Who’s in charge? The Ministers or the bureaucrats?

Revelations this morning that stricter truck curfews in the inner-west of Melbourne have been scrapped on bureaucrats’ orders begs the question, who is in charge, the Minister or the Department?

The Cleaner Freight Initiative was welcomed by the Victorian Transport Association and the Maribyrnong Truck Action Group. It placed curfews and bans on older model trucks in suburban streets around the Port of Melbourne which are louder and have greater emissions.

Despite wide community and industry support, the bureaucrats in the Department of Transport have put a stop to it, riding roughshod over Labor Ministers Jaala Pulford and Melissa Horne.

If Minister Pulford and Minister Horne can’t get their own Departments to back a plan that has huge amounts of public and industry support, and addresses a significant issue in Melbourne’s west, it raises the question: who’s in charge?

Comment attributable to Shadow Minister for Road Safety and the TAC, Gordon Rich-Phillips:

“Labor must explain why the truck curfews it promised last year have not been implemented and look to have been scrapped.”

Comment attributable to Shadow Minister for Ports and Freight, Roma Britnell:

“The local community and the freight industry both support these truck curfews, it is inexplicable that Labor appears to have broken its promise to introduce them.”

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