Lo and behold, just found the article Inspectors are like Gestapo on The Age online about more fleas on the public transport system.
The reference to "non-functional ticketing system" is particularly apt.
I always warn friends from overseas holidaying in Melbourne that they can have legal tender, say a $20 note, at the ticket machine on board a tram, but not be able to purchase a ticket since the machines are... get this... coin only. And that despite having legal tender on board the tram, and being prevented from buying a ticket by a crap-ass machine, they can be fined approximately $160 for not buying a ticket.
I always wonder what the hell happened during the tender process for public transporation ticket systems in Victoria. Somebody must have been shtoopin somebody in the approval process to get the ridiculous system currently in place past the gate!
Melbourne will implement a new smart card system later this year. About freaking time we crawled out of the dark ages!