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Having a look at the contracts, it is obvious that they were written with the idea of getting the MTM consortium over the line for making it look like the passenger and taxpayer was the winner whereas it will be business as usual.
If there were any intention to treat the passenger with any respect, MTM would have complied with these standards voluntarily over the previous few years. Instead, they did just what they had to in order to get their bonus or avoid the paltry fine.
I would call it collusion based on ethnic grounds.
The upper hierarchy of the PTV, Infrastructure, TfV, etc., (basically the only people the, way out of her depth, Minister listens to) are from the Mother Country. They rule the Department with an iron fist. The Australians I know of there get virtually no say and hate the thought of another seven years of MTM.
MTM is 50% a Hong Kong based company, owned by MTR. They, in turn, are owned by small shareholders and institutions there as well as having some China Government involvement. When they first came to Melbourne , they brought quite a few Hong Kong engineers and the like. When it became apparent that Victoria's transport management was in the grip of Mother Country control, MTM very quickly allowed the Hong Kongers to return home and went for all Mother Country management. The numbers swelled from 80 managers at Connex to well over 300 managers at Metro within two years. Many of these managers were on 457 visas.
Since then it has been collusion between the hierarchy of PTV, etc., and Metro to "make MTM management of our system look like a success."
The wheel has turned even further with the appointment to V/Line of ex Metro, ex Mother Country managers. The positions of CEO and Operations Manager are held by people who did not last long at Metro but, somehow, got appointed by PTV to these crucial positions.
Unfortunately, the Minister for Transport is a dead end job. No one can survive the portfolio and go up in their career. Since the late Lynne Kosky, at Labor, the portfolio has been the place to park a politician with ambitions of being Premier so as to stop their progress. It dosen't matter if the incumbent has the first clue about transport. It is part of the political game.
When we do ever get a Minister that knows something about transport, they might wake up to the fact these Mother Country types couldn't run a bath. We can only live in hope.
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