CHANGES to weekend staffing at the Berry Railway could have major implications for tourism, local business and freight transport, according to Labor candidate for Kiama Glenn Kolomeitz.
Mr Kolomeitz and Shadow Minister for Transport Penny Sharpe met with union representatives and members, Berry business owners and community members on Tuesday to discuss proposed staffing cuts at the Berry station.
“It appears Berry train station will no longer be staffed over the weekend,” Mr Kolomeitz said.
“That is unacceptable for a community that has such an influx of travellers on the weekend, where the population can sometimes treble.”
He said locals had been told moves to only staff the station Monday to Friday were due to the lack of weekend ticket
“People buy tickets in other locations and travel to Berry,” he said.
“Not having the station manned will immediately have an impact on commuters.
“There would be no one to open the toilets, the waiting room would be locked, there would be no one to offer assistance with the ticketing machine or to help the elderly or disabled.
“There would be no one to help the public in the instance of trouble or even call police. The station could become a magnet for vandalism.”
Mr Kolomeitz said if the station was unmanned he was told it would mean the line between Bomaderry and Kiama would become one section and rely on the signal system.
“If Berry is manned a train can travel between Bomaderry and Berry, while another train can be on the line between Berry and Kiama,” he said.
“If the station is unmanned it all comes under the one section and a train won’t be allowed to leave the Bomaderry station until the lead engine reaches the Kiama station.”
“That would be disastrous and have huge implications on the timetable.”