Press Release – Oil Free Wellington
The Regional Council’s vote to scrap Wellington’s trolley buses in 2017 is a big step in a stupid direction. It will maintain Wellington’s reliance on fossil fuels, continue our contribution to climate change, and is also a threat to workers’ rights. In addition, the decision seems to be ignoring overwhelming opposition during public consultation.
Oil Free Wellington spokesperson James Barber says “The Regional Council’s decision to scrap our current electric buses is just plain stupid. At a time when the extraction of oil is threatening our oceans, and climate change is threatening our planet, we should be reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, not increasing it.”
“Despite the Council saying they want to bring in new electric buses they have no plan to replace the diesel buses with anything other than more diesel buses. Our diesel buses should be replaced with electric buses as soon as possible and the current trolley buses should be maintained since they still have at-least ten years of use left in them.”
This decision is also contrary to the opinions expressed during public consultation. Mr Barber says, “I attended the public consultation hearings and did not hear a single person speak in favour of scrapping the trolley buses.”
This decision also poses a threat to workers’ rights. Replacing the trolley buses will open the contract up to new businesses. And workers at a stop work meeting on Wednesday the 25th decided to oppose the change expressing their concern that competition from this will lead to lower wages and poorer working conditions.