’t afford to use it for all their needs.
As a member of the Community Services committee inquiring into access to transport for seniors and disadvantaged people in rural and regional New South Wales, I learnt about how the lack of transport options is entrenching disadvantage in the country. Basic tasks like shopping, banking and going to the doctor are a major challenge for many seniors and disadvantaged people.
While I am an inner city representative, I was pleased to be part of this inquiry, which is a social justice concern for the whole state.
Improving transport options is a challenge in rural and regional areas and I believe that the committee was able to make practical recommendations that would be easy to implement while making a real difference to people’s lives.
I encouraged the committee to include options for pet owners without cars and our final report found significant problems, recommending more work by Transport for NSW. The outcome should benefit pet owners across the state – the current rules for public transport are confusing and make it hard if you don’t have private transport.
I call on the government to adopt our recommendations and help improve transport equity across the state.