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The ‘new’ regulator, Safe Transport Victoria, is but a sugaring of the pill

Jun 29, 2022 | Media Releases, News

The Government has released further information about the commercial passenger vehicle regulator, Safe Transport Victoria, which is a merging of Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV) and Transport Safety Victoria.

Notably absent from the announcement was a vision for the future, strategic plan or industry priorities. Rod Barton MP believes that the merger appears to be nothing more than a change of name, falling short of the serious reform that is needed. In fact, this will be the regulator’s fourth name change in just 10 years.

Clearly, there is something fundamentally wrong with the commercial passenger vehicle regulator.

The Government have decided to bring the CPVV’s current senior leadership over to the new regulator. To say Barton is surprised, is an understatement.

The regulator has long had a fractured relationship with the industry. This is after years of policy that simultaneously fails to regulate commercial operators and drivers, while also crippling them with unjustified and unnecessary bureaucracy.

The issues within the CPVV extend far and wide; CPVV data management has been so bad they cannot accurately determine who is active in the industry and where. The mismanagement of the Multi-Purpose Taxi Program means that regional communities are facing the reality of having no wheelchair accessible taxis for their disabled population. Right now, the CPVV are in VCAT fighting against a Privacy Commissioner ruling to release documents as part of an FOI request. The under-regulation of rideshare safety requirements has led to multiple cases of sexual assaults. The recent report from the Inquiry into the Multi-Purpose Taxi Program, even found that the CPVV, ‘demonstrate a disdain for accountability which, it would seem, takes priority over its obligations to the safety of vulnerable Victorians.’[1] The list goes on…

In all this time, the CPVV have been consistent in one area; their relentless disdain for the industry they are meant to regulate.

Barton believes that this merger was a wasted opportunity to draw a line in the sand and start rebuilding the relationship between the industry and the regulator.

The industry is on its knees. There are 120,000 drivers out on Victorian roads fighting for a smaller piece of the pie every day. The regulator must realise their decisions impact not just drivers and operators, but families and their livelihoods.

The stakes couldn’t be higher.

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Metropolitan and the Leader of the Transport Matters Party Rod Barton MP:

“I know the industry is disappointed in this decision by the Government. They were hopeful that this merger would mean a new team of leaders passionate about fixing the industry. We have all been let down.”

“We will not be taken for idiots. There needs to be some serious reform before the regulator can mend its relationship with the industry.”

ENDS 

Media contact: Norm Dunn, Chief of Staff Rod Barton MP, 0438 175 113 Norm.dunn@parliament.vic.gov.au

[1] Inquiry into the Multi Purpose Taxi Program 2022, Parliament of Victoria, pg. 16, https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/eic-lc/inquiries/article/4643

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