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DRIVE NOW March/April 2022

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MARCH/APRIL 2022 - EDITION 53

National

Magazine

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48

VICTORIA

6 Multi Purpose Taxi Program report.

12

Industry battles continue - and so does

Rod Barton MP.

QUEENSLAND

20 New electric vehicle plan.

21 Reporting drivers misconduct.

WEST AUSTRALIA

27

Black & White Cabs is the new TUSS

processor.

NSW

28 Over 50 MPs sign pledge.

29

30

Government is considering increased

compensation package.

Highlights from NSW Taxi Industry

Conference 2022.

FEATURES

34 Report on the inquiry into Road Safety.

36 Be safe on the roads at Easter.

38 Australia’s auto awareness needs a tune-up.

OVERSEAS

44 Drivers say they can’t take much more!

47 20,000 new Uber drivers.

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au

March/April 2022

3


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4 March/April 2022


FROM THE

Editor

The Victorian Economy and Infrastructure

committee has released their findings in a report

on the review of the Multi Purpose Taxi Program

(MPTP), which Rod Barton MP, Leader of the

Transport Matters Party, says outlines the failures

of Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV).

The review clearly identified that the MPTP is a

program that has developed and nurtured trust,

flexibility and safety. It is about passengers who

have a disability enjoying a great relationship with

their driver as they get from point A to B.

Rod Barton says, “During the inquiry, we learned

a lot about cross-subsidisation. What this means

in the industry is that wheelchair accessible taxi

services can only be provided by an operator if they

are cross-subsidised by work that is somewhat more

profitable than normal taxi work.”

“The problem with what the regulator (CPVV) has

done is that they did not do the work on the impact

of opening up the MPTP 80,000 vehicles. We heard

from taxi operators that this means it became that

much harder to keep Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

on the road, with many operators already removing

their vehicles because they could not continue

running at a loss.”

The good news is that the report embodies twenty

recommendations that the government ought to

uptake to ensure the streamlining and continuance

of a successful Multi Purpose Taxi Program in

Victoria. Now we just have to wait six months for

the government’s comments on this report.

Meanwhile, in New South Wales, it appears that the

taxi industry may be on the brink of a win with

regards to licence compensation. It has been

fantastic to witness so many industry personnel and

local MPs supporting the claim for greater

compensation by signing the NSW Taxi Industry

Pledge. But unfortunately, the government can no

longer refute that the industry reforms have and

will continue to strip away drivers' and owners'

hard-earned savings.

Martin Rogers – CEO of NSW Taxi Council, said, “We

welcome the news that the NSW Government is

considering an increased compensation package for

the NSW Taxi Industry. We are actively engaging

with the NSW Government to understand the finer

details of the package and look forward to receiving

more information from the NSW Government

regarding the proposed compensation package.”

Congratulations to the NSW Taxi Council on a great

effort to bring together a cohesive, united front and

stand up for what they believe is fair and equitable

compensation for the loss in value of NSW Taxi

Licences.

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au

March/April 2022

5


VIC News

MPTP

Review

REPORT TABLED IN

PARLIAMENT

The Multi Purpose Taxi Program

(MPTP) has been providing

subsidised travel for Victorians with

a disability since 1983. The MPTP

helps all Victorians to live a full

life, by supporting access to vital

medical care or helping to maintain

social contact with family and

friends.

In 2017, the Victorian Government

began to expand the MPTP. Initially

only for traditional taxi travel, a

wider variety of service providers,

such as ridesharing services, can

now participate in the Program.

This has led to greater choices for

MPTP members.

However, the expansion has also

raised some concerns.

One of the main areas of concern

identified by this report is

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

(WAVs). The Committee learnt

that around 15% of MPTP members

rely on WAVs for their transport

needs. Appallingly, the regulator,

Commercial Passenger Vehicles

Victoria (CPVV), does not know

how many WAVs are currently

operating on Victoria’s roads. This

is due to a number of factors—

primarily poor data management

at CPVV and the impact of the

COVID-19 pandemic.

