Restructures and Changes in Transport
26 April 2024

There are only two constants in the NSW Public transport sector. One is change and the other is your union, the ASU.

Since the start of the year, two major restructures have commenced within the Transport cluster in addition to the other significant workplace changes that are ongoing throughout the sector.

Last year, the new NSW Government began a review into Sydney Trains led by Carolyn Walsh, which led to an Interim Report that produced twelve recommendations to change the functions and structure of the rail network in Sydney and NSW. The NSW Government accepted all the recommendations of the Interim Report.

The Final Report was released on April 26 and is available here.  

The last recommendation yet to be implemented from the Interim Report, is Recommendation 12, which proposed bringing intercity services which have until now been run by NSW TrainLink into the purview of Sydney Trains. Our members have told us that this will be operationally beneficial for the Transport cluster and for our members working throughout the sector. However, implementation of the Recommendation has been poorly handled. The same can be said of changes at TrainLink, with consultation by both NSW Trains and Sydney Trains being described by our members as messy, lackluster, frustrating and disappointing across the two agencies.

While our members’ concerns have been largely ignored, with scant and inconsistent provision of clear and transparent facts, the ASU has held well attended and very successful members’ meetings, as well as arranging for Trains to provide proper consultation for members.

We will continue to work with members across the two agencies to provide support, agency and advocacy through this difficult time. We will continue to demand clear and genuine engagement and consultation with our members from senior management at Sydney and NSW Trains.

The Intercity Service Transition is an operationally beneficial change for the Trains agencies and for workers across the Transport cluster. However, we know that members have not been offered thorough and tailored consultation on ways of working, changes to team structures, or detailed information about what will change both in TrainLink’s future and for employees who will be moving to Sydney Trains. As your Union in the Transport sector, we will continue to work with you at every step of the way as Recommendation 12 and its implementation continues to be rolled out in the coming months.

At TfNSW a new statewide operating model is being introduced for implementation across the Transport cluster. The new structure proposes reducing the number of senior executives and a ‘harmonising’ of functions across the various existing divisions. Under this proposed new structure, there will remain five deputy secretaries and new ‘secretary-led branches’ which will report directly to the Departmental Secretary and assist with the overall operation of the agency.

Transport has started to roll out the implementation of the new model and we are starting to see what this will mean for staff working at TfNSW, with the initial lift and shift phase having been implemented through mid to late April. TfNSW has now begun consultation with unions and members on the topline structure of the enabling divisions. Members may recall the agency-wide consultation with Brenda Hoang regarding the new divisions of Finance, Commercial & Technology and People & Workplace.

Our members expressed significant frustration with how this consultation was conducted, where members were not provided with a genuine opportunity to actively participate through Q&A, and staff could barely see or read the presentation outlining the new structure. They weren’t sent a copy of the pack until after there was significant pressure from members, supported by the ASU.

We will continue to consult with our members at TfNSW to make sure they are given a genuine opportunity for consultation with and feedback as the restructure continues to be implemented.

Other changes at Transport include the Sydney Metro Bankstown Line conversion, which will see the Sydenham-Bankstown line permanently close, to be and eventually replaced by the Sydney Metro. There will be staff reviews across the line. You can be absolutely certain that the ASU is already talking with Trains about protecting our members’ long term job security, rights and conditions as this process unfolds. 


I joined because I wanted someone to be by my side, someone that would actually have my back if anything went wrong
Clifford Out of Home Care Support Worker