DRIVE NOW March/April 2022

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MARCH/APRIL <strong>2022</strong> - EDITION 53<br />

National<br />

Magazine<br />

Taxis, Hire Cars,<br />

Wedding Cars,<br />

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Owners, Drivers,<br />

Partners, Operators<br />

Suppliers, Networks,<br />

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48<br />


6 Multi Purpose Taxi Program report.<br />

12<br />

Industry battles continue - and so does<br />

Rod Barton MP.<br />


20 New electric vehicle plan.<br />

21 Reporting drivers misconduct.<br />


27<br />

Black & White Cabs is the new TUSS<br />

processor.<br />

NSW<br />

28 Over 50 MPs sign pledge.<br />

29<br />

30<br />

Government is considering increased<br />

compensation package.<br />

Highlights from NSW Taxi Industry<br />

Conference <strong>2022</strong>.<br />


34 Report on the inquiry into Road Safety.<br />

36 Be safe on the roads at Easter.<br />

38 Australia’s auto awareness needs a tune-up.<br />


44 Drivers say they can’t take much more!<br />

47 20,000 new Uber drivers.<br />

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au<br />

<strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />


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4 <strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

FROM THE<br />

Editor<br />

The Victorian Economy and Infrastructure<br />

committee has released their findings in a report<br />

on the review of the Multi Purpose Taxi Program<br />

(MPTP), which Rod Barton MP, Leader of the<br />

Transport Matters Party, says outlines the failures<br />

of Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV).<br />

The review clearly identified that the MPTP is a<br />

program that has developed and nurtured trust,<br />

flexibility and safety. It is about passengers who<br />

have a disability enjoying a great relationship with<br />

their driver as they get from point A to B.<br />

Rod Barton says, “During the inquiry, we learned<br />

a lot about cross-subsidisation. What this means<br />

in the industry is that wheelchair accessible taxi<br />

services can only be provided by an operator if they<br />

are cross-subsidised by work that is somewhat more<br />

profitable than normal taxi work.”<br />

“The problem with what the regulator (CPVV) has<br />

done is that they did not do the work on the impact<br />

of opening up the MPTP 80,000 vehicles. We heard<br />

from taxi operators that this means it became that<br />

much harder to keep Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles<br />

on the road, with many operators already removing<br />

their vehicles because they could not continue<br />

running at a loss.”<br />

The good news is that the report embodies twenty<br />

recommendations that the government ought to<br />

uptake to ensure the streamlining and continuance<br />

of a successful Multi Purpose Taxi Program in<br />

Victoria. Now we just have to wait six months for<br />

the government’s comments on this report.<br />

Meanwhile, in New South Wales, it appears that the<br />

taxi industry may be on the brink of a win with<br />

regards to licence compensation. It has been<br />

fantastic to witness so many industry personnel and<br />

local MPs supporting the claim for greater<br />

compensation by signing the NSW Taxi Industry<br />

Pledge. But unfortunately, the government can no<br />

longer refute that the industry reforms have and<br />

will continue to strip away drivers' and owners'<br />

hard-earned savings.<br />

Martin Rogers – CEO of NSW Taxi Council, said, “We<br />

welcome the news that the NSW Government is<br />

considering an increased compensation package for<br />

the NSW Taxi Industry. We are actively engaging<br />

with the NSW Government to understand the finer<br />

details of the package and look forward to receiving<br />

more information from the NSW Government<br />

regarding the proposed compensation package.”<br />

Congratulations to the NSW Taxi Council on a great<br />

effort to bring together a cohesive, united front and<br />

stand up for what they believe is fair and equitable<br />

compensation for the loss in value of NSW Taxi<br />

Licences.<br />

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au<br />

<strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />


VIC News<br />

MPTP<br />

Review<br />



The Multi Purpose Taxi Program<br />

(MPTP) has been providing<br />

subsidised travel for Victorians with<br />

a disability since 1983. The MPTP<br />

helps all Victorians to live a full<br />

life, by supporting access to vital<br />

medical care or helping to maintain<br />

social contact with family and<br />

friends.<br />

In 2017, the Victorian Government<br />

began to expand the MPTP. Initially<br />

only for traditional taxi travel, a<br />

wider variety of service providers,<br />

such as ridesharing services, can<br />

now participate in the Program.<br />

This has led to greater choices for<br />

MPTP members.<br />

However, the expansion has also<br />

raised some concerns.<br />

One of the main areas of concern<br />

identified by this report is<br />

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles<br />

(WAVs). The Committee learnt<br />

that around 15% of MPTP members<br />

rely on WAVs for their transport<br />

needs. Appallingly, the regulator,<br />

Commercial Passenger Vehicles<br />

Victoria (CPVV), does not know<br />

how many WAVs are currently<br />

operating on Victoria’s roads. This<br />

is due to a number of factors—<br />

primarily poor data management<br />

at CPVV and the impact of the<br />

COVID-19 pandemic.<br />

The Legislative Council<br />

Economy and Infrastructure<br />

(LCEI) Committee has made<br />

recommendations to address<br />

this problem immediately, as<br />

well as regarding CPVV’s ongoing<br />

responsibilities.<br />

Rod Barton, Leader Transport<br />

Matters Party and member<br />

of the LCEI Committee said,<br />

“Unfortunately, despite the CPVV<br />

being the industry regulator, it was<br />

made clear in findings of this report<br />

that they have no idea how many<br />

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles<br />

are active in Victoria or if they are<br />

based in regional or metro areas.<br />

In fact, you can say that for the<br />

entire industry.”<br />

“Furthermore, the Committee<br />

found that the CPVV is likely<br />

unaware of how critical aspects of<br />

the Multi Purpose Taxi Program<br />

are functioning. This was made<br />

clear through many, many data<br />

errors as well as different numbers<br />

being provided and information<br />

that, once found false, had to be<br />

redacted.”<br />

The LCEI Committee has also made<br />

recommendations on areas such as:<br />

• safety<br />

• concerns about ‘surge’ pricing<br />

• the expected impact of the<br />

National Disability Insurance<br />

Scheme (NDIS).<br />

These issues are integral to<br />

ensuring the ongoing success of<br />

the MPTP in providing the level of<br />

service its members deserve and to<br />

ensure trust and confidence in this<br />

important program are maintained.<br />

6 <strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong>




VICTORIA news<br />

Below is a summary of the findings and recommendations by the Legislative Council Economy and Infrastructure Committee<br />

(LCEI Committee). The full report on the Inquiry into the Multi Purpose Taxi Program can be found at https://bit.ly/37tJ8OB. It<br />

includes full details on the findings, recommendations and rationale by the LCEI Committee. The Government has six months to<br />

respond in writing to any recommendations made.<br />

FINDING 1: The purpose of the Multi Purpose Taxi Program is to provide greater transport access to people<br />

with a disability and people with mobility and accessibility needs through the provision of subsidised commercial<br />

passenger vehicle fares.<br />

RECOMMENDATION 1: That Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria identify and address ongoing issues<br />

regarding data management with the Multi Purpose Taxi Program. Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria<br />

should report to the Minister for Public Transport within six months of this report being tabled to outline:<br />

• where the weaknesses in data management are occurring within the organisation<br />

• what actions have been taken to rectify the problems.<br />


FINDING 2: The new ‘Invitation to Supply’ process for parties wishing to join the Multi Purpose Taxi Program as<br />

a Data Collection Provider has improved the accessibility of information for applicants. It provides clear, detailed<br />

information about the end-to-end application process and the requirements for successful completion.<br />

RECOMMENDATION 2: To ensure that the Data Collection Provider Expansion Project is meeting its aim<br />

to be open, transparent and fair to all potential providers, Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria should<br />

undertake regular consultations with applicants on their view of the process. In particular, Commercial<br />

Passenger Vehicles Victoria should:<br />

• consult with applicants on opportunities for improving support during the application process<br />

• establish consistent project timelines, including indicative turnaround times for Commercial Passenger<br />

Vehicles Victoria to provide feedback/progress reports. These timelines should be clearly communicated to<br />

applicants.<br />

FINDING 3: The Multi Purpose Taxi Program’s Uber expansion trial ran from 25 <strong>March</strong> 2020 to 5 July 2020. The<br />

trial involved six participants who undertook a total of 174 trips.<br />

FINDING 4: The purpose of the Multi Purpose Taxi Program’s Uber expansion trial was primarily to test the<br />

suitability of Uber’s technology for the program. However, the trial also assessed the experiences of trial<br />

participants. For a trial assessing user experience, whether wholly or in part, six participants is not suitable. A larger<br />

participant pool would be necessary to properly assess members’ experiences, especially given the diverse range<br />

of experiences among people with a disability.<br />

RECOMMENDATION 3: That Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria commission an independent survey of<br />

Multi Purpose Taxi Program members’ experiences using Uber.<br />

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au <strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />




FINDING 5: In relation to the subsidy charge rule<br />

applied during Uber’s 2020 MPTP live trial, evidence<br />

found by the Committee does not show:<br />

• that the subsidy charge rule was changed solely<br />

to benefit Uber’s entry into the program. Rather,<br />

that changing the subsidy rule was a broader<br />

consideration of the expansion project<br />

• that the charge rule applied during the trial was<br />

tested by any providers other than Uber.<br />

FINDING 6: Increasing the number of Data Collection<br />

Providers available within the Multi Purpose Taxi<br />

Program has reduced single supplier risk and expanded<br />

market options for vehicles offering Multi Purpose Taxi<br />

Program services.<br />

FINDING 7: The entry of rideshare operators into<br />

the Multi Purpose Taxi Program market has increased<br />

consumer choice and service availability for many Multi<br />

Purpose Taxi Program members.<br />

FINDING 8: The future viability of the Multi Purpose<br />

Taxi Program is difficult to assess because:<br />

• due to COVID-19, there is a lack of reliable data on<br />

the impact of the expansion of service providers<br />

on the industry<br />

• the long-term impact of increased competition on<br />

service supply is unknown.<br />



FINDING 9: Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria<br />

does not have an accurate picture of the number of<br />

wheelchair accessible vehicles operating in Victoria<br />

or their distribution across regional and metropolitan<br />

areas.<br />

RECOMMENDATION 5: That Commercial<br />

Passenger Vehicles Victoria:<br />

• undertake an audit of the number and location<br />

of wheelchair accessible commercial passenger<br />

vehicles currently operating in Victoria and<br />

report its findings within three months<br />

• work with booking service providers and<br />

owner-drivers to undertake an audit of the<br />

number and locations of wheelchair accessible<br />

vehicles that were in operation during the six<br />

months from October 2021 to <strong>March</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