The Legislative Council

Economy and Infrastructure

(LCEI) Committee has made

recommendations to address

this problem immediately, as

well as regarding CPVV’s ongoing

responsibilities.

Rod Barton, Leader Transport

Matters Party and member

of the LCEI Committee said,

“Unfortunately, despite the CPVV

being the industry regulator, it was

made clear in findings of this report

that they have no idea how many

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

are active in Victoria or if they are

based in regional or metro areas.

In fact, you can say that for the

entire industry.”

“Furthermore, the Committee

found that the CPVV is likely

unaware of how critical aspects of

the Multi Purpose Taxi Program

are functioning. This was made

clear through many, many data

errors as well as different numbers

being provided and information

that, once found false, had to be

redacted.”

The LCEI Committee has also made

recommendations on areas such as:

• safety

• concerns about ‘surge’ pricing

• the expected impact of the

National Disability Insurance

Scheme (NDIS).

These issues are integral to

ensuring the ongoing success of

the MPTP in providing the level of

service its members deserve and to

ensure trust and confidence in this

important program are maintained.

6 March/April 2022


REPORT SUMMARY

INQUIRY INTO THE MPTP

1. THE MULTI PURPOSE TAXI PROGRAM

VICTORIA news

Below is a summary of the findings and recommendations by the Legislative Council Economy and Infrastructure Committee

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

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

respond in writing to any recommendations made.

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

with a disability and people with mobility and accessibility needs through the provision of subsidised commercial

passenger vehicle fares.

RECOMMENDATION 1: That Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria identify and address ongoing issues

regarding data management with the Multi Purpose Taxi Program. Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria

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

• where the weaknesses in data management are occurring within the organisation

• what actions have been taken to rectify the problems.

2. EXPANSION OF THE MULTI PURPOSE TAXI PROGRAM

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

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

information about the end-to-end application process and the requirements for successful completion.

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

to be open, transparent and fair to all potential providers, Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria should

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

Passenger Vehicles Victoria should:

• consult with applicants on opportunities for improving support during the application process

• establish consistent project timelines, including indicative turnaround times for Commercial Passenger

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

applicants.

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

trial involved six participants who undertook a total of 174 trips.

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

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

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

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

of experiences among people with a disability.

RECOMMENDATION 3: That Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria commission an independent survey of

Multi Purpose Taxi Program members’ experiences using Uber.

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au March/April 2022

7


REPORT SUMMARY

INQUIRY INTO THE MPTP

FINDING 5: In relation to the subsidy charge rule

applied during Uber’s 2020 MPTP live trial, evidence

found by the Committee does not show:

• that the subsidy charge rule was changed solely

to benefit Uber’s entry into the program. Rather,

that changing the subsidy rule was a broader

consideration of the expansion project

• that the charge rule applied during the trial was

tested by any providers other than Uber.

FINDING 6: Increasing the number of Data Collection

Providers available within the Multi Purpose Taxi

Program has reduced single supplier risk and expanded

market options for vehicles offering Multi Purpose Taxi

Program services.

FINDING 7: The entry of rideshare operators into

the Multi Purpose Taxi Program market has increased

consumer choice and service availability for many Multi

Purpose Taxi Program members.

FINDING 8: The future viability of the Multi Purpose

Taxi Program is difficult to assess because:

• due to COVID-19, there is a lack of reliable data on

the impact of the expansion of service providers

on the industry

• the long-term impact of increased competition on

service supply is unknown.

3. WHEELCHAIR

ACCESSIBLE VEHICLES

FINDING 9: Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria

does not have an accurate picture of the number of

wheelchair accessible vehicles operating in Victoria

or their distribution across regional and metropolitan

areas.

RECOMMENDATION 5: That Commercial

Passenger Vehicles Victoria:

• undertake an audit of the number and location

of wheelchair accessible commercial passenger

vehicles currently operating in Victoria and

report its findings within three months

• work with booking service providers and

owner-drivers to undertake an audit of the

number and locations of wheelchair accessible

vehicles that were in operation during the six

months from October 2021 to March 2022

• implement a process to accurately capture

data on the number and location of wheelchair

accessible vehicles in operation (at least 1

trip per calendar month) in the market on an

ongoing basis.

