Last Friday evening in Parliament, the Andrews Labor Government voted against important amendments aimed to ensure the ongoing success of Victoria’s Protective Services Officer (PSO) program that work to keep commuters safe at night on public transport.
These amendments, put forward by the Victorian Liberal Nationals, sought to ensure a minimum deployment level of two PSOs on every metropolitan train station and the Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Traralgon train stations from 6:00pm to the last service every day.
By voting down these important amendments, Daniel Andrews has opened the door for PSOs to be stripped form train station platforms – placing the safety and confidence of commuters, residents and visitors at risk.
The Victorian Liberal Nationals support expanding the role of PSOs beyond train stations, however this must not come at the cost of their core duty to ensure the safety of the community throughout the public transport network.
With Victoria already having the worst perceptions of safety of any state in the nation, Daniel Andrews’ decision to open the door to stripping PSOs off train stations is a backwards step for the safety of all Victorians.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police & Community Safety, David Southwick:
“Victorians understand the value of our PSOs and the support they provide commuters and do not want to see this successful program eroded.
“The role of PSOs can and should grow beyond train platforms but any redeployment must be in addition to, not at the expense of, their core duties on the public transport network.
“Daniel Andrews has again put community safety last and his new laws make it a lucky dip for commuters as to whether they have a PSO presence at their local station of a night.”