Paul Trevaskis - Public Transport Activist
Paul was born in Ashfield in the inner west region of Sydney and attended school in Ashbury. After marrying Eileen in 1953, Paul and Eileen lived briefly in Coffs Harbour before moving to Leura in 1956. Paul and Eileen have raised 6 daughters and 4 sons in the Blue Mountains living firstly in Leura. The family then relocated to Glenbrook in 1963.
During his working life, Paul was employed as a Senior Technical Officer with Telecom and was recognised for his dedication to community service by being awarded the Chief's State Engineers Award. Paul retired in 1989 and now spends about 20 – 30 hours per week volunteering his time to lobbying for the improvement and maintenance of our public transport system here in the Blue Mountains.
When Paul first moved to Leura in 1956, he commuted to and from work in Sydney every day on a steam train. Paul began to become active in issues relating to public transport, particularly train travel at this time and in 1983, he became secretary of the Blue Mountains Commuter and Transport Users Association, a role he still occupies today. Paul was also involved in the Commuter Council of NSW in the mid 1980s which was a coordinated body of transport users organisations. At that time, the Commuter Council of NSW met every month with Railcorp to discuss issues relevant to the commuter.
Today, the Blue Mountains Commuter and Transport Users Association is still very active in lobbying for commuters rights and has expanded its focus from rail travel to include bus travel. Much of the Associations success may be due to the fact that members have a strong knowledge of the issues and pressures on the public transport system which affords them the ability to negotiate realistically. Paul says that 'In this day and age, the focus is to maintain the services that we have'.
Some successes of the Blue Mountains Commuter and Transport Users Association include:
- Lobbying for lifts to be built for easy access in train stations across the Mountains (still lobbying for one to be built at the Lawson station).
- Lobbied for a ban on smoking on trains.
- Lobbied and continuing to lobby for 'staff on stations'. The Blue Mountains train stations have the same staff roster as they did 10 years ago which is quite an achievement considering that many metro stations do not have staff.
For more information about the Blue Mountains Commuter and Transport Users Association please refer to their website http://www.infobluemountains.net.au/commuters/meetings-2006-09-20.shtml
This item was posted in June 2008.