In 2018, only 7 months out from the Victorian state election, Rod Barton and a team of transport workers who had been unfairly treated by the Government created the political party, Transport Matters.
The Andrews Government had taken away their taxi licences in a market they regulated and gave back only a fraction of the licence value. Thousands of families across the state lost their livelihoods, their superannuation and their homes. This was the issue that drove the Transport Matters Party to victory in the 2018 election when they nabbed a seat.
Today, the Transport Matters Party is known for being much more than a group of angry taxi drivers. The past 4 years have seen many achievements, both in the commercial passenger vehicle sector, but also more broadly across social justice issues and workers’ rights.
This team of wronged transport workers knew what it was like to be treated unfairly and have their suffering ignored. This motivated Barton to be a voice for some of the most marginalized and vulnerable Victorians.
In the past 4 years, Barton started an Inquiry into Homelessness that made 51 critical recommendations to the Government. He spotlighted the transport disadvantage being experienced in rural and regional Victoria and fought for innovative solutions. He amended legislation to protect individuals on low incomes from crippling toll fines. He advocated for and took part in an Inquiry into Children of Incarcerated Parents. He lobbied the Government to allow Channel 31 to continue its broadcasting licence. He made touting illegal in Victoria. He saved the school bus from Nagambie to Euroa, and he secured a $22 million package that kept wheelchair accessible vehicles on the road during the pandemic.
It is safe to say, Barton has been getting stuff done.
Barton is running for re-election in the North Eastern Metropolitan Region in the upcoming state election. He has achieved a lot these past 4 years but believes there is much more to be done.
The housing crisis has only worsened, the commercial passenger vehicle industry is in shambles, this Government doesn’t even know which children have parents in custody, community services are under strain and the funding system requires they apply every single year to keep providing their services.
This is Barton’s unfinished business.
Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Metropolitan and the Leader of the Transport Matters Party Rod Barton MP:
“The party started as a group of angry taxi drivers seeking fairness from this Government. Now it has evolved into a party that seeks fairness for every Victorian. This is what drives us forward.”
“We have worked so hard these past 4 years to support those in the community who are often ignored. These vulnerable Victorians need a voice in Parliament that is looking out for their best interests.”