28/03/2012

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- I move: 

     That this house requires the Leader of the Government to table in the Legislative Council by 12 noon on Tuesday, 17 April 2012, a copy of the network revenue protection plan for the 2012 calendar year, prepared under section 10.1 of the Metlink services agreement. 

This should be an uncontroversial motion. We requested the same documents last year and received them in a timely fashion from the government. I hope the motion will be supported again today. 

 

Mr LEANE (Eastern Metropolitan) -- The opposition supports Mr Barber's motion calling for these documents to be tabled. As he has stated, he received those documents last year, so there is no reason why he should not receive them this year. 

 

Ms CROZIER (Southern Metropolitan) -- I am pleased to rise to speak on Mr Barber's motion. I do so for a number of reasons. The government will not be opposing Mr Barber's motion, but I would like to make a few comments in relation to it. In his motion Mr Barber is calling for a copy of the network revenue protection plan prepared under section 10.1 of the Metlink services agreement. 

I agree with Mr Barber that fare evasion is a real issue. I have been very critical of the numbers of fare evaders I have seen when travelling on public transport. It never ceases to amaze me how many people either do not have a ticket or do not validate their tickets. It is right to be concerned about fare evasion. The government is taking that situation seriously. I note that an article in the Age newspaper last year reported a leap in fare evasion from 9.3 per cent in 2009 to 13 per cent in 2010. 

I am pleased to say that the coalition government is cracking down on public transport fare evaders. The Minister for Public Transport, Minister Mulder, has undertaken some extensive work in this area. He released a press release last year highlighting the fare evasion statistics from our time in government. The press release gives the specific fare evasion figures for May last year for tram, train and bus and the overall figure of 13.5 per cent. 

I am pleased that an authority like the Transport Ticketing Authority will be much more customer focused and will be looking at this real issue that affects our public transport system. 

This is just one of the issues that the Baillieu government has been addressing. It is addressing a whole range of aspects of public transport. The minister has been making a number of announcements, including addressing maintenance backlogs left by the previous government, looking at improving our infrastructure and conducting network upgrades. I note that this upcoming Easter a huge amount of work is going to be undertaken right across the network. Undoubtedly it will have some impact on the public transport system, but it will have great benefits overall. 

In relation to my own region I am pleased that the coalition government is addressing concerns around a number of stations. 

The Balaclava station upgrade has a very large concept design. An enormous amount of work, consultation and money has been put into upgrading that station. Balaclava station is on a very busy line, the Sandringham line, and is used by just over 3000 passengers each weekday. An enormous number of people rely on it to travel to the city and other places right across the metropolitan rail system each and every day. The station will have upgraded security, including improved closed-circuit television. 

In conclusion, we will not be opposing Mr Barber's motion, but I reiterate that fare evasion is an issue that this government is addressing. 

 

Motion agreed to.