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Safety Concerns

Rod asked the Minister for Transport what the CPVV and the government are doing to ensure Victorian safety in rideshare vehicles while 2950 drivers unchecked police checks are reviewed?

Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (12:17): My question is to Minister Pulford, representing the minister for transport, Minister Carroll. I wanted to have one week where we were not going to talk about taxis and hire cars, but it is the gift that keeps on giving. Last week it was revealed that, since 2018, 2950 commercial passenger drivers and driving instructors have been red-flagged after police checks were left unchecked. Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria have indicated it will take months to review nearly 3000 police checks due to this licensing system failure. My question to the minister is: what are the CPVV and the government doing to ensure Victorians’ safety in commercial passenger vehicles while these drivers remain unchecked and continue to drive whilst the review is being conducted?

Ms PULFORD (Western Victoria—Minister for Employment, Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy, Minister for Small Business) (12:18): I thank Mr Barton, and I must say, if we went an entire sitting week without a question from you advocating on behalf of taxi and commercial passenger vehicle drivers, I think I would have to ask if you were feeling okay, such is your consistent determination to advocate for this group of people in the community. I will seek a written response from Minister Carroll, who will perhaps also be unsurprised to hear of your advocacy on this particular issue.

Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (12:19): Thank you, Minister. This is not the first failure of the regulator to meet their obligation to ensure the safety of Victorians. They have form. This failure has come at a time when the regulator has gifted the multipurpose taxi program to a San Francisco taxi company known as Uber. Therefore my question is: to ensure vulnerable Victorians’ safety, will the government have the regulator pause the expansion of the multipurpose taxi program to rideshare drivers until a thorough review of the CPVV’s police check system and other processes of due diligence are undertaken?

Ms PULFORD (Western Victoria—Minister for Employment, Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy, Minister for Small Business) (12:19): I thank Mr Barton for his supplementary question, and I will seek a response from Minister Carroll.

 

See speech here.

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