As a Customer of the Public Transport Authority (“PTA”) [ABN 61 850 109 576] I am very grateful for the service that they provide. Whilst I comprehend the need for a security presence, I see an interesting paradigm of purported and assumed powers that is delegated to the employees of the “PTA” who are the enforcers of their policies listed in the ‘Public Transport Authority Act 2003’, ‘Public Transport Authority Regulations 2003’, ‘Government Railways (Parking Stations) By-law 1997’ and the ‘Public Sector Management Act 1994’
The main problem that I see is an over-reach of power by the purported “PTA” policy enforcers. It is clearly stated in corporate government legislation that ‘Transit Officers’ have the same powers as a police officer. This is because they both enforce the policies of the corporation government.
I recently spoke with a couple of ‘Transit Officers’ and they could not quote the actual legislation that purportedly gives them the ‘assumption’ of authority.
The Transit Officer Information Booklet issued in September 2023 it clearly defines the role of a Transit Officer.
Transit Officers are law enforcement officers who have similar powers to that of WA Police.
Transit Officers play a vital role in ensuring the safety and security of our passengers. Many people are unaware of what Transit Officers do and think that their role is simply to check tickets and issue fines.
Transit Officers are law enforcement officers who, while on PTA property, have powers similar to that of WA Police. Transit Officers patrol trains and stations with some mobile in a patrol vehicle. They are equipped and trained to deal with public disorder offences on the rail network. They have the authority to demand a person of interest’s name, address and date of birth and any refusal or provision of false details may result in arrest.
They prepare court briefs and other associated legal paperwork to prefer charges against a person who has committed certain offences on the rail network.
Wages During training: $1,148.50 per week, plus appropriate shift penalties whilst undergoing on-the-job training.
When fully trained: $1,351.20 – $1,483.20 per week plus penalties.
“The ‘PUBLIC TRANSPORT AUTHORITY [ABN 61 850 109 576]’ is a customer-focussed, integrated and efficient transport service business”
The Assumption of Authority
Remembering that the definition of Assume is to accept something to be true without question or proof. The Public Transport Authority Act 2003 was given Assent by John Murray Sanderson, whom in 1991, was seconded to the Secretary of the United Nations to complete planning for the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia.
He assumes the office of Governor of Western Australia and claims to have the authority by ELIZABETH THE SECOND by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth.
The Queen of Australia, an abstract Queen created by Gough Whitlam in 19 June 1973 when he changed the constitutional and official definitions in the Acts Interpretation Act 1973.
And We do hereby authorise, empower and command you to exercise and perform all and singular the powers, functions and directions contained in Letters Patent bearing date at Westminster the fourteenth day of February 1986 relating to the Office of Governor of Our State of Western Australia or in future Letters Patent relating to that office.
The Governors claim of Authority comes from the letters patent of 1986 which relates the Fabian Bob Hawkes ‘Australia Act 1986’ which altered the Constitution without a referendum.
Public Transport Authority Act 2003 Division 2- Infringement Notices
43. Term used: prescribed
In this Division —
prescribed means prescribed by regulations.
44. Giving of Notice
(1) An authorised person or a member of the Police Force who has reason to believe that a person has committed a prescribed offence under this Act may, at or about the time the alleged offence is believed to have been committed, give an infringement notice to the alleged offender.
(2) An offence cannot be prescribed under this section if —
(a) it is punishable by imprisonment; or
(b) the maximum penalty that could be imposed for that offence by a court would depend on any circumstance of the commission of the offence.
45. Content of Notice
(1) An infringement notice is to be in the prescribed form and is to —
(a) contain a description of the alleged offence;
(b) advise that if the alleged offender does not wish to be prosecuted for the alleged offence in a court, the amount of money specified in the notice as being the modified penalty for the offence may be paid to an authorised person within a period of 28 days after the giving of the notice; and
(c) inform the alleged offender as to who are authorised persons for the purposes of receiving payment of modified penalties.
(2) In an infringement notice the amount specified as being the modified penalty for the offence referred to in the notice is to be the amount that was the prescribed modified penalty at the time the alleged offence is believed to have been committed.
(3) The modified penalty that may be prescribed for an offence is not to exceed 20% of the maximum penalty that could be imposed for that offence by a court.
[Section 45 amended: No. 84 of 2004 s. 80.]
46. Extension of time
An authorised person may, in a particular case, extend the period of 28 days within which the modified penalty may be paid and the extension may be allowed whether or not the period of 28 days has elapsed.
47. Withdrawal of Notice
(1) An authorised person may, whether or not the modified penalty has been paid, withdraw an infringement notice by sending to the alleged offender a notice in the prescribed form stating that the infringement notice has been withdrawn.
(2) If an infringement notice is withdrawn after the modified penalty has been paid, the amount is to be refunded. [on an allegation!]
48. Benefit of paying modified penalty
(1) Subsection (2) applies if the modified penalty specified in an infringement notice has been paid within 28 days or such further time as is allowed and the notice has not been withdrawn.
