Outrage over pending job cuts at Wagga’s rail station is growing among locals as the consequences of the cuts slowly come to light.
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Locals fear proposed cuts to Wagga’s rail staff could see the station’s services rapidly deteriate.

The proposal to cut staff and slash the hours of the station’s seven full-time staff has been met with uproar from the community, with locals fearing cuts could “completely degrade” the quality of the rail service.

Former liberal member for WaggaJoe Schipp said the proposal didn’t take into account the amount of responsibilities that fell to station staff, which could unlikely be maintained should they be made redundant.

“What makes a station function smoothly is its staff,” MrSchipp said.

“There’s a whole host of things they have to deal with, like client comfort, cleaning andticketing, that needs to be taken into account and these cuts just don’t consider these things.

“Staff don’t simply just sit there watching the trains come and go.”

Mr Schipp’s comments come afterthe NSW TrainLink review revealed it would grant Tamworth seven full-time station officers for just 14 trains a week,compared toWagga station, which would have its seven staff cut back to part-time positions and forced to manage 28 trains each week.

Mr Schipp said the reduction in staffed hours was a big oversight that could incur serous consequences for the station.

“They just don’t seem to have their numbers right as far as Wagga is concerned,” he said.

“We’re an interchange station with buses, and there’s lots of people coming through from major cities like Sydney and Melbourne, so there’s a huge amount of coordination to be done.”

When questioned about the cuts to rail staff,Wagga MP Daryl Maguire stressed the proposal was still in the planning stages and said the review was a “necessary part” of the government responsibilities.

“There’s a proposal that’s being discussed, but no decisions have been made as of yet,” Mr Maguire said.

“In the meantime, the rail authority will work through station by station to determine the best outcome for each town’s situation.”

Mr Maguire said the process could be expected to take as long as three to four months to complete and locals and passengers should be patient in the meantime.

“Staff are working and getting paid,the trains are running andso it’s business as usual until a decision is made,” he said.

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