RECOMMENDATION 4: That Commercial

Passenger Vehicles Victoria undertake an audit to

assess whether the expansion of services operating

under the Multi Purpose Taxi Program has led to:

• a significant decrease in services due to market

dilution reducing profits

• drivers prioritising peak periods where profits

are higher, leaving off-peak periods underserviced.

If the audit shows substantial risks to the ongoing

viability of the Multi Purpose Taxi Program, the

Government should, in consultation with industry

stakeholders, immediately develop and implement a

mitigation strategy.

FINDING 10: The availability of wheelchair accessible

vehicles is a long-standing issue that has seen some

improvement in recent years. However, a proper

understanding of this issue will only be fully understood

once the COVID-19 pandemic has fully passed.

RECOMMENDATION 6: That the Victorian

Government work with the commercial passenger

vehicle industry and other Australian governments

to achieve the response times for accessible

taxi services requirement in line with the

Commonwealth Disability Standards for Accessible

Public Transport 2002.

8 March/April 2022


FINDING 11: Adequate training, including for ongoing

skills maintenance, of W-endorsed commercial

passenger drivers to correctly operate equipment

protects the safety of passengers and ensures trust in

the Multi Purpose Taxi Program.

FINDING 12: The cost to purchase and maintain a

wheelchair accessible vehicle is significantly higher than

it is for a standard sedan. However, this difference is

lowered by financial support provided by the Victorian

Government in some cases.

4. OTHER ISSUES CRITICAL

TO THE MULTI PURPOSE

TAXI PROGRAM

FINDING 13: The current approach to disability

awareness and inclusion training is inconsistent and

inadequate. It fails to ensure that services provided to

people with a disability across the whole commercial

passenger vehicle industry meet required standards.

RECOMMENDATION 7: Should a decrease in the

number of wheelchair accessible vehicles operating

in Victoria become evident, that Commercial

Passenger Vehicles Victoria act immediately, in

consultation with commercial passenger vehicle

industry stakeholders, to ensure numbers are

sustainable and sufficient to meet community needs.

This action may include requiring a set percentage of

a commercial passenger vehicles operator’s fleet to

be wheelchair accessible vehicles.

RECOMMENDATION 8: That the Victorian

Government consider raising the lifting fee for

wheelchair accessible vehicles to:

• encourage existing operators to remain in the

Multi Purpose Taxi Program

• incentivise new wheelchair accessible vehicle

operators in the Program.

RECOMMENDATION 9: That Commercial

Passenger Vehicles Victoria consider options

to develop and implement ‘preferred supplier’

accreditation for service providers that consistently

achieve best practice approaches to accessible

transport service provision. This accreditation

should be subject to ongoing independent quality

assessment measures.

FINDING 14: Finalisation of the draft driver training

framework was delayed as a result of COVID-19

impacts. The current status of a new driver training

framework, including an updated timeframe for its

release and implementation, is unknown.

RECOMMENDATION 10: That Commercial

Passenger Vehicles Victoria finalise, release and

implement a new Driver Training Framework as soon

as possible.

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www.drivenow-magazine.com.au

March/April 2022

9


REPORT SUMMARY

INQUIRY INTO THE MPTP

FINDING 15: The primary function of security cameras

installed in commercial passenger vehicles is to provide

an evidentiary record of any incidents that occur. The

need for this safeguard applies whether the vehicle is

registered for booked or unbooked travel.

RECOMMENDATION 11: That the Victorian

Government require all commercial passenger

vehicles that operate in the Multi Purpose Taxi

Program to install a security camera compliant with

specified standards.

RECOMMENDATION 12: That the Victorian

Government review and implement a consistent

set of minimum vehicle safety and accessibility

requirements to apply to all vehicles that operate in

the Multi Purpose Taxi Program.

RECOMMENDATION 13: That the Victorian

Government ensure the bests interests of Multi

Purpose Taxi Program members are protected to

ensure they can access the most suitable options

for their personal circumstances, in particular Multi

Purpose Taxi Program members who do not have

the personal capacity to make decisions about

their own travel arrangements.