(2) If this subsection applies it prevents the bringing of proceedings and the imposition of penalties to the same extent that they would be prevented if the alleged offender had been convicted by a court of, and punished for, the alleged offence. [Alleged means accused but NOT proven]
(3) Payment of a modified penalty is not to be regarded as an admission for the purposes of any proceedings, whether civil or criminal.
49. Application of penalties collected
An amount paid as a modified penalty is, subject to section 47(2), to be dealt with as if it were a penalty imposed by a court as a penalty for an offence.
Avoiding Future Fines
It is stated on the transperth website: www.transperth.wa.gov.au/Contact-Us/Fines-and-Infringements “To ensure that you don’t end up in this situation again, we ask that you observe the following rules when travelling with Transperth.
- Always carry a valid ticket and be ready to supply it upon request
- If you’re purchasing concession fares, always carry proof of concession and be ready to supply it upon request
- Refrain from smoking (including e-cigarettes) or consuming alcohol on a bus, train or at the station
- Show respect towards the driver and your fellow passengers
- Keep your bicycle off trains during restricted hours
- Don’t interfere with or cause damage to any Transperth property, including vehicles and the station
- Refrain from placing your feet on the seats
- Never purposely obstruct any authorised persons
- Don’t continue to travel when travel has been refused
- Don’t possess explosive, syringe, firearm, controlled or prohibited weapons as per Weapons Act 1999 or possess a tool, device, substance or apparatus capable of graffiti”.
Public Transport Authority Regulations 2003 Part 2 — Tickets
s.4A Use of ticket
(1) A person using an electronic ticket must, before or at the start of a journey, obtain confirmation from the Authority’s reading apparatus of authorisation to make the journey.
(2) The Authority may issue or approve a ticket subject to other conditions as to its use, including conditions as to —
(a) the journeys in connection with which the ticket may be used; and
(b) the places, times and circumstances in which the ticket may be used; and
(c) the manner in which the ticket may be used; and
(d) the person or class of persons who may use the ticket.
[Regulation 4A inserted: SL 2020/183 r. 5; amended: SL 2023/75 r. 5.]
5. Validity of ticket for journey
(1) A paper ticket is valid for a journey if it evidences authorisation to make that journey, unless —
(a) it is torn; or
(b) it is to be validated by a machine before the commencement of the journey and it has not been so validated; or
(c) it is in such a condition that the printing or writing on it is not readily legible; or
(d) the printing on it has been altered, added to, erased or obliterated; or
(e) the period of duration of the ticket expired before the start of the journey; or
(f) it is not being used in accordance with any condition on which it was issued; or
(g) it is used or purported to be used on the journey beyond the point for which the fare has been paid; or
(h) a current certificate or concession card is required to be held by a person as a condition of the use of the ticket on the journey and that certificate or concession card is not presented on demand to a driver, master or authorised person.
(2) An electronic ticket is valid for a journey unless —
(a) the person using the ticket does not comply with regulation 4A(1); or
(b) the ticket is not being used in accordance with any other condition on which it was issued or approved; or
(c) a current certificate or concession card is required to be held by a person as a condition of the use of the ticket on the journey and that certificate or concession card is not presented on demand to a driver, master or authorised person.
[Regulation 5 inserted: SL 2020/183 r. 5; amended: SL 2023/75 r. 6.]
s.6 Making a journey without a valid ticket
(1) A person who —
(a) starts or makes a journey; or
(b) leaves or ends a journey,
and who does not produce a ticket that is valid for the journey to a driver, master or authorised person on demand made at the start or end of the journey or at any time during the journey commits an offence.
Modified penalty for this subregulation: a fine of $100.
Penalty for this subregulation: a fine of $500.
(2) Subregulation (1) does not apply to —
(a) a person authorised in writing by an authorised person to travel without paying a fare on a public passenger transport service specified in the authorisation; or
(b) a person travelling on a public passenger transport service provided by the Authority for which no fare has been fixed or within an area for which no fare is required to be paid.
[Regulation 6 amended: Gazette 24 Jul 2009 p. 2953; 5 Nov 2013 p. 4954; 6 Jul 2018 p. 2549; SL 2020/183 r. 6; SL 2023/75 r. 7.]
6A. Being within a closed area without a valid ticket
(1) In this regulation —
appropriate ticket, in relation to a closed area, means a ticket that is valid for a journey starting or ending at the railway station in which the closed area is located;
closed area, in relation to a railway station, means an area in the station, entry to or exit from which —
(a) is controlled by gates, barriers or other means; and
(b) ordinarily requires the presentation of an appropriate ticket.
(2) A person who does not produce an appropriate ticket to a driver or authorised person on demand made when the person enters or exits the closed area of a railway station or at any time while the person is within the closed area commits an offence.
Modified penalty for this subregulation: a fine of $100.
Penalty for this subregulation: a fine of $500.
(4) Subregulation (2) does not apply to a person permitted by an authorised person to enter the closed area of a railway station while not in possession of an appropriate ticket.
[Regulation 6A inserted: SL 2020/183 r. 7; amended: SL 2023/75 r. 8.]
Food for thought…
If the ‘PUBLIC TRANSPORT AUTHORITY [ABN 61 850 109 576]’ is a customer-focussed, integrated and efficient transport service business, then we as customers have rights!