Two jobs to go at Murwillumbah train station
TWO customer service officers at the Murwillumbah rail station will lose their jobs, as NSW TransLink axes 56 employees across regional NSW from April 18.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union representative Mick Cartwright was at Murwillumbah today for talks between himself, a NSW Transport official, and two staffers ahead of the sackings.
“The service will be removed, there will be no-one here to assist customers in any way, not with their tickets or luggage, and that’s a real shame for a town like Murwillumbah,” Mr Cartwright said.
“Our members were paying off a house, with families, and they are upset the station is closing because it was here to serve the community.”
Murwillumbah is one of 12 stations that will go unmanned, with Byron Bay set to lose one part-time employee while Lismore will lose two part-time staffers.
Train services were cut at Murwillumbah in May 2004 and replaced with a daily coach linking passengers to the nearest rail station at Casino.
A NSW Translink spokesman confirmed it had proposed the coach stops transition to become unmanned at stations where there had been “no train services for the last 12 years”.
Another 19 stations will be be forced to operate with fewer staff and shorter opening hours.
The move follows a business review which established an overall decline in patronage of bus coach services and poor face-to-face ticket sales for trains and buses in regional NSW.
But RailCorp chief executive Rob Mason said there was an uptake of online bookings over the last six years so the operator was investing in new technology.
“It’s important we modernise our business to keep pace with changes in the travel industry and to meet customer demand for online and phone booking services,” Mr Mason said.
Employees will be replaced by live online chat, online booking systems and mobile phone journey planning apps, with 23 part-time jobs created to carry out those services.
Printed tickets will be replaced with an electronic ticket from mobile devices.
No changes are expected to take place before April 18 and there will be no changes to train and coach services as a result of the review.
NSW TrainLink has 67 stations in regional NSW and more than half of the stations are unmanned.