An election-year row has erupted over the cost of Labor's pledge to deliver 24-hour public transport on weekends, with the Napthine government saying the policy would add as much as 22 per cent to fares.
Labor has estimated that the policy, announced by Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews on Sunday, would cost about $50 million for a year-long trial of trains, trams and buses running all night on Fridays and Saturdays.
But in a sign that the usual election-year costings debate could have started early, Treasurer Michael O'Brien released an alternative estimate he said was based on information provided by Public Transport Victoria and the Department of Justice. It shows the trial would cost $102.2 million to operate, more than double the Labor estimate.
''This blowout alone would cause a 14.7 per cent across-the-board fare increase to all PTV passengers to pay for Labor's promise,'' Mr O'Brien said. The analysis includes provisions for an extra 530 Protective Services Officers across 212 metropolitan train stations. It estimated this could cost an extra $54 million, because enterprise agreements stipulate PSOs cannot be employed on a part-time basis.