The loss of rail jobs across the Country Regional Network is a case of hypocrisy, says Barwon MP Roy Butler.
The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MP has made the statement following reports rail workershave been told jobs will go locally, despite Transport for NSW committing to increasing the number of roles available throughout the state.
"The hypocrisy here is that we've got members of the government that talk about saying they're supportive of jobs in the bush, and they're supportive of economic development in the bush, then they make a decision to put in place a contract like this that takes jobs out of regional communities," he said.
"It just doesn't stack up."
UGL Regional LINX will replace John Holland Rail next year, after the company won the 10-year rail maintenance contract issued by Transport for NSW.
However under the new contract, it was announced the Nyngan depot would be closing, with seven jobs either relocating or being made redundant, and further claims almost 190 positions in other regional locations such as Dubbo would be going.
Mr Butler was concerned that the closure of the Nyngan depot in his electorate, would have a "dramatic effect" on the local community.
"Even though seven jobs might not seem like much, it's what happens in the periphery that they're not accounting for when pulling jobs out of a town like Nyngan," he said.
He explained while Nyngan had a diversified economy with mining and agriculture, baseline spending in the town came from those who worked in PAYG and government sector jobs.Taking this away he said would be hard to replace.
"Seven good paying jobs in a town like Nyngan actually has a dramatic effect on the local economy in terms of money spent in businesses," he said.
"You've got the flow on as well, if people do relocate they might take their family with them, they might take kids out of the school.
"If they move onto benefits while they're looking for another job, it's obviously going to be incredibly difficult to keep the same level of spending in the town."
Mr Butler said he had spoken to Bogan Shire Council mayor Ray Donald who had met with CEO of UGL regional LINX, John Pistak earlier this year, who explained the Nyngan depot "wasn't necessary" and informed a mobile crew would replace the seven workers in the town.
"One of the reasons they're saying they don't need that depot in Nyngan is because the people there have done such a good job at maintaining the track," he said.
"Which is a bit of a slap in the face isn't it, to be told well you've done a good job and such a good job we think we can do it remotely from Orange or Dubbo now."
Transport for NSW has defended its commitment to rural areas, stating it will be better for the bush overall.
They argue a minimum of 80 per cent of staff employed on the Country Regional Network will be based in regional NSW, and UGL will establish a network control centre in Orange. However Mr Butler said the regional benefit, wouldn't stretch to places further west of Orange.
"The idea of having them coming out of Dubbo or Orange or something like that, all the economic benefit of having the employment in regional NSW doesn't come to Nyngan," he said.
"It will be a pie or a counter meal, instead of having someone living in the town and contributing to the economy.
"It just doesn't make sense and it's incredibly frustrating for the workers, frustrating for the community."
Mr Butler said he had written to deputy premier John Barilaro asking for a review into the closure of the Nyngan depot and look for a better way moving forward. However he said he was still awaiting a response.
"The decision to do something, at the end of the day, sits with the deputy premier and Paul Toole," he said.
"They've made lots of noise about wanting to support jobs in the bush and this is an opportunity for them to put their money where their mouth is and say were going to re-negotiate that aspect of the contract to keep jobs in places like Nyngan.
"That's within [the deputy premier's] power to do that. He can say we want to modify the contact, yeah there'll be a financial cost to that, but you can't be pro jobs in the bush at the same time as pulling jobs out of the bush."