Parliamentary Inquiry – The Lost Submissions – Part 3

Editors Note:  Not actually sure that this was a submission as it does not appear to fall under the scope of the inquiry.

How much is Metro REALLY costing the Victorian Taxpayer?
The ATO figures have been produced and in keeping with the fine standards Metro have exhibited to all of its employees, this company extracted $1,188,855,343.00 – that is one thousand, one hundred and eighty eight million, eight hundred and fifty five thousand, three hundred and forty three dollars of OUR taxes!

Now that was just the fee that they received for managing the suburban system. Then there was the ADDITIONAL 1.3 Billion dollars that the three part private consortium received over the same time period for what are referred to as PROJECTS.
So 2.5 Billion dollars, more or less, in just one year!
How much tax did Metro pay? $19,964,061.00 – that is nineteen million, nine hundred and sixty four thousand and sixty one dollars.
Just over 1.6% of their total take!
And, in actual fact they only paid this amount on paper, so in effect they actually paid nothing.
I will explain this further down the page.
If ever we have needed another strong argument for the Victorian Government to take back the Franchise and install a Government-run public transport system it`s this.
A publicly run transport service could not run a shabbier service than we currently have.
Public servants pay their taxes and we would at least keep the money in the Victorian economy, instead of sending that obscene amount of money overseas to fill the pockets of mainly Chinese investors, the majority who belong to the Chinese government and their associated entities.
Why are we being bombarded with announcements around the metropolitan railway stations?
And constantly complimented with have a nice day, thank you for travelling with us. Hold the hand rail when going down the escalators, thank-you. We will get you where you want to go, thank-you.
Hello everyone, thank you for this, thank-you for that …etc.etc.

When are these people going to stop treating us as though we are imbeciles? We don’t need to be patronised just because some fool in their HR department thinks that we will be happy to ride on their filthy, graffiti embellished trains.
Metro trains is a means for most of us to get to and from our work places.
A journey on a Melbourne Metro train is not comparable with a journey on ‘The Orient Express, no matter what the so-called luminaries at PTV and HR think, or what their announcements say.
The constant “thank-you for travelling with us”, is motivated by something very sinister.
We, the travelling public ARE NOT visitors to a foreign country – we are not the customers of a tour company.
The metropolitan rail system of Melbourne is actually public transport!
The travelling public ARE NOT VISITORS – They are the OWNERS!!!

Why is being bombarded with “thank-you” sinister?
Remember when the state electricity was owned by the people? Remember when the Gas and Fuel Corporation was?
Remember when all over the country, countless assets were sold out from under our feet!
We are all being conned!
Franchise the railways until the people are all lulled into a sense of acceptance, then make an announcement about how much better off we will all be, with a dynamic PRIVATE rail operator.
(Two thirds owned by the Chinese government)
“And by the way people of Victoria, we have just done the deal”
Does this sound like fantasy?
The current franchisee is two thirds owned, directly and indirectly by the Chinese government!
Can you imagine what all the railway land around Melbourne is worth?
And what do you think would happen “if” a dynamic PRIVATE company (Chinese government) would do with it?
Have a look at the MTR web site.
These are the actual people who ‘own’ (to hear them speak of it!) the franchise of our trains. They are primarily a real estate company that runs the Hong Kong trains and develops rail corridors.
Try telling them they can`t resell/develop or do what they want with every square metre of land when they ‘own’ it!
If you think that those at PTV will stop it then think of this.
The development of what used to be platform 11 at Flinders Street has been redeveloped as a cafe and booze precinct.
Who are the developers?
A joint partnership between government officials at PTV and MTM (read MTR Hong Kong), the parent company of MTM. (Metro Trains Melbourne)
Now when platform space is at a premium at Flinders Street Station and 13 Platform used to go directly to platform 11 and through to the viaduct it would be very interesting to know the fine details of this very shady arrangement considering that certain officials at PTV have been charged with fraud and other offences. It is time that the government held a judicial inquiry into exactly what is going on between MTM and senior officials of PTV.
The government is playing with fire and the people of Victoria are at risk of being burned!
The Rail system in the UK is one big shambles under dynamic PRIVATE companies.
Go on the internet and take a look at the UK form of the 457 visa CEO running Melbourne`s trains.
Metronet UK were described by the lord mayor of London as the consortium of nightmares.
The cut to the bone maintenance and LEECHING of TAXPAYER funds in EVERY WAY POSSIBLE is what dynamic private company’s do “IF” put in charge, and then allowed to ‘operate’ unsupervised.
It is like putting a monkey in charge of the bananas and the CEO monkey at the top of the tree is proven to be ruthless, careless with the truth and a leecher of taxpayer bananas.
The assets belong to the Victorian people.
We paid for them, our fathers paid for them and our forefathers before us paid for them.
Our soldiers fought in the great wars for Australia and they would be horrified to see our freedoms being sold to the dictates of a foreign government.
We are already seeing 457 visa workers doing jobs that Australians should be doing.
Imagine 457 visa workers flown in at will!
We are not a “RANDOM VISITOR” to the state’s public transport.
Our children and grandchildren, AND ALL THE CITIZENS OF THIS STATE deserve the chance to work in the rail industry if they choose, Under Australian ownership.
We know who our current serving politicians are in the labor party. Write or call your local member and voice your concerns, IF in fact you are as concerned as you should be.
For the franchise renewal is at hand and the current company as described, are coveting
‘ownership’. Is it any wonder the recorded propaganda announcements around the railway system cannot stop saying thank-you and thank-you and thank-you?
The Metro propaganda machine is working flat out to convince us all how good they are. When in this case, as demonstrated by all of the above. The opposite is actually true.
To give a final example of either incompetence or FRAUD let me refer you back to the 19-odd million dollars that these scam artists say that they paid in taxes.

