Labor’s “state-of-the-art” booze buses in state of disrepair

Confirmation today that all 10 of Labor’s beleaguered booze buses have been pulled off the road is the latest failure of road safety by the Andrews Labor Government.

The decision to sideline these booze buses follows a significant fire breaking out in one of the buses during a routine operation in Lilydale on Easter Sunday. It comes after the Victorian Liberal Nationals raised concerns with WorkSafe over the suitability of the buses.  

In April 2017, Minister for Police Lisa Neville announced 10 new “state-of-the-art” booze buses had been purchased at a cost of $15 million. However since that time, these vehicles have been plagued with safety and performance issues, repair delays and cost blowouts including;

  • Six out of the 10 buses pulled off the road within six months of initially launching due to performance issues, including engines which failed to turn off and cruise control unresponsive to brakes at speed, airbags turned off, doors becoming stuck and mirrors and reverse camera not operating properly.
  • Design faults causing buses to “bottom out” and reports that the vehicles are challenging to control at high speeds. 
  • Victoria Police spending $320,000 for two independent engineering firms to diagnose issues with the fleet.

Furthermore, serious questions remain as to the decision to keep these vehicles in service over the Easter long weekend after the Lilydale incident, and the decision to decommission the existing fleet whilst known issues remained with the new buses.

Daniel Andrews’ repeated failure to get these booze buses safely working and on the road has placed the safety of road users, frontline officers and the broader community at unacceptable risk.  

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police and Crime Prevention, David Southwick:

“After years of delays, cost blowouts and safety faults, it’s clear Labor’s state-of-the-art booze buses are in state of disrepair.

“Daniel Andrews must come clean as to why these dangerous buses were kept on the road over the long weekend, a decision which placed the safety of frontline officers and the community at risk.

“The Victorian community deserves answers as to how this program has gone so wrong, why the old booze buses were prematurely pulled off the road and what this Labor Government is doing to ensure the safety of the community on our roads.”

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