Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (17:15:32): My adjournment matter tonight is for the Minister for Public Transport, Melissa Horne.
I ask the minister: will she make it compulsory for commercial passenger vehicle (CPV) licence holders to present a current roadworthy certificate and a certificate of commercial passenger vehicle insurance when registering for or renewing their commercial passenger vehicle licence?
Recently the taxi industry regulator, Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria, sent a reminder of the requirement to have an annual inspection to make sure vehicles are safe and in a roadworthy condition.
Under the current regulations vehicle operators are required to carry a current annual certificate of roadworthiness or carry current evidence that the vehicle has passed a CPVV-approved inspection process.
This simply does not happen. The regulator carries out regular vehicle inspections to check. In January 2019 they conducted 657 inspections. In February it was just 430. There are almost 64 000 commercial vehicles operating here in Victoria, so working on my calculations they need to lift their game. They will need to inspect over 6000 vehicles a week. This is simply not going to happen.
As long as the regulator does not require a roadworthy to be lodged with a CPV application or renewal, vehicles will go undetected and on occasion be in unroadworthy shape. Unsafe cars will slip through the system, and inspectors will be required to enforce the requirements on the streets. Vehicles in Victoria’s public transport system must meet the highest standards at all times.
I want to add the issue of insurance to this problem also. Traditional taxis and hire car operators have held commercial vehicle insurance, which ensures the vehicle, driver, passengers and other road users are covered when something goes wrong. Many of our new CPV licence holders still run on their private insurance. These are rejected if there is an accident when they have been using the vehicle commercially. Some actually operate just on third-party insurance and some with none at all. Unless the driver is the owner or listed driver of the vehicle as specified to the insurance company, the insurers will not pay.
I ask the minister to fix this impossible mess and make it compulsory for a current roadworthy certificate and certificate of commercial passenger insurance to be a requirement when applicants renew their commercial passenger vehicle licence or obtain their commercial passenger vehicle licence. The public’s safety should never be negotiable.