Victoria Shadow Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder
Shopping Centre Landlords Reap A Rich MYKI Harvest
Victor P Taffa
Freedom of Information documents released by the Transport Ticketing Authority to the Victorian Coalition show that in a six month period between 17 September 2009 and 1 March 2010, Minister for Public Transport Martin Pakula’s TTA spent $119,588 over 35 days paying for shopping centre and festival sites for its MYKI ‘Discovery Trailer’ and a further $14,412 over 12 days at shopping centre and festival sites on static displays promoting MYKI.” according to Shadow Minister for Public Transport, Terry Mulder.
“While MYKI remains switched off on Melbourne’s Trams and Buses and only used by 4% of Melbourne’s Rail Travellers, Minister Pakula is shovelling money out the door at top-dollar shopping centre sites instead of parking the MYKI trailer at a free site such as at a government school carpark or near a major park.”
“Shopping centre landlords such as GPT at Highpoint Maribyrnong and Colonial First State’s Chadstone Shopping Centre were paid $3,000 a day for the MYKI trailer. For three days at Colonial First State’s Bayside Frankston, the MYKI trailer cost $6,000 to display while at Westfield Southland, the bill was $3,785 for three days.”
“Minister Pakula has failed to investigate free or ‘next to nix’ alternative sites despite the overall cost of MYKI being a conservative $350 million above its original budget.”
Mr. Mulder said that on top of this $134,000, Premier John Brumby’s government spent a further $5,889 on protecting the almost fully depreciated $721,000 MYKI Discovery Trailer from louts at Highpoint Maribyrnong, Westfield Fountain Gate, Westfield Southland, Dandenong Plaza and Frankston Bayside shopping centres.
“It cost at least $36.55 an hour to watch over this MYKI trailer for each weekday, and $43.99 on Saturdays, of the 16 days that the MYKI trailer was displayed at one of these five shopping centres.”
Mr. Mulder said that the Sustainable Living Foundation charged taxpayers $2,486 for a static MYKI display at its Docklands site on 14 October 2009 while the bill for the MYKI Discovery Trailer at the Royal Melbourne Show from 17 to 27 September 2009 was a staggering $79,500.
“John Brumby will spend $5,889 on security guards to stand back gazing at a MYKI trailer, but refuses to employ Protective Services Officers at railway stations each night to prevent violent assaults and harassment of train travellers.” Mr. Mulder said.