Point One. The entire state railway infrastructure is managed by a government department called VIC TRACK. That means that they control the assets on behalf of the people who pay and paid for them. The taxpayers, that’s us.
Point Two. Vic Track lease out or transfer some railway assets to other government departments for various reasons. One of those other departments is PTV (Public Transport Victoria) PTV are a government department who are charged with ensuring that all transport operators comply with the terms of their government leases.
They have failed miserably with both V/Line and Metro.
Now read this part carefully.
We, the taxpayers of Victoria OWN all of the railway infrastructure.
WE also OWN V/Line who run over the tracks that we OWN.
We also own the trains and ALL of the railway tracks, stations etc., throughout Melbourne.
Now the predominately Chinese owned companies, that form the consortium, that are the MANAGEMENT company that are referred to as the franchise holders have an 8 year lease to Manage and run the suburban railways on behalf of all Victorian taxpayers.

They may be referred to as the franchise holders, but don’t own the franchise. They don’t pay for, or own, any part of the taxpayer’s railways.
THE ARE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT WITH OUR MONEY TO MANAGE THE SYSTEM and for that they get the money that is mentioned at the top of this post.
Now here’s the rub. MTM/MTR is ALLOWED to charge V/Line 20 MILLION dollars a year to allow them to run across the suburban network.
Now hang on a minute.
WE, the taxpayers, own ALL of the railway infrastructure, tracks, trains – the whole box and dice. SO, how come this MANAGEMENT company is allowed to charge the taxpayers another 20 Million dollars on top of what we are already paying them to use tracks that we already own?
They CANNOT say that it’s a maintenance charge because WE already pay them over a BILLION dollars annually to manage and maintain our railways.
And that’s why I said earlier that they actually paid NO tax because the tax that they said they paid only equated to one year’s track access payment by V/Line, so it really was all smoke and mirrors at the expense of the taxpayers.
So the very fishy smell is coming directly from PTV.
They wrote up this very generous lease including taxpayers paying for the electricity that the management company uses.
They also entered into a strange relationship with the foreign company to sell them the land that used to be platform 11 at Flinders Street when the last thing that is wanted there is another booze parlor when we need the platform space for trains.
Does anyone else see a strange relationship developing between a government department and a foreign company that is getting an extraordinarily overly generous deal courtesy of the taxpayer?
Now I can’t prove that there is anything shady going on and I can’t prove that anyone is getting kickbacks at PTV from a culture that is renowned with bribing public officials in their own country. BUT, just to prove that nothing sinister is really going on the government needs to immediately hold a full and open judicial inquiry into PTV and in particular, which officials signed what agreements, and did they receive and financial reward for doing so.
There is something seriously wrong with that department.
First Ian Dobbs didn’t get his contract renewed. Then Mark Wild lied publicly about Sunstone resources and was moved to another department, and then we have at least 9 officials charged by the police for awarding themselves various lucrative contracts, and now we have this management company receiving ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS over the past five years on top of what they are already getting.
100 million dollars, for charging us to run our own trains over our own tracks?
Either someone is on the take or they are blatantly incompetent by allowing such an overly generous contract that is NOT good value for the taxpayer.
Minister Allen, We demand an open inquiry into all of the dealings between PTV and MTM and in light of the fact that the wheel problem that is plaguing V/Line is also now starting to plague MTM, and can only be caused by MTMs practice of cutting corners with maintenance.
Your government and the previous one are solely responsible for this mess because you relied on corrupted advice from the very people at PTV who it seemed have a vested interest in keeping the truth about the real state of the Victoria’s railways from you and the previous transport minister.
DO NOT ALLOW another PERMANENT MORTGAGE to be placed on the people of this state!
Australian assets, owned by Australians = Australian jobs in Australia for Australians.


One comment

  1. John Coutts

    Having worked in the Rail Industry for some time (almost 50 years off and on) I am utterly amazed that our politicians ( and the PTV) would think that they are getting value for money from the current franchisee. I believe that when a company whose only goal is to make money that the service must ultimately diminish simply because an extra dollar spent in the interest of the public is to the detriment of MTM bottom line.

    Additionally schedules have slowed, I challenge anybody to suggest that the overall running times for trains on the Dandenong/Cranbourne corridor for example have not slowed and that the number of express services between Dandenong and Caulfield has not been reduced. ( I do not consider non stop services at Yarraman to be express services.) Mind you this is the only way that MTM has any chance of meeting their loading obligations without the construction of some serious track infrastructure. The Westall Rail Upgrade, insofar at the ability of the operator to operate more trains on the corridor, was nothing more than an aberration in train scheduling techniques.

    But rather than placing MTM at the forefront of the criticism for how much they are making, it should be borne in mind that the PTV is not only the regulator of the current franchise but were also responsible for the contract that is currently in place. The ability of MTM to skip stations, with seeming impunity, to achieve punctuality performances speaks volumes for the lack of “public interest” that has been incorporated into the contract. I would really like to see some of the legal arguments that have transpired in relation to this behavior.

    I must point out that your comment regarding platforms 11 and 13 at Flinders Street connecting to the viaduct to Spencer Street may be in error. From my recollection connections to/from the viaduct were restricted to Track 9A and then subsequently to/from Platform 12.


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