• implement a process to accurately capture<br />

data on the number and location of wheelchair<br />

accessible vehicles in operation (at least 1<br />

trip per calendar month) in the market on an<br />

ongoing basis.<br />

RECOMMENDATION 4: That Commercial<br />

Passenger Vehicles Victoria undertake an audit to<br />

assess whether the expansion of services operating<br />

under the Multi Purpose Taxi Program has led to:<br />

• a significant decrease in services due to market<br />

dilution reducing profits<br />

• drivers prioritising peak periods where profits<br />

are higher, leaving off-peak periods underserviced.<br />

If the audit shows substantial risks to the ongoing<br />

viability of the Multi Purpose Taxi Program, the<br />

Government should, in consultation with industry<br />

stakeholders, immediately develop and implement a<br />

mitigation strategy.<br />

FINDING 10: The availability of wheelchair accessible<br />

vehicles is a long-standing issue that has seen some<br />

improvement in recent years. However, a proper<br />

understanding of this issue will only be fully understood<br />

once the COVID-19 pandemic has fully passed.<br />

RECOMMENDATION 6: That the Victorian<br />

Government work with the commercial passenger<br />

vehicle industry and other Australian governments<br />

to achieve the response times for accessible<br />

taxi services requirement in line with the<br />

Commonwealth Disability Standards for Accessible<br />

Public Transport 2002.<br />

8 <strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

FINDING 11: Adequate training, including for ongoing<br />

skills maintenance, of W-endorsed commercial<br />

passenger drivers to correctly operate equipment<br />

protects the safety of passengers and ensures trust in<br />

the Multi Purpose Taxi Program.<br />

FINDING 12: The cost to purchase and maintain a<br />

wheelchair accessible vehicle is significantly higher than<br />

it is for a standard sedan. However, this difference is<br />

lowered by financial support provided by the Victorian<br />

Government in some cases.<br />




FINDING 13: The current approach to disability<br />

awareness and inclusion training is inconsistent and<br />

inadequate. It fails to ensure that services provided to<br />

people with a disability across the whole commercial<br />

passenger vehicle industry meet required standards.<br />

RECOMMENDATION 7: Should a decrease in the<br />

number of wheelchair accessible vehicles operating<br />

in Victoria become evident, that Commercial<br />

Passenger Vehicles Victoria act immediately, in<br />

consultation with commercial passenger vehicle<br />

industry stakeholders, to ensure numbers are<br />

sustainable and sufficient to meet community needs.<br />

This action may include requiring a set percentage of<br />

a commercial passenger vehicles operator’s fleet to<br />

be wheelchair accessible vehicles.<br />

RECOMMENDATION 8: That the Victorian<br />

Government consider raising the lifting fee for<br />

wheelchair accessible vehicles to:<br />

• encourage existing operators to remain in the<br />

Multi Purpose Taxi Program<br />

• incentivise new wheelchair accessible vehicle<br />

operators in the Program.<br />

RECOMMENDATION 9: That Commercial<br />

Passenger Vehicles Victoria consider options<br />

to develop and implement ‘preferred supplier’<br />

accreditation for service providers that consistently<br />

achieve best practice approaches to accessible<br />

transport service provision. This accreditation<br />

should be subject to ongoing independent quality<br />

assessment measures.<br />

FINDING 14: Finalisation of the draft driver training<br />

framework was delayed as a result of COVID-19<br />

impacts. The current status of a new driver training<br />

framework, including an updated timeframe for its<br />

release and implementation, is unknown.<br />

RECOMMENDATION 10: That Commercial<br />

Passenger Vehicles Victoria finalise, release and<br />

implement a new Driver Training Framework as soon<br />

as possible.<br />

Martin Meters - Oz Cab Store<br />

Phone: 03 9335 1551 sales@martinmeters.com.au www.ozcabstore.com.au<br />

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www.drivenow-magazine.com.au<br />

<strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />




FINDING 15: The primary function of security cameras<br />

installed in commercial passenger vehicles is to provide<br />

an evidentiary record of any incidents that occur. The<br />

need for this safeguard applies whether the vehicle is<br />

registered for booked or unbooked travel.<br />

RECOMMENDATION 11: That the Victorian<br />

Government require all commercial passenger<br />

vehicles that operate in the Multi Purpose Taxi<br />

Program to install a security camera compliant with<br />

specified standards.<br />

RECOMMENDATION 12: That the Victorian<br />

Government review and implement a consistent<br />

set of minimum vehicle safety and accessibility<br />

requirements to apply to all vehicles that operate in<br />

the Multi Purpose Taxi Program.<br />

RECOMMENDATION 13: That the Victorian<br />

Government ensure the bests interests of Multi<br />

Purpose Taxi Program members are protected to<br />

ensure they can access the most suitable options<br />

for their personal circumstances, in particular Multi<br />

Purpose Taxi Program members who do not have<br />

the personal capacity to make decisions about<br />

their own travel arrangements.<br />

RECOMMENDATION 14: That the Victorian<br />

Government consider introducing a maximum fare<br />

for Multi Purpose Taxi Program trips for all service<br />

providers. The maximum should not be greater than<br />

the fare set by the Essential Services Commission.<br />

RECOMMENDATION 15: That Commercial<br />

Passenger Vehicles Victoria undertake a review of<br />

complaints handling processes in the Multi Purpose<br />

Taxi Program. The review should:<br />

• consider how the processes can best be<br />

improved to promote greater accessibility,<br />

responsiveness and positive outcomes for<br />

people with a disability<br />

• consider whether complaints handling for<br />

the Multi Purpose Taxi Program should be<br />

centralised and managed by Commercial<br />

Passenger Vehicles Victoria<br />

• be undertaken in consultation with the<br />

disability community and the commercial<br />

passenger vehicle industry<br />

• be finalised with recommendations for<br />

improvement within 12 months.<br />

RECOMMENDATION 16: That Commercial<br />

Passenger Vehicles Victoria review and, where<br />

necessary, update application processes for the<br />

Multi Purpose Taxi Program to:<br />

• ensure proactive communication on application<br />

outcomes is built-in<br />

• provide a mechanism for support coordinators/<br />

advocates to liaise with Commercial Passenger<br />

Vehicles Victoria if required<br />

• simplify requirements to obtain a replacement<br />

card<br />

• improve guidance to medical practitioners.<br />

10 <strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong>







SCHEME<br />

FINDING 16: The commercial passenger vehicle<br />

industry was significantly negatively impacted by<br />

measures put in place in response to the COVID-19<br />

pandemic. The introduction of travel restrictions and<br />

lockdowns substantially decreased demand for services<br />

during these periods causing ongoing financial strain<br />

for many industry participants. However, this was<br />

eased for some by Victorian Government financial<br />

support.<br />

FINDING 17: The ongoing impact of the COVID-19<br />

pandemic makes it difficult to accurately assess<br />

the impact of COVID-19 or potential post-COVID-19<br />

pathways for the commercial passenger vehicle<br />

industry.<br />

FINDING 18: Ensuring the ongoing financial viability<br />

and service delivery of the commercial passenger<br />

vehicle industry, including the Multi Purpose Taxi<br />

Program, should be a key consideration in the Victorian<br />

Government’s post-COVID-19 industry recovery<br />

strategies.<br />

FINDING 19: The roll out of transport funding from<br />

the National Disability Insurance Scheme will have<br />

an impact on the operation of the Multi Purpose Taxi<br />

Program. There may be risks to the viability of the<br />

Program due to:<br />

• changes in market demand as clients transition<br />

to transport funding under the National Disability<br />

Insurance Scheme<br />

• the absence of a lifting fee for wheelchair<br />

accessible vehicles when transporting National<br />

Disability Insurance Scheme clients, potentially<br />

resulting in suppliers leaving the market and<br />

demand not being met.<br />

RECOMMENDATION 17: That the Victorian<br />

Government work with other Australian States and<br />

Territories to implement a nationally consistent<br />

approach to transport subsidy programs.<br />

RECOMMENDATION 18: That the Victorian<br />

Government advocate to the National Disability<br />

Insurance Agency for the National Disability<br />

Insurance Scheme to provide subsidised transport<br />

for all clients that supports social connection and<br />

participation in the community.<br />

RECOMMENDATION 19: That the Victorian<br />

Government continue to work with the National<br />

Disability Insurance Agency to ensure that the<br />

roll out of transport funding under the National<br />

Disability Insurance Scheme ensures wheelchair<br />

users receive equal services to all other transport<br />

users, including the retention of wheelchair lifting<br />

fees for commercial passenger vehicles.<br />

RECOMMENDATION 20: That the Victorian<br />

Government requires commercial passenger<br />

vehicle drivers that undertake Multi Purpose Taxi<br />

Program work to get a National Disability Insurance<br />

Scheme Worker Screen Check. In implementing this<br />

requirement, the Government should establish a<br />

clear transition plan for the industry in line with the<br />

transition plan it established for other industries<br />

under the Victorian Safety Screening Policy: for<br />

registered NDIS providers operating in Victoria.<br />

FINDING 20: The Victorian Government has<br />

committed to developing an integrated transport<br />

strategy under the Transport Integration Act 2010 (Vic).<br />

The roll out of transport funding under the National<br />

Disability Insurance Scheme presents an opportunity to<br />

renew efforts to implementing the strategy to ensure<br />

people with a disability can choose the transport option<br />

which best suits their needs.<br />

The full report on the Inquiry into the Multi Purpose Taxi<br />

Program can be found at https://bit.ly/37tJ8OB. It includes<br />

full details on the findings, recommendations and rationale<br />

by the LCEI Committee. The Government has six months to<br />

respond in writing to any recommendations made.<br />

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au <strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />


