After more than 10 years of Go-card in Qld, the Sunshine Coast finally has Translink, a permanent network of inspectors, working in threes, monitoring, and recording fare evaders locally. They surprise commuters by boarding buses in the middle of bus journeys at random stops, checking tickets and Go-cards.
Fare evasion has been endemic on the Sunshine Coast Translink network. It is blatant theft. Fare evaders exploit the local bus company policy of drivers not being responsible for those who board without a legitimate ticket or Go-card. Formerly, drivers simply record the evasions on their computers, without confrontation or challenging the evaders. Many fare evaders are young adults who use the public transport system to socialise. It is worse during school holidays as they move around, literally freely.
The element of surprise is the best weapon inspectors use to confront those who have no intention of paying, as fare evasion had never been sincerely challenged. Now Translink inspectors record details of all those without legitimate proof of payment, with just a warning, when fare evaders are caught repeating the crime, a $287 fine is forwarded through the mail to their address. However, personal details given may be false, but this, too, often scares the guilty to ensure next time they will pay. Those unconscionable citizens who board our buses, expecting the taxpayer to subsidise their ride, are now confronted with reality. Honest commuters, always prepared to pay, have watched this play out for years.
The Go-card system makes it difficult for tourists who arrive, expecting to pay cash. The cashless system on our buses was introduced during Covid and tickets available have never been reinstated on buses. Difficulty lies in the very limited places Go-card top-up and tickets are available, away from the train stations and bus depots. However, visitors need to contact public transport operators before they arrive, to ensure they do the right thing. Things are changing and affirmative action is finally being taken to set this right. Better late than never. There is no such thing as a free ride, anymore. The word is out!
The Robodebt scammers operated from 2014 to 2020 - ‘Venality’: corrupt, prepared to take bribes; ‘Incompetence’: not qualified or able (to do); ‘Cowardice’: lacking courage. Who voted for these scammers? Just asking for a friend.
Much has been made in the mainstream media about the findings of the Robodebt Royal Commission. Many who have not had the need to receive payments from Centrelink, may wonder what this has to do with them?
It may not personally affect you but spare a thought for the families and friends of those who this horrendous, illegal, cruel scheme impacted. Centrelink was aware that some of them had existing issues and were classed as vulnerable. Some were hounded to the point it drove them to despair and suicide.
Tragically, two beautiful young men who are no longer with us. Spare a thought for their brave mothers who gave evidence at the Royal Commission. May they find solace in the findings and hopefully justice will be dished up to those who perpetrated and enabled this atrocious, malicious Robodebt scheme.