RECOMMENDATION 14: That the Victorian

Government consider introducing a maximum fare

for Multi Purpose Taxi Program trips for all service

providers. The maximum should not be greater than

the fare set by the Essential Services Commission.

RECOMMENDATION 15: That Commercial

Passenger Vehicles Victoria undertake a review of

complaints handling processes in the Multi Purpose

Taxi Program. The review should:

• consider how the processes can best be

improved to promote greater accessibility,

responsiveness and positive outcomes for

people with a disability

• consider whether complaints handling for

the Multi Purpose Taxi Program should be

centralised and managed by Commercial

Passenger Vehicles Victoria

• be undertaken in consultation with the

disability community and the commercial

passenger vehicle industry

• be finalised with recommendations for

improvement within 12 months.

RECOMMENDATION 16: That Commercial

Passenger Vehicles Victoria review and, where

necessary, update application processes for the

Multi Purpose Taxi Program to:

• ensure proactive communication on application

outcomes is built-in

• provide a mechanism for support coordinators/

advocates to liaise with Commercial Passenger

Vehicles Victoria if required

• simplify requirements to obtain a replacement

card

• improve guidance to medical practitioners.

10 March/April 2022


5. KEY CHALLENGES TO

THE FUTURE OF THE MULTI

PURPOSE TAXI PROGRAM:

POST-COVID-19 SUPPORT;

AND THE NATIONAL

DISABILITY INSURANCE

SCHEME

FINDING 16: The commercial passenger vehicle

industry was significantly negatively impacted by

measures put in place in response to the COVID-19

pandemic. The introduction of travel restrictions and

lockdowns substantially decreased demand for services

during these periods causing ongoing financial strain

for many industry participants. However, this was

eased for some by Victorian Government financial

support.

FINDING 17: The ongoing impact of the COVID-19

pandemic makes it difficult to accurately assess

the impact of COVID-19 or potential post-COVID-19

pathways for the commercial passenger vehicle

industry.

FINDING 18: Ensuring the ongoing financial viability

and service delivery of the commercial passenger

vehicle industry, including the Multi Purpose Taxi

Program, should be a key consideration in the Victorian

Government’s post-COVID-19 industry recovery

strategies.

FINDING 19: The roll out of transport funding from

the National Disability Insurance Scheme will have

an impact on the operation of the Multi Purpose Taxi

Program. There may be risks to the viability of the

Program due to:

• changes in market demand as clients transition

to transport funding under the National Disability

Insurance Scheme

• the absence of a lifting fee for wheelchair

accessible vehicles when transporting National

Disability Insurance Scheme clients, potentially

resulting in suppliers leaving the market and

demand not being met.

RECOMMENDATION 17: That the Victorian

Government work with other Australian States and

Territories to implement a nationally consistent

approach to transport subsidy programs.

RECOMMENDATION 18: That the Victorian

Government advocate to the National Disability

Insurance Agency for the National Disability

Insurance Scheme to provide subsidised transport

for all clients that supports social connection and

participation in the community.

RECOMMENDATION 19: That the Victorian

Government continue to work with the National

Disability Insurance Agency to ensure that the

roll out of transport funding under the National

Disability Insurance Scheme ensures wheelchair

users receive equal services to all other transport

users, including the retention of wheelchair lifting

fees for commercial passenger vehicles.

RECOMMENDATION 20: That the Victorian

Government requires commercial passenger

vehicle drivers that undertake Multi Purpose Taxi

Program work to get a National Disability Insurance

Scheme Worker Screen Check. In implementing this

requirement, the Government should establish a

clear transition plan for the industry in line with the

transition plan it established for other industries

under the Victorian Safety Screening Policy: for

registered NDIS providers operating in Victoria.

FINDING 20: The Victorian Government has

committed to developing an integrated transport

strategy under the Transport Integration Act 2010 (Vic).

The roll out of transport funding under the National

Disability Insurance Scheme presents an opportunity to

renew efforts to implementing the strategy to ensure

people with a disability can choose the transport option

which best suits their needs.