VICTORIA news<br />

Industry<br />

battles<br />

continue<br />

- and<br />

so does<br />

Rod!<br />

Rod Barton MLC<br />

Leader, Transport Matters Party<br />

Tuesday 22 nd February <strong>2022</strong> marked the fifth anniversary of the introduction of the Commercial Passenger<br />

Vehicle Industry (CPVI) Bill 2017.<br />

It is a timely opportunity to remind those affected by the consequences of this Bill what I and the<br />

Transport Matters Party have achieved since this time and what we continue to advocate for as political<br />

representatives for stakeholders of the commercial passenger vehicle industry.<br />

When Transport Matters Party (TMP) was formed, our main agenda was to achieve success in the 2018<br />

Victorian state election so that we were better positioned to work collaboratively with the winning<br />

government to address the failures of the CPVI Bill. Our mantra was to leave no stone unturned.<br />

The Bill had very little consideration for the concerns of stakeholders past, present and future. It did<br />

not sufficiently recognise the investment of incumbent industry participants who paid a considerable<br />

price for following rules and regulations for decades and who ultimately were severely penalised and<br />

handicapped by the industry reforms. The level playing field that was promised them never eventuated.<br />

12 <strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

VICTORIA news<br />

Neither did the CPVI Bill consider<br />

the ongoing viability of the<br />

industry, or basic regulations<br />

necessary to provide a safe, fair,<br />

competitive and efficient service<br />

to all of its consumers regardless<br />

of which type of service they use.<br />

Most notable was the absence<br />

of any compensation in the Bill<br />

for the compulsory acquisition<br />

of perpetual taxi and hire car<br />

licences which were treated as<br />

assets to this point.<br />

As well as this, the CPVI Bill<br />

failed to anticipate the many<br />

negative consequences for<br />

active industry participants who<br />

continue to be impacted by its<br />

shortcomings. This is in addition<br />

to the poor protections for<br />

consumers against extortion as<br />

a result of fare deregulation and<br />

implications for safety due to soft<br />

requirements in the rideshare<br />

sector.<br />

Among many other<br />

responsibilities associated with<br />

representing my electorate of the<br />

Eastern Metropolitan region, my<br />

team and I work relentlessly on<br />

behalf of the industry to address<br />

these issues.<br />

It would be well<br />

known by now that<br />

my hard work and<br />

that of key players<br />

involved in forming<br />

the Transport<br />

Matters Party began<br />

long before the<br />

election.<br />

We were instrumental in<br />

developing the legal case against<br />

Uber, which has led to the<br />

establishment of the class action<br />

being run by Maurice Blackburn.<br />

The claim against Uber is for lost<br />

income and loss in licence values<br />

for participants in the taxi and<br />

hire car industry incurred as a<br />

result of Uber’s alleged illegal<br />

conduct.<br />

The competence and tenacity<br />

of team TMP was evident not<br />

just in leading this cause but<br />

also in securing over $20 million<br />

from Harbour Litigation Funding<br />

which has enabled the action to<br />

proceed at no cost to registrants.<br />

From these beginnings and<br />

because of the foresight of the<br />

executive team, the class action<br />

now has over 8,000 registrants<br />

and has expanded to include<br />

claims for industry participants<br />

in New South Wales, Queensland<br />

and Western Australia and<br />

Victoria. It is purported that<br />

this will be one of the largest<br />

class actions this country has<br />

ever seen. The part I played<br />

in initiating this fills me with<br />

immense pride.<br />

Establishing TMP was not an easy<br />

task by far but thanks to all our<br />

supporting members and the skill<br />

shown by the executive team to<br />

secure favourable preference<br />

voting arrangements, the battle<br />

against all odds was won, and a<br />

seat was secured in the Eastern<br />

Metropolitan region at the 2018<br />

Victorian state election.<br />

This was achieved in the face of<br />

circulating rumours and threats<br />

from the opposition of the<br />

day who tried to sabotage our<br />

campaign.<br />

Nevertheless, we won<br />

in spite of the damage<br />

that was tried.<br />

For a long time, we were led to<br />

believe that we had a friend in<br />

the opposition who seemingly<br />

showed support for the industry<br />

and the injustice that had<br />

occurred when the reforms were<br />

implemented. Outwardly, this<br />

has always been the message<br />

that has been conveyed, but true<br />

advocacy goes beyond holding<br />

a microphone on the steps of<br />

parliament and a few supportive<br />

social posts.<br />

Words are just wind, and the<br />

industry was being blown away.<br />

We soon learned that there was<br />

little activity behind the scenes.<br />

On the other hand,<br />

my focus and that of<br />

TMP has not waivered<br />

since entering<br />

parliament.<br />

Hansard will show that I have<br />

raised industry concerns in<br />

every parliamentary sitting week<br />

since I was elected in 2018. I<br />

have used every opportunity<br />

to advance our cause and to<br />

remind the government of why I<br />

was elected and what it is that I<br />

hope to achieve on behalf of my<br />

stakeholders.<br />

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au<br />

<strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />


Industry battles continue - and so does Rod!<br />

According to Hansard, I alone<br />

delivered 106 speeches during<br />

this parliamentary term which<br />

mentioned the word taxi and<br />

raised issues concerning the<br />

industry.<br />

By comparison, there was a total<br />

of seven mentions from all other<br />

political parties combined for the<br />

same period, mostly in response<br />

to motions and speeches I<br />

presented. There is a lot of<br />

smoke and mirrors in parliament<br />

but the proof lies clearly in the<br />

actions taken.<br />

I am the Lone<br />

Ranger. There is no<br />

other member of<br />

parliament actively<br />

fighting for this<br />

cause, and I do<br />

this without any<br />

meaningful support<br />

from any other party.<br />

Despite my best efforts,<br />

many important battles<br />

remain ongoing. For example,<br />

addressing the inadequacy<br />

of compensation for the<br />

compulsory acquisition of<br />

perpetual taxi and hire car<br />

licences due to the 2017 reforms<br />

remains a complicated and<br />

sensitive matter that is yet to<br />

conclude.<br />

During the height of the<br />

pandemic, the government had<br />

little band width for anything<br />

other than the unfolding and<br />

continuous crisis that COVID-19<br />

created.<br />

Although disappointing,<br />

COVID-19 has understandably<br />

delayed a resolution addressing<br />

our concerns. However, now<br />

that the urgency surrounding the<br />

pandemic has eased, we seek<br />

your patience in these matters<br />

as we re-commence discussions<br />

and push for an outcome in the<br />

coming months. This will finalise<br />

the government’s response to<br />

the parliamentary inquiry into<br />

the 2017 industry reforms, which<br />

included a recommendation to<br />

review the transitional funding<br />

package for perpetual taxi and<br />

hire car licence owners.<br />

While our most important and<br />

difficult battle has proceeded<br />

slowly in the background, we<br />

have had many wins along the<br />

way which would not have been<br />

possible without the continued<br />

support of our members and the<br />

invaluable work of my team. See<br />

next page for details.<br />

14 <strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong>


specific to the Victorian<br />


Made touting illegal in Victoria.<br />

Worked with the government and relevant authorities to retain the issue of VH series plates for<br />

hire cars.<br />

Secured amendments to ensure a parliamentary inquiry proceeded to review the Commercial<br />

Passenger Vehicle industry reforms of 2017.<br />

Continue to work with the government to develop their final response to the recommendations<br />

arising from the inquiry.<br />

Successfully liaised with the Australian Taxation Office in a review of the tax treatment of<br />

Fairness Fund payments made to industry stakeholders. This led to hundreds of thousands of<br />

dollars in taxes being refunded to industry members.<br />

Being appointed to an advisory panel providing recommendations to the Transport Minister in<br />

response to the impact of Covid-19 on the CPV industry.<br />

Secured a $22 million COVID-19 support package for the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry.<br />

Successfully lobbied to have the CPV industry included in the May 2021 lockdown business<br />

support grants valued at $5000. These continued throughout the year.<br />

Secured a parliamentary inquiry into the Multi Purpose Taxi Program, which is yet to deliver its<br />

recommendations.<br />

Successfully lobbied the government to have the taxi and hire car industry included in the<br />

eligibility for the Business Costs Assistance Program during lockdowns. These grants were valued<br />

at up to $2800 per week.<br />

Successfully lobbied members of the Legislative Council to pass my motion to acknowledge the<br />

damage caused to taxi and hire car licence holders by the 2017 reforms.<br />

Repeatedly and successfully used my position in parliament to highlight the failings of the<br />

industry regulator and applied significant pressure for improvements which subsequently led to<br />

the resignation of CEO Aaron de Rosario.<br />

Successfully supported countless industry stakeholders in their dealings with government bodies<br />

