CODE RED – Sydney Metro Rail Project

July 11, 2024

CODE RED – Sydney Metro Rail Project

Sunday 4 August 2024 will mark the official opening of the Sydney Metro ‘City’ rail network, subject to final regulatory approval from the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR). The approval process will enable private operator Metro Trains Sydney Pty Ltd to commence revenue service, a milestone the Minns Government is itching to reach.

Sydney Metro has been plagued with public scandal, running $9 billion over budget, and on average is paying its Executive staff more than Premier himself. When the agency got told to tighten the belt last year, Metro came after our safety and the safety of the commuting public – see details here.

Now, as the pressure to meet the expectations of the Minns Government sets in, Metro is squeezing FBEU members once again. This time by failing to permanently fund crucial capability for the Metro network equivalent to that provided by Rail Fire & Emergency (RFE), a small but an important section of Transport for NSW located outside of Central.

Currently, safe work practices in rail tunnels are facilitated through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between FRNSW and RFE but those arrangements do not extend to new privately operated networks. Without funding for an equivalent RFE capability there remains an unacceptable community risk on Metro lines. It is imperative that this risk is addressed prior to the commencing of revenue services.

This week an urgent dispute was lodged with FRNSW to ensure that any external agreement seeking to resolve these issues first included thorough consultation with the FBEU.

Until such time as the dispute is resolved, status quo is expected to be maintained. In addition, the following Code Red is now in place:

Effective immediately, all activities related to the Sydney Metro rail network are banned, including all familiarisation and drill exercise and the development of pre-incident plans (PIP).

This instruction remains in place and must be followed until lifted by the State Secretary.

The FBEU are actively encouraging FRNSW to maintain open and honest dialogue with ONRSR.


In Unity,

Leighton Drury
State Secretary

Click here to download a printable version of this Code Red



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