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Rail Deal Secures Essential Transport Assets

Rail Deal Secures Essential Transport Assets

“The Government’s decision to buy back the rail network is a good deal for New Zealanders which secures essential transport infrastructure in public ownership,” the Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.

The government has today signed a heads of agreement to buy the rail network for $1.00.

Ross Wilson said that the union movement has campaigned for the Government to “take back the track” and sees today’s announcement as vindication of the union stance.

“It is crucial to the CTU that an important part of the deal is that jobs, pay and conditions have been protected.

“It should be seen as a vital investment in an important part of our transport system,” said Ross Wilson.

“We need a modern, high quality, rail network as part of an integrated transport infrastructure. So today’s announcement benefits the whole economy”.

Ross Wilson said that when unions warned the Government back in the early 1990s that privatisation of rail, a strategic asset, would result in private sector mismanagement, low investment in the network, and profiteering by overseas investors, no-one wanted to listen.

“This has been an expensive mistake with inevitable consequences,” he said. “Having Government as a controlling shareholder, with significant new investment, is a crucial step in revitalising the rail system.”

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