Member for Morwell, Russell Northe has today sought Government support for a new pilot program that will enhance safety at local train stations, taxi ranks and bus terminals and on our public transport networks.
After receiving substantial feedback from many stakeholders including passengers, businesses, police and employees of bus, rail and taxi services, it has become apparent that we have a significant problem with crime, fare evasion and anti-social behaviour either whilst waiting for transport or on transport services themselves.
“It’s not acceptable that commuters and drivers are feeling unsafe and I firmly believe the pilot initiative I am announcing today will deal with some of the issues our community is currently experiencing,” said Mr Northe.
Mr Northe proposes a 2-year pilot program to recruit 8 x Protective Service Officers (PSO’s) and 6 x Transport Authorised Officers (AO’s) and preferably these positions would be recruited from local residents within the Latrobe Valley.
“The program would see PSO’s having a presence at bus terminals, taxis ranks and railway stations across the Latrobe City municipality,” Mr Northe said.
“PSO’s would be interchangeable and placed in problematic locations rather than at fixed locations which is currently the case,” said Mr Northe
“AO’s would patrol our trains and buses within Latrobe City boundaries to help deter fare evasion, antisocial behaviour and assist passengers with relevant travel information.” said Mr Northe
The recruitment of the PSO’s and AO’s would enhance public safety by ensuring a greater respect for the law abiding commuters, provide greater protection for train, taxi and bus employees, whilst also cracking down on fare evaders.
“I intend to raise this important proposal with the relevant State Government Ministers and hopefully for all stakeholders and our community more generally a positive response will be provided,” Mr Northe said.