Wednesday 12 April 2017

 LNP to create level playing field for taxis and rideshares

 State Member for Noosa Glen Elmes MP said the LNP, if successful at the next election, would appoint an independent Personalised Transport Commissioner to ensure Queensland had a safe and fair taxi and rideshare industry.

“The LNP has worked closely with Taxi Council Queensland to ensure there is a level playing field for passengers, drivers and owners while also sensibly removing red tape to benefit passengers by easing the pressure on fares.

“We have to restore confidence to the personalised transport industry and ensure a level playing field. The independent commissioner will be an industry voice in government and will restore certainty and stability to an industry that has been kicked about by this Labor Government.

“The commissioner will act as an ombudsman for the industry and a source of independent advice for the minister and will be responsible for recommending safety requirements including CTP insurance, safety cameras, vehicle identification, licensing and registration.

“To ensure industry voices are always heard by the government, the LNP will also establish a Personalised Transport Ministerial Council, consisting of the minister, commissioner and industry. This will give industry a real opportunity to raise issues with the minister and contribute to the future direction of policy.

“The LNP also moved to remove Labor’s unfair compensation cap for taxi license owners, who will receive $20,000 dollars each for a maximum of two.

“I know of some local small businesses who own a dozen or more licenses, a life’s work and retirement fund completely decimated. As great as competition is, we can’t turn our back on those who purchased their licenses in good faith. We must also remember the taxi drivers in all of this who earn roughly 50 per cent of a taxi’s takings. Once Uber had gathered momentum in the absence of any government controls, their earnings plummeted making it extremely difficult to support their families.

“The Palaszczuk Government even failed to protect the passengers of personalised transport operators. In September last year the LNP successfully disallowed legislation that permitted 20 year old vehicles to be taxis; did not require frequent safety inspections of taxis and ride sharing vehicles and did not require a minimum level of driver training for taxi or rideshare drivers

 “Given the enormity of this issue and the number of lives and livelihoods impacted by policy in the personal transport space, I believe the appointment of an independent Personalised Transport Commissioner will ensure sensible and carefully measured changes are made

 The Commissioner will:

  • be responsible for the licensing and registration of vehicles, drivers and operators within the personalised transport industry and ensure proper affiliation and co-ordination between these parties

  • liaise closely with the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) to set Compulsory Third Party insurance premiums for personalised transport vehicles and be able to review personalised transport vehicle classes with MAIC

  • recommend safety standards and regulatory changes to the Minister, including in relation to safety cameras and vehicle identification

  • advise the Minister on the future of the personalised transport industry

  • advise the Minister on opportunities to reduce the regulatory burden on all industry participants to ease the pressure on fares

  • be responsible for independently endorsing legislative changes to the industry and consulting on draft changes

  • direct transport officer enforcement of personalised transport regulations

  • be required to publish an annual report of official activities, and facilitate and improve integration with the public transport network.                     “I support healthy competition, one where competitors compete according to the same set of rules and on a field that has an equal number of players. The shake-up of the Queensland taxi industry was inevitable as ridesharing increased in popularity all around the world. Only an LNP Government will be able to restore certainty and stability to the industry,” Mr Elmes concluded.