and navigating through red tape to accomplish positive results.<br />

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au<br />

<strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />


Industry battles continue - and so does Rod!<br />

These outcomes and many others<br />

would simply not have been<br />

realised without my involvement<br />

and the advocacy of the Transport<br />

Matters Party. My role in parliament<br />

has given me a platform to provide<br />

the industry with a voice which<br />

would not otherwise be heard.<br />

It is an election year, and we<br />

are already seeing a repeat of<br />

the behaviour ahead of the last<br />

election, with the opposition<br />

whispering sweet nothings in the<br />

ears of our stakeholders. While<br />

we appreciate their sympathetic<br />

view, we should also consider their<br />

slim track record for achieving<br />

successful outcomes on behalf of<br />

the industry. Let there be no doubt<br />

that I am on my own.<br />

Words are cheap, and a mere<br />

reminder of the financial<br />

destruction caused by the reforms<br />

does nothing to change the lives<br />

of anyone. Actions are what are<br />

needed. The opposition must be<br />

held to account to explain precisely<br />

how they intend to rectify matters.<br />

Prior to the last state election, this<br />

amounted to a pledge to review<br />

the Fairness Fund and lacked<br />

any firm commitment to award<br />

compensation to licence holders.<br />

Since TMP was formed and my<br />

election to parliament, I have<br />

taken my commitment to seriously<br />

representing the industry. The<br />

primary aim has always been to<br />

try to repair the past and work<br />

to improve the industry for all<br />

stakeholders going forward. The<br />

list of our achievements is evidence<br />

that this has not changed.<br />

“<br />

I will continue to<br />

fight your battles<br />

for as long as I am<br />

given a platform in<br />

parliament to do so.<br />

However, I cannot<br />

do this alone – there<br />

is strength only in<br />

numbers.<br />

16 <strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

I know what it is like to have<br />

your struggles, experiences<br />

and opinions ignored. That<br />

is why I came to Parliament<br />

to fight for our community,<br />

accountability, and fairness.<br />



Phone: (03) 9850 8600<br />

Email: rod.barton@parliament.vic.gov.au<br />

www.rodbarton.com.au<br />

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au<br />

<strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

RodBartonMP<br />


We all know the financial<br />

devastation and the ongoing<br />

lifetime of financial hardship<br />

the Dan Andrews government<br />

has caused to thousands of taxi<br />

families with their taxi industry<br />

reforms, where we have lost the<br />

value of our taxi licences. But it<br />

does not stop there for those who<br />

are still in the taxi industry and<br />

operate a taxi.<br />

But government reforms have<br />

had a further ongoing financial<br />

effect on taxi operators - on their<br />

daily income by not being able to<br />

operate a taxi 24/7 because of the<br />

lack of drivers. This is because<br />

drivers can now become their own<br />

taxi operator by simply making an<br />

application to government and<br />

paying a small fee.<br />

This has dramatically changed<br />

the taxi industry in that it is<br />

now predominantly made up of<br />

owners/ drivers mainly working 12-<br />

hour shifts five days per week.<br />

So why are taxi operators still<br />

paying historic network fees for<br />

access to their Booking Service<br />

Providers (BSP) [previously called<br />

taxi networks] 24/7, 365 days of<br />

the year, if they do not require the<br />

services of their BSP 24/7, 365 days<br />

a year?<br />

Why should taxi operators be<br />

forced to pay for services that<br />

are not required when taking an<br />

annual four week holiday and<br />

cannot get drivers and have no<br />

income for that?<br />

Or their taxi is off the road due to<br />

the owner/driver being sick or due<br />

to a car accident?<br />

We cannot work 365 days a year<br />

without a break!<br />

It is time for BSPs to get<br />

with the changes!<br />

I would like the taxi industry to<br />

change and move with the times<br />

and review their network fee<br />

charges to taxi operators to make<br />

it fair for all players.<br />

For example, there are seven<br />

hundred and twelve 12-hour shifts<br />

per calendar year. Based on a five<br />

day working week of 12 hour shifts<br />

equals 260 shifts; less four weeks<br />

of annual holidays of 20 shifts<br />

equates to a taxi operator only<br />

working a total of 240 shifts per<br />

year.<br />

That leaves four hundred and<br />

ninety 12-hour shifts not worked,<br />

and taxi operators are forced<br />

to pay for a service that is not<br />

required.<br />

It is totally unfair when BSPs are<br />

grossly overcharging fees to taxi<br />

operators where services are not<br />

required. We face should reflect<br />

on the service provided. Changes<br />

need to be made by the BSPs and<br />

have networks fees charged to<br />

taxi operators based on payment<br />

for service for each 12-hour shift<br />

for a taxi operator’s vehicle he’s<br />

logged on, which would cater and<br />

be fairer for all players.<br />

Transition to retirement to<br />

retain taxi operators longer.<br />

Many taxi operators leave the<br />

taxi industry because there is<br />

no flexibility for transition to<br />

retirement when they wish to<br />

work three or four days or shifts<br />

per week but quit the industry due<br />

to paying the total fixed monthly<br />

annual network fees.<br />

In the past, taxi operators could<br />

transition to retirement by simply<br />

engaging drivers to work their<br />

cabs. Still, today this is not a viable<br />

option, notwithstanding that<br />

one cannot get drivers to do so<br />

anyway.<br />

If the BSPs were to restructure<br />

their fees to reflect payment for<br />

service every time a taxi driver logs<br />

on for a 12-hour shift, this would<br />

address issues of transition to<br />

retirement. It’s time for change!<br />

Peter Manikus<br />

Owner/Operator since 1976<br />

18 <strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

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<strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />


NEW SOUTH WALES news<br />

QLD News<br />

New<br />

EV Plan<br />



The Queensland Government's<br />

new $55 million EV package<br />

will send a strong signal to the<br />

global industry that the Sunshine<br />

State is an appealing place to be,<br />

according to the Electric Vehicle<br />

Council.<br />

The new package includes $3000<br />

incentives for EV purchases and<br />

$10 million for new charging<br />

infrastructure.<br />

"Queensland was the first<br />

Australian state to develop<br />

an EV strategy and today's<br />

announcement shows there's<br />

still strong momentum toward<br />

an electric future in the Sunshine<br />

State," said Electric Vehicle Council<br />

chief executive Behyad Jafari.<br />

"Instead of filling up on foreign<br />

oil, Queensland drivers should be<br />

filling up on the abundant sunshine<br />

and wind their state offers.<br />

"We know Queensland drivers<br />

already have great enthusiasm<br />

about the idea of switching to an<br />

EV; this package will help convert a<br />

lot of that enthusiasm to action.<br />

"Now what we need is for the<br />

federal government to back<br />

Queensland's efforts and support<br />

it with overdue reform like the<br />

introduction of fuel efficiency<br />

standards."<br />

Mr Jafari noted that while this<br />

package was welcome there<br />

was still ample room for future<br />

progress.<br />

"Direct company incentives would<br />

also attract more EV supply chain<br />

investment to the state. And with<br />

a strong manufacturing presence<br />

in the state, the Queensland<br />

Government might also consider<br />

ways to support the uptake of<br />

electric trucks.<br />

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Training<br />

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20 <strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

REPORTING <strong>DRIVE</strong>RS<br />


QUEENSLAND news<br />

Any Booking Entity Authorisation<br />

(BEA) holder who ends a work<br />

arrangement with a driver due<br />

to serious misconduct, must<br />

immediately let Department of<br />

Transport and Main Roads (TMR)<br />

know.<br />

This includes ending the work<br />

arrangement if the driver:<br />

• has committed a driver<br />

disqualifying offence<br />

• did not provide a public<br />

passenger service safely<br />

while driving a motor vehicle,<br />

such as driving unsafely<br />

• has committed an offence<br />

against a provision of<br />

relevant transport legislation<br />

relating to using a motor<br />

vehicle, such as the driver<br />

providing an unauthorised<br />

taxi or booked hire service<br />

• was a threat to the safety<br />

of any person, particularly<br />

a child or other vulnerable<br />

member of the community<br />

• If you end a working<br />

arrangement for other minor<br />

matters, for example, if the<br />

driver isn't meeting customer<br />

service standards, then you<br />

don't need to notify the<br />

department.<br />

Notifying TMR is easy, here's how:<br />

• Fill out the Notification of<br />

Driver Disaffiliation form.<br />

Give as much information as<br />

you can. This will help avoid<br />

double handling.<br />

• Send the completed form to<br />

bhslhub@translink.com.au.<br />

For more information about the<br />

requirements, please visit the<br />

Personalised Transport Industry -<br />

Driver Disaffiliation webpage.<br />

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au<br />

<strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />


Here are some ways<br />

to build connection<br />

into your routine...<br />

Create a list:<br />

Think about who in your world,<br />

personal or professional, near or far<br />

who might be struggling.<br />

Dedicate the time:<br />

Make asking, "are you OK?" part of<br />

your routine.<br />

Choose your channel:<br />

R U OK?<br />

is encouraging everyone to<br />

stay connected as we all navigate<br />

the challenges of <strong>2022</strong><br />

There’s a lot going on right now, both at home and abroad, that we can’t control.<br />

In these times, it’s normal to experience feelings of hopelessness, uncertainty or<br />

to feel overwhelmed.<br />

However, one thing we can control is reaching out to our friends, family, and<br />

colleagues to check in with one another and stay connected.<br />

We can benefit from chatting things out, sharing what’s happening in our<br />

worlds and perhaps gaining some new perspectives.<br />

Communicate in a way that works<br />

for you both: make a phone call,<br />

send an SMS, video call, email or, if<br />

you can meet in person you might<br />

want to go for a walk together, chat<br />

over the fence or catch up for a<br />

cuppa.<br />

Connecting with someone can help them feel more grounded amidst what<br />

might feel like chaos and remind them that you’re there to listen and support<br />

them when needed.

