THE federal court has provided a glimmer of hope for a group of senior and disabled citizens fighting to keep their bus route from being axed.
The group, known as Sandbag, won a temporary injunction on Friday which prevents the public transport authority from pulling the pin on route 14 through Mt Hawthorn until the matter is considered again. It was due to be heard on Thursday, after the Voice’s deadline.
Sandbag’s campaign against the PTA started when the authority realigned bus route 15, which left some residents of Mt Hawthorn up to 700m from the nearest bus stop.
Transperth trialled bus route 14 to cover the poorly serviced area, but decided it would stop last week because patronage was low.
Sandbag initially fought the closure in the supreme court and lost, but the federal circuit court considered the issue within its jurisdiction because it fell under the disability discrimination and human rights commission acts.
“It’s a really minor issue but I think it goes to a wider issue of how government deals with the community,” says Sandbag convenor Tad Krysiak.
“The damage to the community fractures it…people that used to meet on the bus no longer do.”
The PTA lodged a last-gasp affadavit on Tuesday which claimed route 14 had less than one passenger each trip and was costing more than $500 to run each day, which could have been used for better purposes.
But it’s appeal for the affadavit to be bought to Judge Antoni Lucev’s attention “as a matter of urgency” was quickly rebuffed by his associate Sandra Gough.
“No leave was granted for the filing of further documentation and the matter is listed for judgment on Thursday, 18 August 2016,” Ms Gough responded.
by TRILOKESH CHANMUGAM