The full report on the Inquiry into the Multi Purpose Taxi

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

full details on the findings, recommendations and rationale

by the LCEI Committee. The Government has six months to

respond in writing to any recommendations made.

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au March/April 2022

11


VICTORIA news

Industry

battles

continue

- and

so does

Rod!

Rod Barton MLC

Leader, Transport Matters Party

Tuesday 22 nd February 2022 marked the fifth anniversary of the introduction of the Commercial Passenger

Vehicle Industry (CPVI) Bill 2017.

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

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

representatives for stakeholders of the commercial passenger vehicle industry.

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

Victorian state election so that we were better positioned to work collaboratively with the winning

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

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

not sufficiently recognise the investment of incumbent industry participants who paid a considerable

price for following rules and regulations for decades and who ultimately were severely penalised and

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

12 March/April 2022


VICTORIA news

Neither did the CPVI Bill consider

the ongoing viability of the

industry, or basic regulations

necessary to provide a safe, fair,

competitive and efficient service

to all of its consumers regardless

of which type of service they use.

Most notable was the absence

of any compensation in the Bill

for the compulsory acquisition

of perpetual taxi and hire car

licences which were treated as

assets to this point.

As well as this, the CPVI Bill

failed to anticipate the many

negative consequences for

active industry participants who

continue to be impacted by its

shortcomings. This is in addition

to the poor protections for

consumers against extortion as

a result of fare deregulation and

implications for safety due to soft

requirements in the rideshare

sector.

Among many other

responsibilities associated with

representing my electorate of the

Eastern Metropolitan region, my

team and I work relentlessly on

behalf of the industry to address

these issues.

It would be well

known by now that

my hard work and

that of key players

involved in forming

the Transport

Matters Party began

long before the

election.

We were instrumental in

developing the legal case against

Uber, which has led to the

establishment of the class action

being run by Maurice Blackburn.

The claim against Uber is for lost

income and loss in licence values

for participants in the taxi and

hire car industry incurred as a

result of Uber’s alleged illegal

conduct.

The competence and tenacity

of team TMP was evident not

just in leading this cause but

also in securing over $20 million

from Harbour Litigation Funding

which has enabled the action to

proceed at no cost to registrants.

From these beginnings and

because of the foresight of the

executive team, the class action

now has over 8,000 registrants

and has expanded to include

claims for industry participants

in New South Wales, Queensland

and Western Australia and

Victoria. It is purported that

this will be one of the largest

class actions this country has

ever seen. The part I played

in initiating this fills me with

immense pride.

Establishing TMP was not an easy

task by far but thanks to all our

supporting members and the skill

shown by the executive team to

secure favourable preference

voting arrangements, the battle

against all odds was won, and a

seat was secured in the Eastern

Metropolitan region at the 2018

Victorian state election.

This was achieved in the face of

circulating rumours and threats

from the opposition of the

day who tried to sabotage our

campaign.

Nevertheless, we won

in spite of the damage

that was tried.

For a long time, we were led to

believe that we had a friend in

the opposition who seemingly

showed support for the industry

and the injustice that had

occurred when the reforms were

implemented. Outwardly, this

has always been the message

that has been conveyed, but true

advocacy goes beyond holding

a microphone on the steps of

parliament and a few supportive

social posts.

Words are just wind, and the

industry was being blown away.

We soon learned that there was

little activity behind the scenes.

On the other hand,

my focus and that of

TMP has not waivered

since entering

parliament.

Hansard will show that I have

raised industry concerns in

every parliamentary sitting week

since I was elected in 2018. I

have used every opportunity

to advance our cause and to

remind the government of why I

was elected and what it is that I

hope to achieve on behalf of my

stakeholders.

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au

March/April 2022

13


Industry battles continue - and so does Rod!

According to Hansard, I alone

delivered 106 speeches during

this parliamentary term which

mentioned the word taxi and

raised issues concerning the

industry.