Transport Matters<br />

It affects you, your family, your job,<br />

your community, your safety and<br />

your environment.<br />

Your HELP is<br />

needed to spread<br />

the message...<br />

Help Transport Matters Party advocate<br />

for improved road safety, public transport<br />

and a viable commercial passenger<br />

vehicle industry by joining as a member<br />

or gifting a donation.<br />

We stand for fairness, for community and we<br />

strive to deliver solutions to Victoria’s biggest<br />

transport issues.<br />

Transport Matters Party's (TMP) success relies on the support<br />

of Victorians residing everywhere. With your support we will<br />

succeed in getting the word out that we are here to make a<br />

difference and we will be a driving force for change.<br />

For more information visit: www.transportmatters.org.au

Will Elon Musk End The<br />

Fossil Fuel Industry? by David Waterworth<br />

How responsible is Elon Musk in<br />

causing the disruption that is now<br />

evident throughout the world. In a<br />

nutshell, very much so. EVs have been<br />

around since the invention of the<br />

automobile but never have they been<br />

as desirable till the introduction of the<br />

Model S and the serious shift it created<br />

in people's imaginations.<br />

Are oil and car executives hiding<br />

their heads in the sand? (Looking for<br />

more oil reserves perhaps?) Is Musk<br />

right about the end of the fossil fuel<br />

industry? UK-based research and<br />

analysis group Rethink Energy (no<br />

affiliation with RethinkX) believes so.<br />

In a recent email from Lead Analyst<br />

Peter White, he states: “Come<br />

2027/8 the Electric Vehicle sales will<br />

overcome the rise of pandemic fossil<br />

fuel recovery and oil will get squeezed.<br />

Bankruptcy for oil follows swiftly. If<br />

total car sales do NOT recover from<br />

the pandemic (which I expect) within<br />

five years, then oil begins to falter<br />

sooner. Only one or two oil companies<br />

survive 2030, but as ailing players<br />

whose time has come. Our forecasts<br />

assume total car sales globally recover<br />

to pre-pandemic levels in 5 years, and<br />

that 2025 or 2026 oil sales get close<br />

to 2019 levels, and then fall away<br />

rapidly at a rate of 5% per annum (the<br />

pandemic was only 9.5%).”<br />

White anticipates the potential of the<br />

US EV market accelerating faster than<br />

the rest of the globe. New players<br />

like Tesla, Rivian, Fisker, and Lucid<br />

have optimistic expansion plans.<br />

Both Ford and GM are announcing<br />

new EVs regularly and are desperate<br />

to keep market share. Ford’s F-150<br />

Lightning and Mustang Mach-E are<br />

good examples where demand has<br />

outstripped production and plans have<br />

had to be frequently upgraded.<br />

Volkswagen will soon be building<br />

EVs on American soil, and Asian<br />

manufacturers are aiming to import<br />

as well (Vinfast from Vietnam is a<br />

recent example). This year’s Super<br />

Bowl had eight commercials for EVs<br />

— and they were worth watching.<br />

Automakers are collaborating with<br />

battery manufacturers, and many new<br />

factories are being built.<br />

By 2036, 100% of all cars sold in the US<br />

will be electric vehicles, and by 2037<br />

more than half of all the cars on US<br />

roads will be EVs. By 2049, all cars in<br />

the US will be zero-emission vehicles,<br />

the great bulk of them EVs.<br />

So..... Will Musk End Fossil Fuels?<br />

Yes, I think Musk will end the fossil<br />

fuel industry, or at least be one of the<br />

major destructors.<br />

24 <strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

New EV<br />

With<br />

1100 km<br />

Range<br />

Range anxiety? Well, you don’t need<br />

1100kms of range to do the daily<br />

drive (Australian average daily drive<br />

= 38kms), but it sure would help on a<br />

trip from Sydney to Melbourne, where<br />

you wouldn’t even need to stop for a<br />

battery top-up.<br />

Solar 3.0:<br />

This New<br />

Technology<br />

Could Change<br />

Everything<br />

Perovskite, named after Lev Perovski who discovered the mineral<br />

in the Ural mountains in 1839, solar cells are being researched<br />

globally and are on the verge of being incorporated into<br />

commercial applications.<br />

Perovskite solar tech has a much higher efficiency than the<br />

typical silicon cells that we see on rooftops today which are<br />

about 20% efficient. By comparison Perovskite cells have an<br />

efficiency double that with a real-world level of around 30%+<br />

and are up to 15 times cheaper to produce. It is predicted that<br />

incorporating these cells into vehicle bodies will be the way<br />

the majority of EVs will be built in the future, harvesting energy<br />

directly from the sun. Already Lightyear, Sono Motors and Aptera<br />

Motors are incorporating existing solar tech into their models.<br />

Hozon is the parent company of Neta<br />

Autos, and by the end of this year,<br />

they are going to be one of the biggest<br />

car manufacturers in the world - and<br />

nobody's heard of them!<br />

Neta has three models of EVs<br />

available in China and their sales are<br />

skyrocketing. The 1100kms Neta S is a<br />

stunner, chock full of tech and due first<br />

deliveries at the end of the year.<br />

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au<br />

<strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />


26 <strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

Western<br />

Australia<br />




news<br />

The new TUSS<br />

Processor<br />

Black & White Cabs Pty Ltd was the successful respondent in a recent open tender to appoint a<br />

contractor to manage Taxi User Subsidy Scheme (TUSS) voucher processing in WA.<br />

Black & White Cabs will begin processing TUSS vouchers from 1 May <strong>2022</strong>.<br />

Swan Taxis will continue to process and pay TUSS vouchers until this date and will accept vouchers<br />

until 5.00pm Friday, 22 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong>.<br />


Submitting vouchers in <strong>April</strong><br />

The outgoing contractor, Swan Taxis, will accept TUSS<br />

vouchers for processing until 5.00pm Friday, 22 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong> –<br />

no vouchers will be accepted from any drivers or on-demand<br />

booking services (ODBSs) after this day.<br />

To guarantee your vouchers are processed in time, please<br />

hand them to Swan Taxis directly at:<br />

7 Harvey Street,<br />

Victoria Park WA 6100<br />

If you can’t attend the Swan Taxis office, you can post your<br />

vouchers. Make sure to post your vouchers as early as<br />

possible, as Australia Post is currently experiencing delays.<br />

Friday 15 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong> is the deadline to send your vouchers. You<br />

may choose to use Express Post to help ensure your vouchers<br />

arrive on time.<br />

Any intended voucher submissions from Saturday 23 <strong>April</strong><br />

onwards must be postponed until Sunday 1 May <strong>2022</strong>.<br />

Submitting vouchers<br />

from May onwards<br />

From 1 May <strong>2022</strong>, drivers and<br />

ODBSs should submit completed<br />

TUSS vouchers in person or by<br />

post to:<br />

Black & White Cabs,<br />

1/33 Frederick Street,<br />

Belmont WA 6104<br />

or by post to:<br />

Black & White Cabs, PO Box 184,<br />

Belmont WA 6984<br />

Once validated, Black & White<br />

Cabs will credit the driver's<br />

nominated Australian bank<br />

account within 5 working days.<br />

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au<br />

<strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />


NSW News<br />

Over 50<br />

MPs sign<br />

PLEDGE<br />

More than 50 Members of Parliament<br />

(MP’s) from the Upper House and the<br />

Lower House of the NSW Parliament<br />

across several political parties<br />

have signed the NSW Taxi Industry<br />

Pledge, supporting fair and proper<br />

compensation for all Taxi Licence<br />

Owners in NSW.<br />

The NSW Taxi Council appreciates the<br />

support and assistance from the NSW<br />

Taxi Licence Owners who have reached<br />

out to their Local MP to get the NSW<br />

Taxi Industry Pledge signed. Thank you.<br />

We also express our gratitude to more<br />

than 50 NSW MP’s who have signed<br />

the NSW Taxi Industry Pledge across a<br />

number of Parties.<br />

Taxi Licence Owners in NSW have lost<br />

the value of their NSW Taxi Licences<br />

since the NSW Government changed<br />

the rules governing the Taxi Industry in<br />

2016. Transport for NSW are preparing<br />

a Bill on further reforms in the Pointto-Point<br />

Transport Industry to be<br />

introduced into the NSW Parliament in<br />

<strong>2022</strong>. The NSW Government proposes<br />

to cancel all existing Taxi Licences<br />

with inadequate compensation and<br />

issue unlimited annual licences for a<br />

small fee, abolish operating areas, and<br />

deregulate fares.<br />

The NSW Taxi Council continues to<br />

coordinate with Taxi Licence Owners<br />

across NSW to make an appointment<br />

with their Local Member of Parliament<br />

and request their Local MP adds their<br />

name, electorate, signature and date to<br />

the NSW Taxi Industry Pledge, showing<br />

their support towards fair and proper<br />

compensation for the loss in value of<br />

Taxi Licences in NSW.<br />

So far, over 50 MP’s have signed the<br />

NSW Taxi Industry pledge and it is<br />

critical we keep the push going.<br />

To find a list of NSW MP’s who have<br />

signed the NSW Taxi Industry pledge,<br />

please visit the NSW Taxi Council<br />

website here - https://www.nswtaxi.<br />

org.au/mp-s-who-have-signed-thepledge<br />

28 <strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

NEW SOUTH WALES news<br />





The Australian Newspaper reported<br />

in <strong>March</strong> <strong>2022</strong> that a billiondollar<br />

compensation package<br />

is being developed by the NSW<br />

Government for the Taxi Licence<br />

Owners in NSW, who have suffered<br />

a loss in value of their Taxi Licences,<br />

since the NSW Government<br />

changed the rules governing the<br />

Taxi Industry in 2016. The NSW Taxi<br />

Council has requested a meeting<br />

with the NSW Government to<br />

provide more details on the news<br />

story published by the Australian.<br />

Martin Rogers – CEO, NSW Taxi<br />

Council said, “We welcome the<br />

news that the NSW Government<br />

is considering an increased<br />

compensation package for the<br />

NSW Taxi Industry. We need to<br />

see the details of the package to<br />

see what it means for each of our<br />

members, the Taxi Licence Owners<br />

across NSW. We would like to<br />

thank our members across NSW –<br />

the Taxi Licence Owners for their<br />

continued support in bringing this<br />

matter to the awareness of their<br />

Local Member of Parliament.”<br />

The NSW Government destroyed<br />

the savings of Taxi licence owners<br />

in how they legalised rideshare<br />

in 2015 and subsequent reforms<br />

in 2016 and fair and proper<br />

compensation, is the vital, first<br />

step for the NSW Government to<br />

get right. The NSW Taxi Council<br />

proposed a workable, no-net cost<br />

solution to the NSW Government.<br />

Furthermore, the NSW Taxi Council<br />

requested Taxi Licence Owners<br />

across NSW to reach out to their<br />

Local Member of Parliament to<br />

sign the NSW Taxi Industry Pledge,<br />

in support of fair and proper<br />

compensation. We have had 58<br />

Members of Parliament across all<br />

political parties sign the NSW Taxi<br />

Industry Pledge.<br />

Mr Rogers said, “There is evidence<br />

of cross-party support in the NSW<br />

Parliament to address the matter.<br />

The NSW Taxi Industry welcomes<br />

the ‘sympathetic ear’ of the NSW<br />

Transport Minister – David Elliott<br />

and his further comments on<br />

having the industry’s back and the<br />

need to resolve the matter of Taxi<br />

Licence Compensation”.<br />

“We are actively engaging with the<br />

NSW Government to understand<br />

the finer details of the package<br />

and look forward to receiving<br />

more information from the<br />

NSW Government regarding the<br />

proposed compensation package”,<br />

Mr Rogers added.<br />

The NSW Government needs<br />

to ensure fair and proper<br />

compensation for Taxi licence<br />

owners. With any further reforms<br />

ensuring a regulated system<br />

remains, that supports a Taxi<br />

industry that encourages future<br />

business investment and provides a<br />

viable, reliable and affordable travel<br />

option for passengers across all of<br />

NSW.<br />

This article was prepared based on the<br />

news story - “$1bn for NSW cabbies to<br />

soften Uber blow” published in The<br />

Australian by Yoni Bashan in <strong>March</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au<br />

<strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />


NEW SOUTH WALES news<br />


CONFERENCE <strong>2022</strong><br />




The NSW Taxi Industry State<br />

Conference has been the<br />

cornerstone for bringing<br />

together the NSW Taxi Industry<br />

stakeholders over the years.<br />

The NSW Taxi Industry State<br />

Conference -<strong>2022</strong> – ‘’Embracing<br />

the Future Together’’ was held<br />

on 27-28 <strong>March</strong> <strong>2022</strong> at WEST HQ<br />

(Novotel), Rooty Hill, Sydney, with<br />

industry stakeholders across the<br />

whole of NSW attending. It was<br />

the first time we were able to<br />

meet face to face in 2 and ½ years.<br />

The <strong>2022</strong> Conference offered the<br />

Delegates, Exhibitors, Sponsors,<br />

Speakers and Industry Partners<br />

from all over NSW, who attended<br />

the event, an opportunity to<br />

meet-up, shake hands, share<br />

ideas and have an enjoyable<br />

time across the two days. It also<br />

provided a great opportunity<br />

for the industry suppliers to<br />

showcase their products and<br />

services in a professional and safe<br />

environment.<br />

30 <strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au<br />

<strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />


NEW SOUTH WALES news<br />


CONFERENCE <strong>2022</strong><br />


Geoff Ferris – Chairman, Taxis<br />

NSW & President, Country Taxi<br />

Operators Association and<br />

Martin Rogers – CEO, NSW Taxi<br />

Council opened the Conference<br />

by welcoming all the delegates<br />

and stakeholders from the<br />

NSW Taxi Industry attending<br />

the event and provided current<br />

industry insights and updates.<br />

The delegates also took a<br />

moment to remember the valued<br />

and respected stakeholders of<br />

the NSW Taxi Industry who have<br />

sadly passed away in the past<br />

two years.<br />

Craig Rispin – Business Futurist<br />

and Innovation Expert gave<br />

the keynote speech for the<br />

Conference focussing on the<br />

current and future trends<br />

impacting the NSW Taxi<br />

Industry.<br />

Craig motivated the delegates<br />

to come up with 20 topics<br />

which they would like to discuss<br />

over the two days at the<br />

Conference in the Open Space<br />

Interactive Sessions.<br />

The format for the <strong>2022</strong><br />

Conference – Open Space<br />

Interactive Sessions was very<br />

well received and appreciated<br />

by the delegates attending<br />

the event, as everyone had an<br />

opportunity to share their ideas<br />

and raise questions.<br />

Delegates were also able to<br />

have an open discussion with<br />

other industry Stakeholders,<br />

developing solutions together.<br />

This resulted in a suite of ideas<br />

and solutions which would<br />

benefit the delegates and the<br />

NSW Taxi Industry more broadly.<br />

In total, twenty Open Space<br />

Interactive Sessions were held<br />

over two days of the Conference.<br />

Centering on the Speaker<br />

sessions, Steve Gamble –<br />

Man Anchor, explained the<br />

importance of health and wellbeing<br />

to the delegates, focusing<br />

on mental health.<br />

Leonie Kyriacou - Partner, Pigott<br />

Stinson Lawyers, provided an<br />

Industry update on the current<br />

safety and regulatory matters<br />

impacting the NSW Taxi Industry.<br />

Furthermore, Nick Abrahim –<br />

Deputy CEO, NSW Taxi Council,<br />

presented on the Disability<br />

Reference Group (DRG) – a<br />

reference group including<br />

representatives from the NSW<br />

Taxi Industry and the Disability<br />

sector,focused on addressing<br />

passengers’ needs with a<br />

disability. On behalf of the DRG,<br />

Nick and the support from Point<br />

to Point Transport Commission<br />

also launched the video on<br />

“Assistance Animals in the Point<br />

to Point Transport Industry”.<br />

Anthony Wing – Point to Point<br />

Transport Commissioner, NSW<br />

also provided an Industry update.<br />

32 <strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

NEW SOUTH WALES news<br />

Greg Kay – Head of Memberships<br />

& Partnerships, NSW Taxi Council<br />

presented the participants of the<br />

“Taxi Connect” Programme with<br />

the Achievement Certificates,<br />

for successful completion of the<br />

programme over 2020-2021.<br />

Additionally, the Q&A Panel<br />

Discussion at the <strong>2022</strong><br />

Conference was an opportunity<br />

for delegates to engage with the<br />

panellists - Anthony Wing, Point<br />

to Point Transport Commissioner;<br />

Leonie Kyriacou, Partner,<br />

Pigott Stinson Lawyers; Blair<br />

Davies, Australian Taxi Industry<br />

Association and Rod Barton,<br />

MLC - Transport Matters Party<br />

(Victoria) and raise important<br />

questions about the NSW Taxi<br />

Industry.<br />

Brian to the NSW Taxi Industry<br />

over the years.<br />

The NSW Taxi Industry State<br />

Conference <strong>2022</strong> concluded with<br />

a Hawaiian theme Gala Dinner,<br />

loaded with fun and games<br />

involving cookies, balloons,<br />

coconuts and pineapples, live<br />

music and delicious food.<br />

The NSW Taxi Council is thankful<br />

to all the delegates, speakers,<br />

industry partners, exhibitors, and<br />

sponsors for their support and<br />

contribution to a successful NSW<br />

Taxi Industry State Conference<br />

<strong>2022</strong> and looks forward to<br />

welcoming everyone to the 2023<br />

annual NSW Taxi Industry event.<br />

Overall, the delegates attending<br />

the event walked away with<br />

100 ideas discussed over the<br />

two days of the Conference via<br />

various Speaker Sessions and<br />

Open Space Interactive Sessions<br />

with a view to Embrace the<br />

Future Together.<br />

Moreover, a significant highlight<br />

of the <strong>2022</strong> Conference was<br />

honouring Brian Wilkins –<br />

President, NSW Taxi Industry<br />

Association and Country Director,<br />

Taxis NSW with a Lifetime<br />

Achievement Award, recognising<br />

the extraordinary contribution by<br />

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au<br />

<strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />




The Parliament of Australia Joint<br />

Select Committee on Road Safety<br />

has tabled the final report for its<br />

inquiry into Road Safety.<br />

The report examines factors<br />

contributing to fatal and serious<br />

injuries on Australian roads and<br />

considers opportunities to improve<br />

road safety outcomes through<br />

measures which:<br />

• support the design,<br />

construction, and<br />

maintenance of high-quality<br />

road infrastructure that<br />

minimises the likelihood and<br />

severity of road crashes;<br />

• encourage the uptake of<br />

modern vehicles fitted with<br />

proven safety features;<br />

• effectively manage speeds to<br />

safe levels and deter unsafe<br />

behaviours;<br />

• ensure all road users are<br />

equipped with the knowledge<br />

and skills to identify and<br />

respond appropriately to road<br />

safety risks;<br />

• embed road safety as part<br />

of ‘business as usual’ in<br />

public and private sector<br />

organisations;<br />

• promote safety for gig<br />

economy participants who use<br />

the road as a workplace;<br />

• enhance road safety in the<br />

heavy vehicle sector; and<br />

• contribute to effective postcrash<br />

response and trauma<br />

support.<br />

The report also identifies a need<br />

for effective leadership and<br />

oversight in relation to road safety<br />

at the national level, noting that<br />

efforts to improve road safety in<br />

the past have been stymied by<br />

poor governance, a lack of clearly<br />

defined responsibilities for reducing<br />

road trauma, and failures to report<br />

progress towards set targets in a<br />

meaningful way.<br />

In addition, the report highlights<br />

the importance of high-quality<br />

research and reliable, accurate<br />

data to understand the road safety<br />

environment and the design,<br />

implementation, and evaluation of<br />

innovative measures to improve<br />

road safety outcomes.<br />

The report includes 61<br />

recommendations relating to these<br />

matters.<br />

Committee Chair, the Hon Darren<br />

Chester MP, said that “road trauma<br />

touches the lives of all Australians,<br />

whether as victims of a road crash<br />

or as family members, friends, first<br />

responders, or members of the<br />

wider community.”<br />

“The committee’s report outlines<br />

a series of measures that may be<br />

taken to improve road safety in the<br />

short term, while also highlighting<br />

some of the steps that should<br />

be taken if we are to achieve<br />

sustainable reductions in road<br />

trauma into the future,” he added.<br />

Mr Chester also stated that “while<br />

the committee’s report outlines<br />

several areas where road safety<br />

can be enhanced, what is crucial is<br />

that governments at all levels take<br />

responsibility for reducing fatal<br />

and serious injuries on our roads,<br />

including implementing as a matter<br />

of urgency recommendations of<br />

this and other inquiries.”<br />

34 <strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

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Visit our website at www.taa-national.com.au<br />

