State rail has gone bananas

c. 1989

Donated by Colin Hesse

Museum of Australian Democracy collection

This badge was worn to protest against cutbacks to state rail services in NSW in the late 1980s.

The donor, Colin Hesse, writes:

I worked on the Railways in NSW for 12 years 4 months and 26 days. In that time I worked as a Junior Station Assistant at Cronulla, a Station Assistant at Mortdale and on the North Shore Line, a shunter at Rozelle and Alexandria yards (both now closed), a train guard at Sydney and an Assistant Station Master (Officer in charge) at Rydal near Lithgow and Turrella. I also worked in various relieving positions and was a union delegate for the Australian Railways Union, just as my grandfather had been.

I wore this badge when I was relieving at Sydney Terminal Station Parcels Office, just as the Greiner Liberal Government slashed almost all the country train network and stopped parcels from being carried by passenger trains. We knew our jobs would go as a result, and I wore this badge, a promotional badge for train travel, in response. All my workmates knew what it meant, that I thought, as did they, that our management and our government were totally bananas.