28/03/2012

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) tabled following statement in accordance with Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006: 

I make this statement of compatibility with respect to the Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Amendment (Fares) Bill 2012 (the bill), in accordance with section 28 of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities (the charter). 

The bill promotes the right to freedom of movement expressed in section 12 of the charter by enhancing certainty and consistency, encouraging Victorians to patronise public transport. 

Clause 3 of the bill places a specific, limited restriction on the wide discretionary power conferred on the director of the Department of Transport to set fares, making it unlawful to provide for an increase in public transport fares having effect before 1 January 2014. This is the main purpose of the bill. 

Public transport operators do not engage the provisions of the charter, as the charter applies to natural persons only. 

In my opinion, the Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Amendment (Fares) Bill 2012 as introduced to the Legislative Council is compatible with the human rights protected by the charter. 

Mr Greg Barber, MLC 

 

Second reading

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- I move: 

That the bill be now read a second time. 

This bill freezes the recent 8.6 per cent increase in public transport fares for a period of two years, reducing overall fare increases to a figure more closely reflecting inflation and rises in cost of living. 

Studies suggest that the recovery ratio for Melbourne's public transport operating costs is higher than other Australian capitals even though we collect similar fare amounts on a per passenger-kilometre basis. 

Clause 3 of the bill places a specific, limited restriction on the wide discretionary power conferred on the director of the Department of Transport to set fares, making it unlawful to provide for an increase in public transport fares having effect before 1 January 2014. 

Public transport is an essential service and many Victorians use it because they have no other transportation option. 

This bill protects Victorians' access to this essential service by ensuring that increases in fares do not rise significantly and unpredictably relative to cost of living. 

I commend this bill to the house.