St George matters with Chris Minns: Transport workers prove their worth in crisis

Chris Minns
Chris Minns

The news during the last few weeks has been full horrible images of the COVID-19 pandemic from around the world. Scenes of chaos and death from so many major cities are often hard to watch.

I've found myself thinking over and over again how lucky we are in Australia and how dedicated our public servants are.

The amazing work of doctors, nurses and health care workers has been extensively covered in the media - and rightly so. Teachers have also been applauded for the speed at which they responded to the need for online learning.

But spare a thought for our transport workers too.

Bus drivers, train drivers, station masters and cleaners don't get the headlines, but they have been fronting up to work every day of this crisis, grateful to have a job, and quietly and diligently providing a service for all of us.

Early in the crisis there was a call from some quarters to suspend public transport in order to stop the spread of the virus. Evidence from cities already hit by the disease indicated this would prevent thousands of essential workers from getting to work. So public transport had to remain open, accessible and working.

Bus drivers and train drivers got up, put on their uniforms and recognised they had a job to do.

Now we all have a job to do, as the economy opens up and we start to return to work. It is our job to be responsible if we have to use public transport.

So if you are turned away from a train that is already full, if you're asked to work from home or asked to wait before entering a station, please remember it is not the fault of the station master or bus driver standing in front of you. They are there to keep us safe.

Politicians get all the glory - and some blame - for the work of Government. In reality, it is the public servants who make things work. They take their jobs seriously and are committed to serving others. In times like this, it is good to remember just how much we need and rely on them.