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Australia Sydney Trains on track for major reshuffle

21:07  28 june  2020
21:07  28 june  2020 Source:   smh.com.au

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Secretary of Transport for NSW Rodd Staples speaks to the media at Central Station in Sydney © AAP Secretary of Transport for NSW Rodd Staples speaks to the media at Central Station in Sydney The top brass and back office roles at Sydney Trains and regional operator NSW TrainLink are set to be folded into the state's mega transport agency, in a further rejig of the bureaucracy.

Less than a year after Roads and Maritime Services was brought inside Transport for NSW, its secretary Rodd Staples has proposed "integrating" corporate roles such as finance and business services at Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink into the main transport agency.

In an internal email on Thursday, Mr Staples emphasised that "this is only a proposal at this stage" and did not include frontline or service-delivery roles within Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink.

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But Labor transport spokesman Chris Minns sought guarantees that a restructure not lead to job losses or service cuts, adding that it could signal the first step towards privatising the rail network.

Rail Tram and Bus Union state secretary Alex Claassens said he was always worried about any potential restructure and the costs which flowed from it.

"All these changes cost lots and lots of money and we don't see any tangible improvements for the commuters of NSW. It doesn't put any extra trains on or any extra buses," he said.

Sydney Trains' acting chief executive, Stewart Mills, was replaced four weeks ago by Suzanne Holden. Mr Mills, a veteran of London's Underground who took over from high-profile chief Howard Collins early this year, is returning to his native England for "personal reasons".

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Mr Collins became chief operations officer of a new division dubbed Greater Sydney, which was tasked with developing "integrated transport services" and to "be the face of transport" for NSW.

Transport for NSW confirmed it had started a "consultation process with relevant staff" to consider whether integrating corporate functions would better support services.

"While back-office efficiencies may be identified in a new model, no decisions have been made about what these structures will look like and what roles we will need," the agency said.

"All Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink frontline operations will continue as they are, with no change to the management of core service delivery responsibilities."

The agency did not reveal how many roles would be affected if the latest proposal was adopted, nor the hit taken to fare revenue from trains and other public transport services over the past four months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Daniel Andrews bans ministerial staff from holding elected positions within ALP

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In a further reshuffle, Transport for NSW deputy secretary Anne Hayes will become acting CEO for six months of the Transport Asset Holding Entity, which the government created to house tens of billions of dollars worth of NSW's public transport assets.

The latest plans for NSW's rail operators come as the government-owned State Transit Authority is set to be disbanded once the government hands the last three bus contracts it runs in Sydney to private bus companies by April 2022.

'Factional culture' within ALP 'digressing to the point of detrimental division' .
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