Thursday, 23 June 2022


Perry Broad

Perry Broad

Mr DAVIS (Southern Metropolitan—Leader of the Opposition) (17:52): (2019) My adjournment tonight is for the attention of the Minister for Workplace Safety, and I have to say I was distressed today to read details of a traffic controller, Perry Broad, who was crushed to death by a truck. This was up in the Shepparton area, where this beloved traffic controller died doing a Rail Projects Victoria traffic management subcontracting role, acting as a spotter for a vehicle at the time of his tragic death. He was talked about by his grandchildren, and this is clearly a very, very sad day for the family. Many of his workmates have made what I think are very generous comments that show how much esteem he was held in. Rail Projects Victoria’s chief executive has also expressed his condolences, and he is clearly saddened too.

But I have to say many people inside the rail construction area inside government have rung me today to talk about this, and they are pointing very strongly to failures inside V/Line and inside parts of government to have the political skill and the ability to ensure that projects are run properly. They are not only over budget—and we know this is happening—they are often far, far behind time. There is politicisation of large parts of the public service, including within V/Line, which has some auspices over this project although it is delivered by Rail Projects Victoria. For this contractor doing the rail upgrade, it is a shocking outcome. There are political appointments that are running parts of government now, and V/Line is a terrible case study. They have no idea. They have no rail experience. This is politics being put ahead of public safety. We actually saw in the last 24 hours VicTrack doing work that resulted in the closure of the whole system across the state unexpectedly because of mistakes by VicTrack and some of its contractors. Again, this is the politicisation of the public service—people without rail knowledge and people without rail experience—and the consequences are quite serious. It is a poorly run system, but in this case, it appears, there was a terrible death.

What I am asking for here is for the Minister for Workplace Safety to ensure there is a full investigation done of this terrible death. In fact in my view there should actually be a full coronial inquiry into this. How can this have happened in this way? How can this have happened where a person who should not have died has died? Let me just say, will Evan Tattersall at Rail Projects Victoria go to jail, as the government wants to point to with its strict liability arrangements? I do not think so, but he should be held accountable. He should be responsible for what has happened with this terrible death.