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Minister for Planning and Infrastructure
Fare increase architect would return as Coalition Transport Minister
20/01/2005 4:00 PM
Transport spokesperson Katie Hodson-Thomas today conceded that Murray Criddle - the man who oversaw massive fare hikes as Transport Minister with the previous government - would return to his old post under a Barnett Government.
During a debate this morning on ABC 720, Ms Hodson-Thomas admitted that she had told a public forum in November that Mr Criddle would be Transport Minister if Colin Barnett was elected.
In Opposition, the Coalition has divided the Transport portfolio with Mr Criddle the current spokesman for roads - the National Party traditionally holds the Transport Ministry within a Coalition Government.
Ms MacTiernan warned that under Mr Criddle, a Barnett Government would continue its anti-public transport policies.
“Under Murray Criddle and the Coalition, concession fares jumped by more than 50 per cent and standard fares increased by over 25 per cent in four years,” she said.
“As Transport Minister, Murray Criddle unashamedly pursued a policy of reducing subsidisation of public transport by bumping up Transperth fare revenue.
“The Coalition slugged commuters in the past and they will do it again.
“Only Labor has a track record of keeping fares low for Perth commuters.”
The Minister said Ms Hodson-Thomas’ claim that the Coalition would not repeat their past sin of hitting commuters with higher fares lacked credibility.
“The Coalition must be judged by its actions when last in government - particularly with the same Minister in charge of public transport,” Ms MacTiernan said.
She said Ms Hodson-Thomas’ admission was also bad news for the Southern Suburbs Railway to Mandurah.
“We all know that the National Party has been vigorously opposed to construction of the Mandurah Railway by any route during the last four years,” the Minister said.
“The Coalition’s record on public transport speaks for itself - increased fares during their last term and not a single centimetre of railway laid in eight years.”
Minister's office: 9213 6400
Radio Transcript – 720ABC Radio, 20/1/05
MACTIERNAN: But Liam, I do think there’s another important point to take up here. I understand Katie, at a public forum, in fact the Chartered Institute of Transport, publicly announced that under a Barnett government, Mr Criddle indeed would once again be the Transport Minister.
So the man who was the architect of this policy, that saw fares being ramped up would, in fact, become the Transport Minister. As you know they’ve divided the transport portfolio into two and they’ve given Mr Criddle the roads component of it. But, as I say, relying on statements that Katie has made in public, we understand that Mr Criddle will, if a Barnett government was elected, would indeed once again become the Transport Minister and there is no doubt that we would see these policies once again raised to the surface.
BARTLETT: Katie, is that right, have you made that statement publicly?
HODSON-THOMAS: I have made that statement publicly, but I think that that’s a very desperate move of yours, Minister. I mean honestly, who would know what Colin Barnett will do when he wins government, who will be in the…
MACTIERNAN: Well I think that’s a good point Katie, who would know what Colin Barnett would do if he wins government.