Climate protests and industrial action to slow Sydney’s transport system

0
100
Climate protests and industrial action to slow Sydney’s transport system

Climate protests and industrial action to slow Sydney’s transport system

We’re sorry, this feature is currently unavailable. We’re working to restore it. Please try again later.

Sydneysiders have been told to prepare for a disrupted commute on Tuesday, when industrial action from the Rail and Transport Union will coincide with a second day of demonstrations by Blockade Australia.

Peak-hour train services will be reduced by 50 per cent on Tuesday and up to 75 per cent later in the week in response to workplace and safety concerns the rail union believes have not been adequately addressed by the NSW government. Significant delays are also expected for long-distance and regional services, with customers advised to travel only in essential circumstances.

NSW Transport Minister David Elliott said the way Blockade Australia chooses to protest is “selfish”.

NSW Transport Minister David Elliott said the way Blockade Australia chooses to protest is “selfish”.Credit:Steven Siewert

Transport for NSW said commuters should expect significant disruptions, as the protected action is expected to cause “delays and the increasing cancellation of services across the week”.

Meanwhile, the latest protest by climate activist group Blockade Australia was launched on Monday morning when a woman from Lismore Heights blocked the southbound entrance to the Harbour Tunnel by chaining herself to the steering wheel of her parked white car just before peak hour.

Police arrested and charged the 22-year-old and nine other Blockade Australia protesters with offences including obstruction, and willfully preventing free passage of a person, vehicle or vessels after about 60 people blocked roads in the city’s CBD during peak hour.

All 10 were under the age of 50. Just four of the 10 protesters were from NSW, five were from Victoria and one was from Queensland.

A protester used a bike lock to attach herself to a car blocking the entrance to the Sydney Harbour Tunnel.

A protester used a bike lock to attach herself to a car blocking the entrance to the Sydney Harbour Tunnel.Credit:Blockade Australia

Blockade Australia’s Jonah Shabtay said Sydney’s central business district should expect continued disruption until their cause for the climate is heard.

Shabtay told ABC’s Radio National that Sydney’s CBD will continue to be targeted as the epicentre of the country’s economy because it enables climate change.

“Climate change is fuelled by the economy that operates in the CBD and is being fuelled by a government that refuses to act,” Shabtay said on Tuesday morning.

He said the group was not optimistic about the election of the new government because Labor’s climate policies are insufficient, instead asserting a “seismic” shift was required to save the planet.

“Labor’s promises fall short of the two degrees of global warming that will take us over the cliff edge. Since Labor’s been elected a new Scarborough gas project has been approved in Western Australia. It’s going to be the biggest polluter in Australian history, far bigger than Adani,” Shabtay said.

Commander of Strike Force Guard, Acting Assistant Commissioner Paul Dunstan said that police would continue to maintain a highly visible presence in response to the expected protest activity this week.

Officers drawn from commands across the central metropolitan police region, along with specialist police from the public order and riot squad, mounted police, rescue squad, dog squad, traffic and highway patrol and transit police are patrolling the streets.

“It is unacceptable that a small number of people – who have little to no regard for everyday individuals going about their lives, are causing unnecessary disruptions to their morning commute,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Dunstan said.

“What these individuals are doing is both illegal and unsafe, putting the lives of themselves, the general public and our officers in danger by running on roadway and blocking roads by other means to disrupt traffic.”

On Monday, NSW Transport Minister David Elliott told 2GB the way Blockade Australia chooses to protest is “selfish” and ineffective because its cause remains unclear despite repeated demonstrations.

“They need to re-evaluate how they’re going to get their message out because it ain’t working with these demonstrations,” he said.

The NSW Parliament introduced new laws and penalties in April to discourage protesters who disrupt traffic on bridges and tunnels.

The Morning Edition newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here.

Most Viewed in National

Loading

Read More

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here