Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (12:11): My question today is for Minister Pulford, representing the Minister for Public Transport in the other place. I ask for the urgent consideration of a solution to stop drivers touting for rides. Touting has become a massive problem in our city and at our airports. Our underpaid and stressed taxi, hire car and rideshare drivers are pouncing on work like seagulls chasing hot chips at the beach. Drivers are fighting in the streets; we have videos sent to us. Laws banning touting went out with the bathwater when the taxi and hire car industry was deregulated in 2017. Touting is a serious safety issue. These touts may not be legitimate operators, and many are driving unmarked cars. Most are offering cash for rides, and they are ruining Melbourne’s reputation as a safe city. So I ask the minister to give urgent consideration to reinstating the laws to make touting illegal and make sure Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria enforces it.
Ms PULFORD (Western Victoria—Minister for Roads, Minister for Road Safety and the TAC, Minister for Fishing and Boating) (12:12): I thank Mr Barton for his question and congratulate him on his particularly illustrative turn of phrase in asking that question. I think you have painted quite the picture for us all. I will take that question on notice and seek a written response from the Minister for Public Transport for the member.
Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (12:13): I do thank the minister. The Transport Act 1983 previously contained offences relating to touting that were removed in the reforms in 2017. I am being contacted on an almost daily basis by members of the public and the industry complaining about the touts at the airport and on the streets of Melbourne. They are angry and frustrated. If you are following the rules and have been waiting in a taxi line, you see the rides getting taken away by those who may be operating illegally. We have seen drivers come to blows in the streets. A member of my team was approached twice at Melbourne Airport last week and noted at least five drivers approaching members of the public. It was most disturbing that it was young women walking off with these touts.
Ms PULFORD (Western Victoria—Minister for Roads, Minister for Road Safety and the TAC, Minister for Fishing and Boating) (12:13): Again I will take the opportunity to take that question on notice for the minister and provide a written response.
Read the written response (received 30 May 2019)- Touting-QWNBarton 280519