By comparison, there was a total

of seven mentions from all other

political parties combined for the

same period, mostly in response

to motions and speeches I

presented. There is a lot of

smoke and mirrors in parliament

but the proof lies clearly in the

actions taken.

I am the Lone

Ranger. There is no

other member of

parliament actively

fighting for this

cause, and I do

this without any

meaningful support

from any other party.

Despite my best efforts,

many important battles

remain ongoing. For example,

addressing the inadequacy

of compensation for the

compulsory acquisition of

perpetual taxi and hire car

licences due to the 2017 reforms

remains a complicated and

sensitive matter that is yet to

conclude.

During the height of the

pandemic, the government had

little band width for anything

other than the unfolding and

continuous crisis that COVID-19

created.

Although disappointing,

COVID-19 has understandably

delayed a resolution addressing

our concerns. However, now

that the urgency surrounding the

pandemic has eased, we seek

your patience in these matters

as we re-commence discussions

and push for an outcome in the

coming months. This will finalise

the government’s response to

the parliamentary inquiry into

the 2017 industry reforms, which

included a recommendation to

review the transitional funding

package for perpetual taxi and

hire car licence owners.

While our most important and

difficult battle has proceeded

slowly in the background, we

have had many wins along the

way which would not have been

possible without the continued

support of our members and the

invaluable work of my team. See

next page for details.

14 March/April 2022


ACHIEVEMENTS BY ROD BARTON MP

specific to the Victorian

COMMERCIAL PASSENGER VEHICLE INDUSTRY

Made touting illegal in Victoria.

Worked with the government and relevant authorities to retain the issue of VH series plates for

hire cars.

Secured amendments to ensure a parliamentary inquiry proceeded to review the Commercial

Passenger Vehicle industry reforms of 2017.

Continue to work with the government to develop their final response to the recommendations

arising from the inquiry.

Successfully liaised with the Australian Taxation Office in a review of the tax treatment of

Fairness Fund payments made to industry stakeholders. This led to hundreds of thousands of

dollars in taxes being refunded to industry members.

Being appointed to an advisory panel providing recommendations to the Transport Minister in

response to the impact of Covid-19 on the CPV industry.

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

Successfully lobbied to have the CPV industry included in the May 2021 lockdown business

support grants valued at $5000. These continued throughout the year.

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

recommendations.

Successfully lobbied the government to have the taxi and hire car industry included in the

eligibility for the Business Costs Assistance Program during lockdowns. These grants were valued

at up to $2800 per week.

Successfully lobbied members of the Legislative Council to pass my motion to acknowledge the

damage caused to taxi and hire car licence holders by the 2017 reforms.

Repeatedly and successfully used my position in parliament to highlight the failings of the

industry regulator and applied significant pressure for improvements which subsequently led to

the resignation of CEO Aaron de Rosario.

Successfully supported countless industry stakeholders in their dealings with government bodies

and navigating through red tape to accomplish positive results.

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au

March/April 2022

15


Industry battles continue - and so does Rod!

These outcomes and many others

would simply not have been

realised without my involvement

and the advocacy of the Transport

Matters Party. My role in parliament

has given me a platform to provide

the industry with a voice which

would not otherwise be heard.

It is an election year, and we

are already seeing a repeat of

the behaviour ahead of the last

election, with the opposition

whispering sweet nothings in the

ears of our stakeholders. While

we appreciate their sympathetic

view, we should also consider their

slim track record for achieving

successful outcomes on behalf of

the industry. Let there be no doubt

that I am on my own.

Words are cheap, and a mere

reminder of the financial

destruction caused by the reforms

does nothing to change the lives

of anyone. Actions are what are

needed. The opposition must be

held to account to explain precisely

how they intend to rectify matters.

Prior to the last state election, this

amounted to a pledge to review

the Fairness Fund and lacked

any firm commitment to award

compensation to licence holders.

Since TMP was formed and my

election to parliament, I have

taken my commitment to seriously

representing the industry. The

primary aim has always been to

try to repair the past and work

to improve the industry for all

stakeholders going forward. The

list of our achievements is evidence

that this has not changed.


I will continue to

fight your battles

for as long as I am

given a platform in

parliament to do so.

