NEWSLETTER February 1976



"KEEP CARS OUT" RALLY for cyclists and marchers to protest against cars in the inner city and radial freeways Meet 5pm, Archibald Fountain, Hyde Park North


PTC Celebrations of 50 years of electrification. 1.30 pm Douglas Cross Gardens, next to Oatley Station ALSO there will be a set display at Central


RALLY TO PROTEST AGAINST GREENACRE CONTAINER TERMINAL Speakers: Peter Cox, Jack Ferguson, Nick Kearns 1.30 pm Roberts Rd & Wentworth St, Greenacre (West side of Enfield Marshalling Yard)

SONG MAKING SESSION TO gather material for LP of Public Transport songs that will be produced by 2JJ's Bob Hudson, aided by Dennis Kevin and other notables. Please bring instruments and songs 12.30 pm till late Bardec Productions, 37 Taylor St, Annandale.


GENERAL MEETING (See News Items and Notices for likely topics of discussion. Write or ring if you want something placed high on agenda) 5.30 pm Environment Centre, 263 Broadway


LECTURE - "Traffic Management In Mosman" 5.30 pm Eagle House, Alfred St, North Sydney nr Lavender St (Use Mil Pt Stn)


Railways Historical Society Display at Willoughby, probably Civic Centre.

SATURDAY MAR 27- SUNDAY MAR 28 (Dates to be confirmed)

Weekend away with sympathetic journalists to discuss how we can use the media more effectively. All members interested in helping with publicity or acting as spokespeople are welcome. Write, ring or attend Gen Meet for info.


NOTE Owing to costs, this will definitely be the last newsletter going to people or groups, who have not joined as paying members. If you have already joined, please use the enclosed m/ship form to join a new member. ALSO, as we know how you like getting your newsletter, please tell us if you change your address.

AND MOST IMPORTANT, Many projects, such as Research, policy workshops, most of our news releases, campaigns in some of the 10 proposed State Electorates etc. will have to be deferred or axed (shades of Malcolm F), if more people (meaning Y-O-O) do not become involved. We are still seeking Campaign organisers in Miranda-Cronulla, George's River-Hurstville, Nepean, Gosford and Coogee. Please attend the next meeting on 1st Mar or ring Allan on 798-7100 or Don on 95-5731 to arrange to put in a couple of hours a week in the area that most interests you


COMMUTERS WANTED! A committee is to be set up, consisting of 3 Labor State MPs, 3 unionists and 3 commuters to discuss transport issues regularly. The SPTC is to choose the commuters - the management committee suggests choosing a pool of 6 or 7 at the next General Meeting, from which 3 can attend each meeting of the new committee. We are seeking similar formalised consultation with the coalition parties. This may pave the way for Regional Transport Consultative Councils to be set up along the lines mentioned in our Interim Policy Document.

URTAC Report.-

We are currently examining the Urban Transport Advisory Committee's report which was released by Mr. Bruxner after being approved by State Cabinet's Sub-committee on Industrial Affairs. Approval by the full Cabinet this week is considered highly likely.

The press has reported the major features quite well but has created an impression that the report recommends a major swing away from freeways to public transport. This is only partly true. The report is ambiguous, but apparently recommends:

The idea of the report seems to be to shift the area of freeway emphasis to non-radial routes and outer suburbs.

The plans for more new rail carriages and busses are good, but would serve mainly to maintain existing services plus the Eastern Suburbs Railway to Edgecliff and (supposedly by 1979) to Bondi Junction. Any catering to increased population and activity by creating new transport links, especially in areas outside the city and inner suburbs, would be done entirely by road construction, if URTAC had its way. Like the Nielsen, report, it abruptly dismisses the idea of considering new modes such as Light-rail AND THE WHOLE THING LOOKS LIKE GOING THROUGH CABINET WITHOUT BEING EXPOSED TO PROPER PUBLIC CONSIDERATION!

