Transport Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 | Second Reading

Ms SULEYMAN (St Albans) (17:09:21): I rise today to speak on the Transport Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 and I follow the member for Box Hill in speaking on this important bill that is before us. As we know, our government, the Andrews Labor government, has an ambitious investment program when it comes to infrastructure and transport. In particular we understand the future and the current needs, and in particular in my electorate of St Albans we have seen a transport revolution in the last five years. The removal of the dangerous Main Road level crossing and the Furlong Road level crossing has transformed and revitalised the centre of St Albans. So we totally understand the importance of this bill, which will integrate agencies so they can better perform. When it comes to my electorate of St Albans we have a fantastic program of public transport projects and also infrastructure projects, including of course the Suburban Rail Loop that will be in the heart of Sunshine. Of course there is also the Metro rail. We will see the electrification of the Ballarat line, the removal of the Fitzgerald Road level crossing and many other level crossings along that line. But I think the most important project—and this is not just a state significant project but a nationally significant project—is the airport rail link, which will provide opportunity not only for the people of Sunshine and my electorate of St Albans but also for other Victorians. We will be building a super‑hub station in Sunshine which will require a high level of planning and the integration of many stakeholders and many levels of government as well. This super‑hub station at Sunshine will be bigger than Southern Cross station. I note the member for Footscray is in the chamber, and her electorate abuts this particular suburb. We are looking forward to the revitalisation, as I say, of this entire area when it comes to transport and infrastructure. The west has not seen this level of investment, let me say, in all of my years, being born and raised in the west. As a proud local and as the local member, let me say we are extremely passionate and extremely excited to see the development that has occurred just in the short period of the last five years. The level of investment not only when it comes to infrastructure and public transport but across all levels of my electorate has just been amazing and, quite frankly, life changing for most families in my electorate. So I can understand that there needs to be a real approach when it comes to the network services—an approach where we are adopting new technology and business models and making sure that existing assets are able to meet the growth and demands. But I want to touch a bit more, as the member for Frankston did, on Wicked Campers. Let me say it is about time and it is fantastic that our government has taken a step towards actually getting these offensive vehicles of our roads. We have no place in our state—no place at all—for offensive, sexist, racist, homophobic or obscene slogans. It is just not on. It is common sense. We do not need them on our roads. They have no place in Victoria. They really are disgusting. I do not know why one would bother to have these sorts of slogans other than to offend communities. It just does not pass the test. So I am glad our government is working closely with other states and territories to deliver a national approach. With this amendment we will see the ability to cancel a vehicle’s registration if the national complaints body determines that the vehicle breaches the advertising standards code of ethics and of course force the vehicle owners displaying these offensive images or slogans to remove them or face deregistration and sanction. This is a strong and loud message that there will be action taken when it comes to offensive and inappropriate language on vehicles. I would struggle, if I was in my car with my niece and nephew and one of these Wicked Campers was driving past, to explain some of the slogans. It is just unbelievable that anyone would find it humorous or even common sense to have this offensive language on vehicles while driving around, holidaying or whatever they are doing, knowing they have caused offence. What kind of message this sends out to the community is beyond me. I do not know why these sorts of offensive vehicles have been on the road for this time. As I said, it is not an attraction. It needs to be removed and quite frankly action needs to be taken for any vehicle that displays sexist, obscene and offensive slogans that are not in line with the standards of our community and that are not in line with Victoria—it is not Australian. I just do not understand it. I have said this before. I have got numerous articles on these sexist advertisements and on all sorts of controversial, obscene slogans on these vehicles. Another one talks about the offensive vehicles around Geelong, where holidaying families and kids can see these sorts of vehicles. How it can be acceptable to some is beyond belief. I am happy that this bill now takes some action and sends a strong message, and that the Department of Transport has the capacity to cancel vehicle registration and, most importantly, to refuse to register a vehicle that has had its registration suspended or cancelled in any state so they cannot be state jumping when it comes to this. The eyes will be watching, and action will be taken for vehicles that have had their registration cancelled in other states. They cannot choose to jump to another state and pretend all is well. I am very proud of our government. The Andrews Labor government has had a very strong record when it comes to making sure that we send a very strong message when it comes to offensive, sexist, racist, homophobic and obscene slogans, and quite frankly our state has a record when it comes to this. It is very welcome to see these amendments. Of course there are a number of other amendments to this bill which I do support, but most importantly I think this is a strong message because, as I said, I do not want families needing to explain to children what kind of obscene slogans are on these vehicles. We have high standards in our community, and we must continue with the appropriate way of making sure that our children are not exposed to these sorts of damaging material on our roads. I thank the minister for making these amendments, in particular when it comes to the Transport Legislation Amendment Bill 2019. I commend the infrastructure spend in my electorate of St Albans. As I said, we are very excited, and we are looking forward to the revitalisation of Sunshine and St Albans. It really is life-changing. Some of these amendments will take place and make it much more effective and smoother in agencies when it comes to delivering these programs, which are the next-generation projects for today for my residents. It also provides opportunities for my community when it comes to jobs and to having the best transport infrastructure near their homes. In particular, we are looking forward to the rollout of the airport rail link, which will make Sunshine and St Albans one stop away from the international terminal—what better place than St Albans. I am looking forward to the speedy passing of this bill.