CAR<br />

WASH<br />




MELROSE <strong>DRIVE</strong>, TULLAMARINE<br />

Hot drink available at Melrose Lounge - Taxi Holding Area<br />

Collect voucher from Unigas Office<br />

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au<br />

<strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />


Be<br />

Safe<br />

on the<br />

Roads<br />

at<br />

Easter<br />

With thousands of families heading away on<br />

road trips to tourist hot spots or many taking the<br />

opportunity to relax at home, RACV Policy Lead<br />

- Safety, Elvira Lazar and RACV General Manager<br />

Home, Darren Turner, have provided some timely<br />

advice.<br />

“We’re all really excited about the Easter holidays<br />

and the opportunities for travel and reunion. At<br />

this time, we need to take a moment to think about<br />

safety on the road and in the home,” Ms Lazar said.<br />

“Take the time to plan your trip before you depart,<br />

attempting to take major, more well-maintained<br />

roads where possible.”<br />

“To stay aware of potential emergency warnings<br />

and community information that could impact<br />

travel, utilise resources such as the RACV Arevo app,<br />

and the VicEmergency app – the official Victorian<br />

Government app.”<br />

“Schedule some breaks to ensure you’re well rested<br />

and have patience for your fellow motorists. Before<br />

you head off, make sure your insurance policies and<br />

RACV roadside assistance are up to date and that<br />

the water, oil and tyre pressure are all where they<br />

should be.”<br />

In addition to ensuring their road trip is as safe as<br />

possible, there’s a lot that can be done to ensure<br />

Victorians do not return home to a different kind of<br />

tragedy, says Darren Turner.<br />

“There are measures we can take to protect our<br />

homes and possessions while we are away,” Mr<br />

Turner said.<br />

“Make a trusted neighbour aware of your absence,<br />

and wherever possible, set a timer for some lights<br />

to come on at night. Double-check that every single<br />

door and window is locked properly.”<br />

“For those planning to make up for lost time<br />

with more than one holiday in <strong>2022</strong>, it’s worth<br />

considering installing an alarm system to protect<br />

your home and its contents – for a small monthly<br />

fee, your peace of mind will improve whether you’re<br />

going away for a weekend or three weeks.”<br />

36 <strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

MARCH/APRIL <strong>2022</strong> - EDITION 53<br />



National<br />

Magazine<br />

VIC<br />

Taxis, Hire Cars,<br />

Wedding Cars,<br />

Limousines<br />

Ascot Vale<br />

Westbourne<br />

Motors<br />

Ballarat<br />

Ballarat Taxis,<br />

Crown Cabs,<br />

Transport Security<br />

Cameras<br />

Bendigo<br />

Bendigo Taxis<br />

Brunswick East<br />

Platinum Taxis<br />

Campbellfield<br />

Taxi Hire Services<br />

Clayton South<br />

Schmidt Elec.<br />

Labs<br />

Clifton Hill<br />

SilverComm<br />

Coburg North<br />

Silver North Taxi<br />

Management<br />

Collingwood<br />

Silver Top Taxis<br />

Doncaster<br />

Rod Barton, MP<br />

Fitzroy<br />

Equity Transport<br />

Group<br />

Geelong North<br />

Geelong Taxi<br />

Network<br />

Lara<br />

Avalon Airport<br />

Arrivals Terminal<br />

Owners, Drivers,<br />

Partners, Operators<br />

Suppliers, Networks,<br />

Booking Service<br />

Providers<br />

Mildura<br />

Mildura Taxis,<br />

Crown Cabs,<br />

Transport Security<br />

Cameras<br />

Moorabbin<br />

Eastmoor Taxis<br />

North Melbourne<br />

13cabs,<br />

Alex Taxis,<br />

Live Taxi<br />

Oakleigh<br />

13cabs<br />

Port Melbourne<br />

Oiii,<br />

Netcabs<br />

Reservoir<br />

Exclusive Cab<br />

Management<br />

Shepparton<br />

Shepparaton Taxis<br />

Thomastown<br />

13cabs,<br />

Southern Cross<br />

Chauffeurs<br />

Tullamarine<br />

Black & White<br />

Cabs,<br />

Crown Cabs,<br />

Melrose Lounge<br />

Cafe,<br />

Taxi Hire Services,<br />

Transport Security<br />

Cameras<br />

Vermont<br />

Vermont Autogas<br />

West Melbourne<br />

Embassy Café<br />

Wodonga<br />

Wodonga Taxis<br />

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au<br />

QLD<br />

Albion<br />

Delta Taxi Management,<br />

Taxicomms<br />

Archerfield<br />

Transport Security Cameras,<br />

SLYYK Premium Transport<br />

Service<br />

Brisbane Airport<br />

Black & White Cabs<br />

Kelvin Grove<br />

KG Taxi Management<br />

Marcoola<br />

Suncoast Cabs<br />

Maryborough<br />

Black & White Cabs<br />

Mermaid Waters<br />

13cabs Gold Coast<br />

Southport<br />

Black & White Cabs<br />

Salisbury<br />

Occhi's Business Class Taxis,<br />

Crown Cabs<br />

Toowoomba<br />

Black & White Cabs<br />

Virginia<br />

QLD Limo Action Group,<br />

Transport Security Cameras<br />

Wooloongabba<br />

13cabs Brisbane<br />

SA<br />

Adelaide Airport<br />

13cabs - Adelaide<br />

Mile End<br />

Adelaide Independent<br />

Taxis<br />

Wayville<br />

Equity Transport<br />

Kilburn<br />

Suburban Taxis<br />

Mile End South<br />

Taxi Council of SA<br />

<strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

WA<br />

NSW<br />

Alexandria<br />

13cabs,<br />

NSW Taxi Council<br />

Arncliffe<br />

Sanitisation<br />

Station<br />

Bankstown<br />

Mikhael & Co<br />

Mech Repairs<br />

Cromer<br />

Manly Warringah<br />

Cabs<br />

Granville<br />

Premier Cabs<br />

Dubbo<br />

Dubbo Bus Lines<br />

Kingsgrove<br />

St George Cabs<br />

Leumeah<br />

Sanitisation<br />

Station<br />

Mascot<br />

RSL Cabs,<br />

GM Cabs<br />

Victoria Park<br />

Swan Taxis Pty Ltd<br />

Belmont<br />

Black & White Cabs<br />

13cabs<br />

Greenfields<br />

Mandurah Taxis<br />

Osborne Park<br />

Nova Communications<br />

Perth Airport<br />

Perth Airport Taxi Rank<br />

Wangara<br />

Transport Security<br />

Cameras<br />

Mayfield West<br />

13cabs<br />

Newscastle<br />

13cabs<br />

North Parramatta<br />

Sanitisation<br />

Station<br />

Padstow<br />

Black & White<br />

Cabs<br />

Prestons<br />

13cabs, Taxi Tech<br />

Seven Hills<br />

Sanitisation<br />

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Almost two-thirds (64%) of Aussies consider<br />

themselves excellent drivers, but nearly a<br />

quarter (23%) ask their parents how to keep<br />

their car maintained.<br />

With a love for road trips, motorsports and driving<br />

video games, Aussies are confident when it comes<br />

to hitting the road. But new research from mycar<br />

Tyre & Auto reveals that although Aussies are<br />

enthusiastic about driving, some are still unsure of<br />

what our cars actually need.<br />

As a nation that feels at home behind the wheel,<br />

Aussies say the more years of experience a licence<br />

holder has, the more confident they feel in both<br />

their driving ability and their knowledge of road<br />

rules, with 45–54-year-olds most likely to call<br />

themselves excellent drivers (70%). However, over a<br />

third of Aussies (35%) don’t know what tyre is best<br />

for their vehicle and their driving style.<br />

Despite half of the nation playing or streaming<br />

video games (46%), most choose to add more<br />

power (33%) and change their car’s aesthetics (31%)<br />

before upgrading their wheels and tyres (25%) when<br />

playing driving games.<br />

To truly understand the difference between<br />

driving in real life and in-game, mycar Tyre & Auto<br />

partnered with popular video game personality<br />

Stephanie 'Hex' Bendixsen to experience a series<br />

of driving challenges IRL. From heavy braking to<br />

tight cornering in the wet, Hex learnt first-hand the<br />

impact good tyres can make.<br />

"When I'm driving in video games there's no<br />

consequence for losing traction. But when it comes<br />

to safety in real life, I think I underestimated the<br />

difference good tyres with plenty of tread can<br />

make. You don't have to be an expert to feel the<br />

difference when it comes to that grip and security.<br />

38 <strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

It's something I learned on the<br />

track and might even carry over<br />

into my gaming,” said Hex.<br />

The research also found Aussies<br />

are opinionated when it comes<br />

to what makes both good and<br />

bad drivers, labelling the top five<br />

attributes of excellent drivers as:<br />

• Being cautious (79%)<br />

• Being courteous to others<br />

on the road (75%)<br />

• Never texting while driving<br />

(74%)<br />

• Ensuring your car is serviced<br />

and roadworthy (73%)<br />

• Making sure your passengers<br />

always wear a seatbelt (72%)<br />

Unsurprisingly, the top five<br />

identifiers of bad drivers are the<br />

opposite:<br />

• Driving recklessly (87%)<br />

• Using your mobile phone<br />

when driving (83%)<br />

• Being distracted behind the<br />

wheel (82%)<br />

• Having poor knowledge of<br />

the road rules (74%)<br />

• Driving an unroadworthy<br />

and unserviced car (64%)<br />

There are a few everyday road<br />

risks that make Aussies sweat,<br />

with wet road driving named the<br />

most nerve-wracking scenario<br />

(59%) followed by heavy/busy<br />

traffic (44%) and high speeds on<br />

motorways (27%).<br />

So it’s clear Aussies place a great<br />

deal of importance on on-road<br />

safety. However, fewer have the<br />

same assurance when it comes<br />

to their understanding of car<br />

maintenance.<br />

While 84% of the nation plans on<br />

servicing their car this year, less<br />

than one-third consider whether<br />

their tyres are suitable for the<br />

journey ahead and just over half<br />

get their tyres checked regularly.<br />

For those who don’t keep up<br />

with their logbook servicing, 29%<br />

say they will wait until their car<br />

has an issue, a further 29% don’t<br />

know the type of maintenance<br />

their car needs, 20% don’t see the<br />

point in it and 17% don’t have the<br />

time.<br />

Managing Director of mycar Tyre<br />

& Auto, Adam Pay, said having<br />

good, well-maintained tyres on<br />

your car is essential to keeping<br />

you safe on the road, especially<br />

in situations like wet road driving<br />

and high-speed motorways.<br />

“Tyres can sometimes be an<br />

afterthought when it comes to<br />

taking care of our vehicles, but<br />

the fact is, they are one of the<br />

most important components<br />

when it comes to car safety.<br />

Tyres that maintain the correct<br />

air pressure and have a safe<br />

tread depth are more effective<br />

when turning, accelerating and<br />

braking.”<br />

“With the current wet weather<br />

across much of the nation, this<br />

has never been more apparent.”<br />

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au<br />

<strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />


Driver JOBS<br />



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Nelson Bay Taxis are looking for additional driver to<br />

