State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, has called on the Minister for Transport to rethink the new fees that retailers now face to have an Opal Card machine in their store.
A number of retailers have contacted Ms Hornery’s office to say they could not afford to keep their machine as they cannot absorb the new charges. This will mean the limited number of retailers who offer Opal Card services will decrease and it will be harder for travellers to be able to top up their cards or purchase a new card.
Last week the NSW Government also removed the Opal Card and single trip ticket machine from Beresfield Train Station.
Ms Hornery has written to the Minister and will raise the issue in Parliament next week.
Quotes attributable to Member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery
“The Government seem intent on making it impossible for some sections of our community to travel on public transport.”
“Making retailers pay fees to have an Opal Card machine in their store is ludicrous. Many of them are small businesses and cannot absorb the costs.”
“Retailers are already doing it tough and to expect them to pay an additional fee for this service shows what privatising Government services does. It’s all about making a profit at the expense of others.
“The Government are removing machines from train stations, such as Beresfield, making it almost impossible for anyone to get a ticket for trains and buses.”
“Now slugging retailers with a monthly fee for providing a service that the Government should be providing is beyond the pale.”
“This Government just continues to drive public transport into the ground. They have privatised the bus network and the ticketing system and we are seeing the result of that.”