A further 100 protective services officers will be hired through a recruitment company at a cost of $510,000.
Labor will need to increase the number of protective services officers. Photo: John Woudstra
The state Opposition will extend the operation of the protective services officers program it has criticised as part of an election promise to deliver 24-hour public transport on weekends.
Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews announced on Sunday that if Labor wins the November state election it will roll out a 12-month, $50 million trial of trains, trams and buses running all night on Fridays and Saturdays.
''This is good for safety, it's good for the economic activity in our city and our state and it is exactly what our state needs - a world-class city needs world-class public transport,'' Mr Andrews said.
But Premier Denis Napthine said Labor's plan was uncosted, not a public transport priority and not what people want.
Mr Andrews said PSOs would have to be recruited for the trial, but denied there had been a shift in the Opposition's position on the armed officers.
''I made it very clear a month ago that PSOs are here to stay and if you are going to extend … public transport across trains, trams and buses on Friday and Saturday nights then you need to keep those PSOs in place.''
Under the plan trains would run across all lines on the hour from 2am, and trams would operate throughout the night, moving people through the city and to St Kilda, Bundoora, Coburg, Port Melbourne, Carnegie, Box Hill and Vermont South.
Mr Andrews said the Nightrider bus service would be expanded and enhanced as part of the trial, which would be running by New Year's Eve 2015.
It is not known exactly how many extra officers would have to be recruited, although Mr Andrews said ''not huge numbers''.
The officers would patrol train stations until the first morning service under the plan.
Labor has been critical of the cost of PSOs and the government's roll-out of the scheme.December 13