However, I cannot

do this alone – there

is strength only in

numbers.

16 March/April 2022


I know what it is like to have

your struggles, experiences

and opinions ignored. That

is why I came to Parliament

to fight for our community,

accountability, and fairness.

ROD BARTON MP

COMMUNITY DRIVEN, FAIRNESS FOCUSED

Phone: (03) 9850 8600

Email: rod.barton@parliament.vic.gov.au

www.rodbarton.com.au

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au

March/April 2022

RodBartonMP

17


We all know the financial

devastation and the ongoing

lifetime of financial hardship

the Dan Andrews government

has caused to thousands of taxi

families with their taxi industry

reforms, where we have lost the

value of our taxi licences. But it

does not stop there for those who

are still in the taxi industry and

operate a taxi.

But government reforms have

had a further ongoing financial

effect on taxi operators - on their

daily income by not being able to

operate a taxi 24/7 because of the

lack of drivers. This is because

drivers can now become their own

taxi operator by simply making an

application to government and

paying a small fee.

This has dramatically changed

the taxi industry in that it is

now predominantly made up of

owners/ drivers mainly working 12-

hour shifts five days per week.

So why are taxi operators still

paying historic network fees for

access to their Booking Service

Providers (BSP) [previously called

taxi networks] 24/7, 365 days of

the year, if they do not require the

services of their BSP 24/7, 365 days

a year?

Why should taxi operators be

forced to pay for services that

are not required when taking an

annual four week holiday and

cannot get drivers and have no

income for that?

Or their taxi is off the road due to

the owner/driver being sick or due

to a car accident?

We cannot work 365 days a year

without a break!

It is time for BSPs to get

with the changes!

I would like the taxi industry to

change and move with the times

and review their network fee

charges to taxi operators to make

it fair for all players.

For example, there are seven

hundred and twelve 12-hour shifts

per calendar year. Based on a five

day working week of 12 hour shifts

equals 260 shifts; less four weeks

of annual holidays of 20 shifts

equates to a taxi operator only

working a total of 240 shifts per

year.

That leaves four hundred and

ninety 12-hour shifts not worked,

and taxi operators are forced

to pay for a service that is not

required.

It is totally unfair when BSPs are

grossly overcharging fees to taxi

operators where services are not

required. We face should reflect

on the service provided. Changes

need to be made by the BSPs and

have networks fees charged to

taxi operators based on payment

for service for each 12-hour shift

for a taxi operator’s vehicle he’s

logged on, which would cater and

be fairer for all players.

Transition to retirement to

retain taxi operators longer.

Many taxi operators leave the

taxi industry because there is

no flexibility for transition to

retirement when they wish to

work three or four days or shifts

per week but quit the industry due

to paying the total fixed monthly

annual network fees.

In the past, taxi operators could

transition to retirement by simply

engaging drivers to work their

cabs. Still, today this is not a viable

option, notwithstanding that

one cannot get drivers to do so

anyway.

If the BSPs were to restructure

their fees to reflect payment for

service every time a taxi driver logs

on for a 12-hour shift, this would

address issues of transition to

retirement. It’s time for change!

Peter Manikus

Owner/Operator since 1976

18 March/April 2022


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www.drivenow-magazine.com.au

March/April 2022

19


NEW SOUTH WALES news

QLD News

New

EV Plan

SHIFTS QUEENSLAND

INTO A FASTER LANE

The Queensland Government's

new $55 million EV package

will send a strong signal to the

global industry that the Sunshine

State is an appealing place to be,

according to the Electric Vehicle

Council.

The new package includes $3000

incentives for EV purchases and

$10 million for new charging

infrastructure.

"Queensland was the first

Australian state to develop

an EV strategy and today's

announcement shows there's

still strong momentum toward

an electric future in the Sunshine

State," said Electric Vehicle Council

chief executive Behyad Jafari.

"Instead of filling up on foreign

oil, Queensland drivers should be

filling up on the abundant sunshine

and wind their state offers.

