What is the Community Representative’s role? Unfortunately the legislation is pretty vague about this, simply saying:
the Minister must appoint a person who is a community representative to be one of the directors of the Public Transport Development Authority.
It doesn’t seem to say anything about the role other than calling it “community representative”.
The new Community Representative is Mr Tom Sargant. From his LinkedIn page, we can see that his career has included:
- Director Technical Services at PTV from April 2012 to July 2013 (recent enough that he’s still in the Victorian Government Directory)
- Deputy Director of Public Transport – Engineering and Asset Management at the Victorian Department of Transport, March 2004 to April 2012; and
- Head Of Infrastructure at National Express (which ran M>Train and M>Tram) from April 2000 to March 2003
I have a feeling I’ve met Mr Sargant in the distant past when he was at the Department of Transport, and I don’t recall him being anything other than helpful and competent. I’ve got nothing against him as a PTV board member in general…
But to me it doesn’t quite seem in the spirit of things to appoint someone with well over a decade’s experience running the public transport system to a position of Community Representative, which I’d have thought is meant to provide an outside, independent perspective.
Otherwise, in what sense is the person a community representative?
Can someone who is an insider really fulfil that role?
What do you think?
- The previous Community Representative was John Nicol OAM, who had served on numerous community liaison/reference groups including for Regional Rail Link, EastLink and the Desalination project.
- April 2012: PTV: it’s more than just rebranding, but will it make a difference?