The commercial passenger vehicle industry regulator is missing in action, with touts still openly operating at Melbourne Airport. It’s been four months since legislation passed to end touting in Victoria, yet the regulator seems unable to get this under control.
My question in Parliament his week:
Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (12:20): My question is for the Minister for Public Transport, represented in this place by Minister Pulford. In the last hours of the last sitting week of last year we passed the Transport Legislation Amendment Bill 2019, along with my amendments that reintroduced an offence for touting. It was a great day and a great achievement in a campaign by my team which had been running for some time.
I asked the Minister why touts are still operating at Melbourne Airport.
So I find it disappointing to hear reports of touts continuing to operate unabated at the airport, stealing fares from drivers who follow the rules. We are four months in, and we now understand not a single infringement has been issued by the regulator for touting.
So I ask the minister why the regulator is failing to enforce the law and stop this dangerous and unfair practice.
Ms PULFORD (Western Victoria—Minister for Roads, Minister for Road Safety and the TAC, Minister for Fishing and Boating) (12:20): I thank Mr Barton for his question, his work in securing that amendment late last year and his ongoing advocacy on this issue.
Since the introduction of the new law on 4 December, Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV) have conducted 19 operations at Melbourne Airport. Five operations were conducted between 6 and 12 December, providing education to industry and passengers regarding the new laws. A further 14 enforcement operations by uniformed officers have been conducted since that time.
The government does acknowledge that touting has not been completely stamped out, but our advice from Melbourne Airport is that there has been a considerable improvement in the situation.
In addition, CPVV met with Melbourne Airport and the Australian Federal Police as recently as last week to discuss other options to address touting, and they will be increasing enforcement activities. But of course, if Mr Barton has further information, I am sure that Minister Horne would be pleased to receive any observations he has to share on that.