14 September 2020
Tania Maxwell MP, Member for Northern Victoria, is calling on the Government to strengthen public transport checkpoints into regional Victoria from metropolitan Melbourne.
Ms Maxwell has raised her concerns previously in Parliament stating travellers on V/Line trains and buses were eluding checks when travelling to regional Victoria and now wants these loopholes to be tightened ahead of the anticipated easing of restrictions in regional areas due to come into effect this week.
Ms Maxwell said she was concerned at the lack of checks on passengers to ensure they are travelling for valid reasons only during Melbourne’s Stage 4 lockdown. This includes reports that checks are not made when passengers embark at Southern Cross Station, that coaches are being waved through checkpoints, and that no directives are given to regional police about checking passengers as they disembark at regional stations.
Ms Maxwell said that regional Victorians are diligently adhering to restrictions, with enormous stress on businesses and families as a result of the pandemic. There are currently 37 Local Government Areas within Victoria with zero active cases of coronavirus, 20 of which are in Ms Maxwell’s electorate of Northern Victoria. Considering the low case numbers, Ms Maxwell said that regional Victorians should expect that stringent checks are done to ensure that people are not travelling without a valid reason during Melbourne’s Stage 4 lockdown.
Quotes by Tania Maxwell MP
“It is essential that we protect our low case number status and ensuring strict checkpoints and validity of travel into our region on public transport is essential so that businesses and communities within my electorate can open safely.”
“Melbourne is in Stage 4 lockdown, with very few reasons people can leave their homes, and we must ensure travel from there into regional Victoria on our public transport network is strictly monitored as restrictions begin to ease in regional areas.”