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40 <strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong>



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www.drivenow-magazine.com.au<br />

<strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />


How successful is Australia's<br />

COVID-19 booster rollout?<br />

Is it enough ahead of Winter?<br />

Isabelle Lane and Amy Hall recently wrote an article for SBS regarding vaccines and boosters<br />

against COVID-19 coming into the Winter months in Australia. We have reprinted an excerpt of<br />

their article here, for your perusal.<br />

Australia's COVID-19 cases are<br />

surging as Omicron BA.2 'gains<br />

momentum'. Here's what it means<br />

Epidemiologists say Australia is in<br />

the midst of what is effectively a<br />

"second wave" of Omicron, this<br />

time driven by the more infectious<br />

BA.2 variant.<br />

Australia's COVID-19 case numbers<br />

are surging again as the Omicron<br />

BA.2 sub-variant spreads across<br />

the nation, and epidemiologists<br />

fear the growing outbreak could<br />

again put the nation's healthcare<br />

system under strain.<br />

Currently, an estimated 60% of<br />

COVID-19 infections in Australia are<br />

from the BA.2 variant, 39% from<br />

BA.1, and 1% from other variants<br />

including Delta.<br />

The 'effective reproduction' or<br />

Reff number has also been rising,<br />

which means "people infected<br />

with COVID-19 have been infecting<br />

a greater number of people",<br />

explained epidemiologist Nancy<br />

Baxter, head of the Melbourne<br />

School of Population and Global<br />

Health at the University of<br />

Melbourne.<br />

"In the past, when the outbreak<br />

was shrinking, one person was<br />

transmitting it to less than one<br />

person on average. Now it's<br />

definitely above one. In many<br />

states it's gone to 1.2, which<br />

means that the outbreak is gaining<br />

momentum now," Professor<br />

Baxter said.<br />

“In NSW a month ago, we had<br />

cases per day as low as 5,000.<br />

Today, we have around 24,000. So<br />

there's clearly something different<br />

happening.”<br />

“We're starting to see hospital<br />

numbers and ICU numbers go up,<br />

and we know that those metrics<br />

trail the rise in cases. So we'd<br />

expect hospitalisations to be<br />

trending upwards as well and will<br />

42 <strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

continue to do so until after the<br />

peak is reached."<br />

What’s driving the<br />

transmission?<br />

The BA.2 variant is more infectious<br />

than the original Omicron<br />

strain, but eased restrictions<br />

and changing behaviour are<br />

also contributing to its spread,<br />

Professor Baxter said.<br />

“Our behaviour has changed<br />

because we've lifted restrictions,<br />

lifted protections, so we have<br />

people going back to work, lifted<br />

mask mandates, changed the<br />

close contact rules and these<br />

types of things. All of these things<br />

have driven opportunities for<br />

transmission,” she said.<br />

Will the healthcare<br />

system cope?<br />

The BA.2 wave will likely have<br />

a higher peak than BA.1, which<br />

will put pressure on health care<br />

services, Professor Esterman said.<br />

Professor Esterman noted federal<br />

and state governments, except<br />

South Australia, which has<br />

retained mask mandates, have<br />

little appetite for reimposing<br />

COVID-19 restrictions, but may<br />

be forced to do so as the BA.2<br />

outbreak worsens.<br />

"We're at the beginning of the end<br />

of the pandemic, but we're not<br />

there yet.”<br />

While intensive care units (ICUs)<br />

are expected to "be able to<br />

manage" the BA.2 outbreak,<br />

"There could be more stress on<br />

the system, particularly for people<br />

who are unwell but not ICU<br />

unwell", Professor Baxter said.<br />

COVID-19 is “not going<br />

away”, and the risk<br />

of reinfection is real,<br />

Professor Baxter said.<br />

“Instead of thinking about the<br />

inevitability of COVID and why<br />

bother trying, you should be<br />

thinking about how many times<br />

you want to get COVID. You<br />

probably don't want to get COVID<br />

as often as you get a cold,” she<br />

said.<br />

“So what can I do to<br />

reduce my chance of<br />

getting infected? That's<br />

vaccines for sure and<br />

boosters, but it's also<br />

being smart.”<br />

“In the next three or four weeks,<br />

states and territories and the<br />

federal government will have to<br />

consider reimposing public health<br />

measures because our hospital<br />

numbers will get too high,” he<br />

said.<br />

Contact your local GP or pharmacy TODAY!<br />

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au<br />

<strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />


overseas news<br />

Drivers say they can’t<br />

take much more!<br />

by Natalie Goodwin<br />

OTTAWA, CANADA - Taxi drivers in<br />

Ottawa are worried the industry<br />

may die after experiencing<br />

multiple blows over many years.<br />

“The pandemic, it just put the<br />

last nail in the coffin of the taxi<br />

industry,” said Latif Dadshani, who<br />

has been driving a cab since 1990.<br />

Hit hard by low-ridership during<br />

the pandemic, people hoping<br />

to drive cabs are now looking at<br />

soaring gas prices and a backlog of<br />

licensing fees, in addition to having<br />

to share the streets with ridehailing<br />

companies.<br />

“I don’t know what’s going to<br />

happen to us,” Dadshani said.<br />

Numbers from the city show the<br />

total licensed drivers went from<br />

1,950 in the year 2019 to 1,125 in<br />

2021. In 2014, there were 2,776<br />

drivers.<br />

It’s been a tough road, Dadshani<br />

said, since the bylaw was changed<br />

in 2016 to allow for ride-hailing<br />

companies like Uber and Lyft.<br />

“It was just like putting my hand<br />

behind my back - tied in a boxing<br />

ring,” he said.<br />

He usually rents out the two taxi<br />

plates he owns, although now he<br />

is having trouble finding anyone<br />

willing. Taxi plates issued by the<br />

City of Ottawa have become less<br />

valuable in recent years.<br />

Latif Dadshani says the value of his taxi plates is all but lost. (Buntola Nou/CBC )<br />

44 <strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

Not all of those licence owners<br />

are necessarily driving, according<br />

to the drivers’ union. It said their<br />

membership shows a decline of<br />

drivers actually on the road —<br />

before the bylaw allowed ridehailing,<br />

there were more than<br />

1,500, now they have about 700.<br />

Dadshani said allowing for<br />

unlimited trips on a ride-hailing<br />

app diminished the value of taxi<br />

plates — something you used to<br />

be able to retire on.<br />

He has not sold his plates, but said<br />

before ride hailing, plates would<br />

sell for $350,000 or more; after<br />

it was around $50,000, now it’s<br />

about $8,000.<br />

The taxi industry has filed a<br />

class action lawsuit against the<br />

city for allowing the ride-hailing<br />

companies, which is set to go to<br />

court in <strong>April</strong>. Quebec provided<br />

compensation to drivers after it<br />

deregulated the industry in 2019.<br />

Rising costs prohibitive<br />

The cost to drive a cab also<br />

concerns some drivers. During the<br />

pandemic Coventry Connections,<br />

the company that runs Blueline,<br />

WestWay and Capital continued to<br />

charge the dispatch fee.<br />

It runs upwards of $500 a month,<br />

meaning some had to pay<br />

thousands of dollars to return to<br />

work. Abulhamid Hussein ended<br />

up paying $3,731 for the months he<br />

was off. He also said he could no<br />

longer find a second driver for his<br />

accessible van, so was stuck with<br />

less income too.<br />

Hussein, who isn’t driving currently<br />

because of a ticket in Quebec that<br />

is preventing him from getting<br />

insured, says the large dispatch<br />

fee, plus insurance fees of $850<br />

a month aren’t helping drivers<br />

get back on their feet. And now<br />

there’s an added pinch — gas<br />

prices are skyrocketing.<br />

“Nobody wants to pay 1,400 every<br />

single month…compared to Uber,<br />

it is very hard.”<br />

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overseas news<br />

20,000 new Uber drivers<br />

on the horizon after London licence<br />

renewal drives recruitment push<br />

by Michael Murphy | www.taxi-point.co.uk<br />

By the end of the year Uber could<br />

have up to 20,000 new drivers<br />

working on their platform as they<br />

continue their recruitment drive<br />

following the announcement that<br />

Transport for London granted<br />

them a 30 month operator's<br />

licence to work in the capital.<br />

Jamie Heywood, Uber’s boss in<br />

northern and eastern Europe, told<br />

the Evening Standard that demand<br />

for trips was up by more than 10<br />

per cent in London compared with<br />

pre-pandemic levels — and by far<br />

more at the weekends.<br />

He said: “For us our challenge is,<br />

as it has been since the pandemic<br />

eased, to continue to get more<br />

drivers onto the platform... we<br />

have fewer drivers than we need<br />

to meet the demand we’re seeing<br />

so we are trying to recruit drivers<br />

in as many ways as possible<br />

“We’re comfortable with our<br />

pricing... But obviously if things<br />

change, if costs change, if demand<br />

changes, we’ll go back in and take<br />

another look at it.”<br />

TaxiPoint recently reported that<br />

Transport for London made the<br />

decision, just days before Uber's<br />

licence was due to run out, to<br />

issue them a new licence to run<br />

for 30 months. The decision<br />

came after Uber faced criticism<br />

for its business model. But<br />

following a High Court ruling, the<br />

controversial app was made to<br />

restructure it's model to fall in line<br />

with TfL's licensing regulations.<br />

Uber have said that their aim<br />

is 20,000 new drivers on their<br />

platform before the start of 2023.<br />

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www.drivenow-magazine.com.au<br />

<strong>March</strong>/<strong>April</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />


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