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LABOR’S UNFAIRNESS TO TAXI FAMILIES

Taxi industry

19 September 2017

Adjournment – Legislative Council, Parliament of Victoria

It reads:Mr DAVIS (Southern Metropolitan) — My matter for the adjournment debate tonight is for the attention of the Minister for Public Transport in the other place, and it concerns the government’s recent Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Bill 2017 and the mechanisms by which it is paying out its very modest amounts to a range of people. I make the point that the government’s package is deeply inadequate and flawed in that regard, but it is also being administered unfairly. I make the point that in the scheme the licence fee, or the fee for trips — the $1 fee that went through in the end — is also being used to fund administration, according to the government. But my point tonight is to note that there is harshness and unfairness in the way the scheme is being administered, and I have a note from a constituent here that points some of this out.

You may be interested in the way this gov is paying out on taxi licence transitional assistance … This is a colossal government botch job. Perhaps you could shed light on the way the transitional payments (100k, 50, 50, 50 for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th taxi licence nothing for any more) have been paid on a per entity basis. E.g., husband and wife own two licences jointly receive 150k.

Husband and wife own one each singly receive 200k.

Seventeen licences owned in a trust with seven beneficiaries (mum, dad and five adult kids and a shared $2 million debt) get $250k …

in so-called transitional assistance. In other cases individuals have bought 13 separate licences but in a set of structures, and each one was given a payout of $100 000.

This seems to have inequity in it as well as being an inadequate scheme.

I guess what I am seeking specifically from the minister tonight is that she look at the harshness of this, that she have this system independently reviewed and that she comes back and looks at an increase in support in aggregate and makes the distribution system fairer too. They are important steps, and this could be conducted through the process of an independent review that would look at the impact on family. We know that these are property rights, as outlined by the High Court in 1998. The government has crushed those property rights, and in many cases people are getting tokens in respect of what is the real value of those licences. An independent review of the fairness and adequacy in aggregate and also the fairness of the distribution system would be an important step forward.