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Victorian Nationals

Concern for safety on public transport

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien has raised concerns for community safety as recent data shows public transport related crime is on the rise in Victoria.

Mr O’Brien was referring to data released by the Crime Statistics Agency which shows that public transport related crime in Victoria has risen 41 per cent in the year ending December 2022 when compared to pre-covid levels.

“I have recently been contacted by a number of constituents who have experienced or witnessed physical or verbal assault while using public transport,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This has included an assault on a Gippsland driver at Southern Cross station and other unsavoury events.

“Alarmingly, despite accounting for around just 2.37 per cent of Victoria’s population and having far less public transport options than our city counterparts, Gippsland-based incidents made up almost 3.5 percent of the data.

“There were 360 reported incidents of crime on or around public transport in Gippsland in 2022 – almost one a day.

“I have no doubt that there would be many more verbal assaults that go unreported.

“I would hope that we would never find ourselves in a situation that requires us to have Protective Services Officers on every bus and train, but it is clear that something needs to be done.”

Mr O’Brien has written to the Minister for Public Transport seeking advice on what measures are in place to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers on public transport.

“Limited though it is, public transport is crucial for many Gippslanders to get to and from work or medical appointments and passengers and drivers deserve to feel safe.

“The Andrews Labor Government needs to ensure it is taking any and all appropriate measures to guarantee the safety of Victorians while on or around public transport.”

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