There are a great many definite proposals about clearways and priority roads but the question of where new transit lanes or bus lanes would go is left up in the air, although they are favourably mentioned. At first glance then, the report indicates a feeling that it is necessary to appear to be making a shift toward public transport and contains some real improvements, but is still a long way from an adequate solution to Sydney's transport problems. We are very concerned about URTAC's proposal to sell off land acquired for abandoned projects, as it could be needed for future public transport development. After an initial news release, further action will be discussed at the General Meeting. A reference copy is available at the AFULE office.


35 acres of PTC land adjoining Wentworth Rd, Greenacre, is supposed to become the major road - rail interchange for both interstate and intrastate container traffic; as well as a loading and unloading depot. On top of this madness, already being soundly criticised by academics, Brambles has applied to Strathfield Council to use an abandoned quarry at No 7, Juno Pde, Greenacre, as a liquid waste dump for all sorts of noxious chemicals. The whole mess is further compounded by a so-called Export Road (also known as a County Road or the Inner Circumferential Freeway) which will link the proposed Greenacre terminal with the proposed Botany Bay port.

The NSW Government and the PTC are determined to destroy the quality of life of thousands of workers who live in the area between Botany Bay and Penrith, and we think it's probably just coincidence that these areas are strong Labor areas. (or is it...?)

The URTAC report, released recently, recommends that the Government "start forthwith" on this freeway.

An "Environmental Impact Statement" (really an apology for environmental destruction) was produced for the PTC by John Holland Constructions, who happen to be the major construction contractors for the terminal. Hollands have already moved heavy machinery onto the site, and one of their representatives admitted to us that they had been waiting for months to start work. He also said that the site would be "vastly improved - the whole area will be one slab of concrete."

However, the State Government has not reckoned with the people of Greenacre, Chullora, Strathfield and surrounding areas. As well as a strong united residents group led by the Greenacre-Chullora Progress Association, there are five councils, the Bankstown M.L.A., many local union branches, Tom Uren, the Barton group of the Australia Party, and many others, who oppose this terminal.

The Save Public Transport Committee was asked to assist in this campaign because of the problems this terminal will create for the whole metropolitan area. So far we have assisted with some basic organisation and have released a joint statement calling for a full public enquiry into this highly controversial proposal.

More details as they come to hand, but meanwhile, will YOU, as an individual or member of any organisation, arrange your own letter of protest to Mr Bruxner and Sir John Fuller (and be sure you send us a copy). If you want to help in other ways please contact the Convenor, Alan Sorrenson, by phone - 61 3993 or 26 3512.


That evening, when the hostess on the train from Canberra offered the usual served-at-your-seat-on-a-portable-table dinner, most of the passengers ordered a hot meal. Alas! She returned to say that they were out of hot meals. Without grumbling the company ordered salads. Time passed. When she reported that they were out of salads, enquiries revealed that tea or coffee with a roll were available. One malcontent rejected this offering, and demanded an alternative. He was duly supplied with three courses of Coca Cola and fruit cake.


The fears expressed in our news releases and in the last newsletter about a fatal train accident in the Blue Mountains are now an ugly reality, and the charging of the goods train crew with manslaughter and negligence is the ugliest, aspect. We have issued a news release calling for the dropping of the charges and a full public enquiry into all aspects of the Glenbrook crash, and into New South Wales rail safety and maintenance standards in general.


Bus workers at Waverley Depot have been taking action including lightning strikes, a work to rule campaign, and stricter limits on the number of standing passengers on Sundays. The PTC was informed that the action would be taken if it persisted in cutting out 29 Sunday runs to the Eastern Suburbs beaches. We have helped the bussies prepare leaflets putting their case to their fellow workers and the public, while urging them to adopt "no fare collection" as their form of protest. The cuts have also been discussed at other bus depots, and a stop work meeting is planned at Ryde depot.


