Rod Barton

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Rod Barton

Member of the Victorian Legislative Council for Eastern Metropolitan Region
Assumed office
24 November 2018
Co-leader of the Transport Matters Party
Personal details
Born
Rodney Brian Barton

1958 (age 62–63)
Melbourne, Australia
Political partyTransport Matters Party
OccupationHire car operator
ProfessionPolitician
Websitehttps://rodbarton.com.au/

Rod Barton is an Australian politician. He is the co-founder of the Transport Matters Party and has a seat in the Victorian Legislative Council, representing the Eastern Metropolitan Region.[1] He was elected in November 2018 and is a current sitting member in the Victorian Parliament.

Barton established the Transport Matters Party in response to the deregulation of the taxi and hire car industry in 2017. The Transport Matters Party strives for equality and fairness with a focus on repairing the past to lay the foundation for the future.[2]

Before entering politics, Barton worked for 30 years in the taxi and hire-car industry. Barton is not a career politician, but rather was motivated to enter politics to represent the individuals who have long had their experiences, opinions and struggles ignored.[3]

Barton lives in Melbourne with his wife. He has two daughters and five grandchildren.[4]

Early Life and career[edit]

Barton was born in 1958 in Footscray, Victoria. His parents arrived in Australia in 1951 via ship. At age 15, he left school and commenced working.[5]    

Barton began driving professionally approximately 30 years ago. Following in his family's footsteps, he started his working career by driving cabs, quickly moving into driving limousines as well.[6]

In 1999, he started his own small business in the hire car industry in Victoria, Australia, which grew to have a solid client base across Melbourne over the next 20 years.[7]  

In 2017, the Victorian Government deregulated the taxi and hire car industry and revoked taxi and hire car licences. Together with like-minded colleagues, Barton reformed the Victorian Hire Car Association (VHCA) to become the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Association of Australia (CPVAA) now known as Transport Australia Alliance (TAA) in response to Professor Fels Industry Inquiry.

In 2018, with the loss of his business's viability and his family's property, Barton and his colleague, Andre Baruch, began the steps to form a political party to address the issues caused by the deregulation of the industry.

Political Career (2018–present)[edit]

In 2018, Barton was elected to the Legislative Council as the leading candidate for Transport Matters Party for the Eastern Metropolitan Region. Barton gave his maiden speech on 5 February 2019.[8]

In September 2020 and in March 2021 Barton voted against The Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (State of Emergency Extension and Other Matters) Bill 2020, rejecting "the time frame for the extensions to the state of emergency" and "the way the bill was drafted to deliver unfettered powers to the government without adequate checks and balances."[9]

In 2019, he proposed The Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Amendment Bill 2019 which sought to make touting illegal in Victoria.[10] At this time, touters were becoming ‘aggressive, predatory, and intimidating’ according to an ABC report.[11] Barton's amendments passed and touting is now illegal in Victoria with offenders able to receive a fine up to $10,000.[12]

Barton is currently a member of the advisory panel to the Transport Minister regarding the commercial passenger vehicle industry.

Barton also secured a Parliamentary Inquiry into Victoria's homelessness crisis on 7 June 2019.[13] He joined the Legal and Social Issues Committee to inquire into, consider and report on the state of homelessness in Victoria.[14]

He also secured an Inquiry into Expanding Melbourne's Free Tram Zone, including the potential for dynamic pricing, free fares for seniors and students. In November 2020, he submitted a minority report to the Inquiry into Expanding Melbourne's Free Tram Zone.[15]

Transport Matters Party (2018–present)[edit]

Transport Matters Party was formed to represent the interests for taxi and hire car owners, drivers and partners in light of the industry's deregulation in 2017. The party quickly expanded to become a movement for ‘fairness, community and [improving the] nation's transport issues’.[16]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Eastern Metropolitan". Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  2. ^ "Transport Matters Party". Transport Matters Party. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  3. ^ "Rod's Maiden Speech – Unfinished Business – Rod Barton". Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  4. ^ "Meet Rod – Rod Barton". Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  5. ^ "Rod's Maiden Speech – Unfinished Business – Rod Barton". Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  6. ^ "Rod's Maiden Speech – Unfinished Business – Rod Barton". Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  7. ^ "Rod's Maiden Speech – Unfinished Business – Rod Barton". Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  8. ^ "Rod's Maiden Speech – Unfinished Business – Rod Barton". Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  9. ^ "Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (State of Emergency Extension and Other Matters) Bill 2020 – Rod Barton". Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  10. ^ "Stop Touting in Victoria – Rod Barton". Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  11. ^ "'Uber is destroying the industry': Taxi driver defends 'predatory' airport touting". www.abc.net.au. 23 October 2019. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  12. ^ "Touting for commercial passenger vehicle services is now illegal in Victoria". cpv.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  13. ^ "Inquiries". www.parliament.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  14. ^ "Inquiries". www.parliament.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  15. ^ "Inquiries". www.parliament.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  16. ^ "Transport Matters Party". Transport Matters Party. Retrieved 15 January 2021.