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Victoria is a step closer to a better coordinated and more integrated transport system, with legislation to enable the formation of a new Public Transport Development Authority (PTDA) introduced into Parliament today.
Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said with the legislative process now underway, the new authority would be up and running in the first quarter of 2012.
"The new authority will be the face of public transport and will be responsible for planning, coordinating and integrating transport services throughout Victoria," Mr Mulder said.
"It will focus on the core business of a good public transport system – trains, trams and buses that run on time, simple and reliable timetables, passenger comfort and timely and accurate passenger information.
"For too long Victorian commuters have suffered a system in which services are routinely late or cancelled, passenger information is unreliable and infrastructure is poorly maintained.
"We say Victorians deserve better and this new authority will ensure they get what they deserve," Mr Mulder said.
The legislation introduced into Parliament today will enable the PTDA to be created as a Transport System Agency under the Transport Integration Act 2010.
The primary objectives of the PTDA will be:
•ensuring the public transport system operates as part of an integrated transport system which seeks to meet the customer service needs of all users;
•managing the public transport system in a manner which supports a sustainable Victoria;
•contributing to social wellbeing by providing access to opportunities and supporting liveable communities;
•promoting economic prosperity through efficient and reliable movement of public transport users while also supporting rail freight services; and
•improving the safety of public transport for passengers and staff.
"Extensive research has gone into the structure and governance of the new authority to ensure we have the best arrangements in place to deliver the best outcomes," Mr Mulder said.
"Establishing the new authority through legislation ensures it can be properly scrutinised by Parliament which is critical when one of the things we want to overcome is accountability-dodging within the transport management sector.
"The current tangled web of bureaucracies allows agencies to shift blame and avoid responsibility but this will be a thing of the past under the new authority."
The legislation introduced today is expected to be enacted by late October.
Mr Mulder confirmed Ian Dobbs would be the inaugural CEO and Chair of the new authority and would officially commence in the role once the legislation is enacted.
Mr Mulder said further information on the organisational structure of the new authority and board appointments would be made later this year.
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