Rod asked the government to step in and ensure an efficient and streamlined application process for driver accreditation by the CPPV is implemented in the interest of fairness.
See his question here.
Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (17:56): Surprisingly the matter I raise tonight is for the Minister for Public Transport. As I have mentioned many a time, this pandemic has a substantive, substantial and significant impact on the commercial passenger vehicle industry. Right now there is an enormous shortage of drivers to the point that some owner-drivers are working 90 to 100 hours per week. Not only is this unsustainable, it is dangerous. This shortage can only be explained by the existing drivers, on one hand, who have diverted out of necessity to Centrelink payments. These drivers do not plan to recommence until March next year when JobKeeper stops, and who can blame them? Taxi pay is so bad.
As for the new drivers who are desperate to make a buck, well, they end up going elsewhere due to the lengthy and deficient application process run by Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria. Currently CPVV takes three months to process a driver accreditation application. In addition, if an applicant has a medical condition such as diabetes, well, then they have to wait even longer for the CPVV medical board to meet once every three months. This means applicants can be waiting up to six months for their driver accreditation to be reviewed. This is simply ridiculous. To put this in perspective, a fishing licence takes seven days and a marine licence takes a day course and then approximately seven days for VicRoads to process. Even a working with children check or a police check takes well under a month. So how is it fair that a driver accreditation for a taxi and commercial passenger vehicle takes at least three months?
Further, I believe it is simply unfair, even verging on discriminatory, that an applicant with a medical condition does not have the right to be officially processed within the same time frame as someone without a medical condition. If this industry is ever going to bounce back, these significant issues need to be resolved. Therefore the action I am asking the minister to take is for the minister to step in and ensure a streamlined application process implemented by the CPVV to uphold industry standards and expectations, especially in the interests of fairness to those with a medical condition.