It's long overdue, greatly welcomed and finally here - the P.T.C.'s three-in-one bus train and ferry guide to Sydney. Free of charge from the P.T.C. and other travel centres, it schematically outlines all bus routes in the metropolitan area up to Palm Beach in the North, Lidcombe in the West and Sans Souci in the South. On the reverse side is a layout of train services, a public transport find-it-yourself directory and a somewhat difficult to follow city map. Congratulations to the P.T.C. but hope they are ready for a few criticisms.

A few of us are working on a similar map for the private bus routes but are having a little difficulty in obtaining bus route maps, timetable information etc. (apart from tediously writing to individual bus companies!!). The Bus Proprietors Association has been approached with some success so far but anyone with information on this should contact us.


All organised members are asked to set up funds for public transport campaigns during the pre-State Election period. Already our questionnaires have drawn considerable interest from political parties and we hope to be able to publicise their answers widely and draw as much attention as possible to the public transport issue generally. Individual members are asked to send in donations as soon as possible.


The AFULE will oppose plans by the PTC to sell the 50 mile Dorrigo branch line to a private company for $325,000. There is reportedly a condition of sale that the line must not be used for freight. Its main importance before its closure was for freight. The AFULE does not oppose leasing the line for excursions, so that it could still be reopened as a public line at some later date.


The first of Canberra's new M.A.N. articulated buses is undergoing trials in Germany. An additional vehicle is expected to tour Australia for demonstration purposes, arriving in Sydney about May. It will be available to the SPTC for inspection.


At a recent meeting of the Australian Railways Historical Society, movies shown featured "light rail" developments in Europe. The new trams have power-operated doors, pantograph power collection, articulated bodies and one-man operation (even with multiple unit running) using pre-sold tickets with on-board machine validation for time or distance. Private right-of-way, "pedestrian plaza with tram", and tram priority are popular means of avoiding conflict with other street traffic.


Despite a letter dated 27th January and an urgent telegram on the 18th February, Mr. Bruxner is apparently unwilling to meet us. This is in sharp contrast to the press release issued at the press conference to launch the URTAC Report (to which we were not invited!!). That release and indeed, the report itself, lay great stress on the lack of secrecy and the need for public participation in transport planning under Mr. Bruxner's administration.

Recent discussions between Tom Uren and the Convener suggested that Mr. Bruxner may well be more amenable than some previous Transport Ministers and we are continuing our efforts to arrange a meeting.

One bright note - in his reply to our letter of 27th January, Mr. Bruxner says:
"Your paper entitled. 'Strategy for providing and improving Transport Services is New South Wales' is wide-ranging and interesting. I have-arranged that it be circulated to the Authorities under administration."


The first complaint for our new service was received by Secretary Don Morison a few days after our last newsletter went out. It came from an Army lieutenant in a Transport Division who complained about being asked to share a two berth sleeping compartment on the "Spirit of Progress" with Don. This may seem strange. After all, the military, of all people, need public transport. We all remember the geniality of Lt-Col Hawes, of the Chartered Institute of Transport, when we conversed with him on the footpath outside the Sydney Hilton during the Institute's conference "Transport in the Years Ahead." (Only the $175 conference registration fee prevented us from enjoying more of his company.)

Don reports: "The lieutenant on the train was young, open-minded, an excellent conversationalist and pleasant in personality and appearance. The only thing we didn't have in common was that the lieutenant was blonde, and unmistakably female."

Apparently someone along the line had decided that anyone whose name began with "Lieutenant" had to be a "gent", as the railways say in their inimitable old world fashion. After about five minutes the attendant was able to show us to two single berth compartments. The lieutenant said she would have the relevant army and PTC operations checked for sexist assumptions, and promised to let us know how she got on. Unfortunately, this was the most quickly rectified problem that our secretary has ever had with the PTC.

We also received a serious complaint about early morning buses from Lilyfield being cut out. Anybody got any suggestions about what to do about it?

Authorised by Don Morison (Sec)
Thanks to Kevin Eadie, Geoff Dawson, Vince Lagana and Allan.

Telephone: (02) 61 3993, 26 3512

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