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Monday, 2 March 2015
Page: 1737

Ms MacTIERNAN (Perth) (10:48): This coming Friday, 6 March, a midnight pyjama-party protest is being organised in Perth by a group of activists protesting the planned closure of the late-night train services on the Perth rail network. The 1:15 am and 2:15 am services are important to thousands of people, particularly young people, who want to enjoy the big city and Northbridge at night and take part in what is an increasingly important part of our economy, the night-time economy. By taking away these services, many young people are going to be denied the opportunity to really participate in the night-life of the city and to be part of that buzz of the big city.

Quite frankly, the cost and availability of cabs, particularly for those people living in outer suburbs, really precludes them as a meaningful alternative. I find it quite extraordinary that the Premier, who is constantly pontificating about how he is getting rid of Perth's 'dullsville' tag, should be moving down such a path. I think it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of and lack of engagement with the lives of young people and the lives of people that live in the outer suburbs and, of course, a disengagement with the whole exercise of public transport.

The government has constantly put out misinformation about the service—first of all saying that it was free and then saying that some of the trains were averaging 20 to 30 people. The Minister for Transport was then forced to acknowledge that he got that wrong, that the trains were not free and that the averages indeed had been calculated by including the nil passenger trips back to the depot—so, quite clearly, an attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of our community. But people were not deceived, and I want to congratulate Luke Pickersgill and Georgia Blackburn for their great online campaign, which to date has got 13,000 RSVPs to the big pyjama party at Perth train station next week. It is great to see community activism out there and great to see people coming out in support of public transport.