"We know Queensland drivers

already have great enthusiasm

about the idea of switching to an

EV; this package will help convert a

lot of that enthusiasm to action.

"Now what we need is for the

federal government to back

Queensland's efforts and support

it with overdue reform like the

introduction of fuel efficiency

standards."

Mr Jafari noted that while this

package was welcome there

was still ample room for future

progress.

"Direct company incentives would

also attract more EV supply chain

investment to the state. And with

a strong manufacturing presence

in the state, the Queensland

Government might also consider

ways to support the uptake of

electric trucks.

Online Australian

Training

Courses

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Limousine, Taxi, Hire Car, Ride Share

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20 March/April 2022


REPORTING DRIVERS

MISCONDUCT

QUEENSLAND news

Any Booking Entity Authorisation

(BEA) holder who ends a work

arrangement with a driver due

to serious misconduct, must

immediately let Department of

Transport and Main Roads (TMR)

know.

This includes ending the work

arrangement if the driver:

• has committed a driver

disqualifying offence

• did not provide a public

passenger service safely

while driving a motor vehicle,

such as driving unsafely

• has committed an offence

against a provision of

relevant transport legislation

relating to using a motor

vehicle, such as the driver

providing an unauthorised

taxi or booked hire service

• was a threat to the safety

of any person, particularly

a child or other vulnerable

member of the community

• If you end a working

arrangement for other minor

matters, for example, if the

driver isn't meeting customer

service standards, then you

don't need to notify the

department.

Notifying TMR is easy, here's how:

• Fill out the Notification of

Driver Disaffiliation form.

Give as much information as

you can. This will help avoid

double handling.

• Send the completed form to

bhslhub@translink.com.au.

For more information about the

requirements, please visit the

Personalised Transport Industry -

Driver Disaffiliation webpage.

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au

March/April 2022

21


Here are some ways

to build connection

into your routine...

Create a list:

Think about who in your world,

personal or professional, near or far

who might be struggling.

Dedicate the time:

Make asking, "are you OK?" part of

your routine.

Choose your channel:

R U OK?

is encouraging everyone to

stay connected as we all navigate

the challenges of 2022

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

In these times, it’s normal to experience feelings of hopelessness, uncertainty or

to feel overwhelmed.

However, one thing we can control is reaching out to our friends, family, and

colleagues to check in with one another and stay connected.

We can benefit from chatting things out, sharing what’s happening in our

worlds and perhaps gaining some new perspectives.

Communicate in a way that works

for you both: make a phone call,

send an SMS, video call, email or, if

you can meet in person you might

want to go for a walk together, chat

over the fence or catch up for a

cuppa.

Connecting with someone can help them feel more grounded amidst what

might feel like chaos and remind them that you’re there to listen and support

them when needed.


Transport Matters

It affects you, your family, your job,

your community, your safety and

your environment.

Your HELP is

needed to spread

the message...

Help Transport Matters Party advocate

for improved road safety, public transport

and a viable commercial passenger

vehicle industry by joining as a member

or gifting a donation.

We stand for fairness, for community and we

strive to deliver solutions to Victoria’s biggest

transport issues.

Transport Matters Party's (TMP) success relies on the support

of Victorians residing everywhere. With your support we will

succeed in getting the word out that we are here to make a

difference and we will be a driving force for change.

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


Will Elon Musk End The

Fossil Fuel Industry? by David Waterworth

How responsible is Elon Musk in

causing the disruption that is now

evident throughout the world. In a

nutshell, very much so. EVs have been

around since the invention of the

automobile but never have they been

as desirable till the introduction of the

Model S and the serious shift it created

in people's imaginations.

Are oil and car executives hiding

their heads in the sand? (Looking for

more oil reserves perhaps?) Is Musk

right about the end of the fossil fuel

industry? UK-based research and

analysis group Rethink Energy (no

affiliation with RethinkX) believes so.

In a recent email from Lead Analyst

Peter White, he states: “Come

2027/8 the Electric Vehicle sales will

overcome the rise of pandemic fossil

fuel recovery and oil will get squeezed.

Bankruptcy for oil follows swiftly. If

total car sales do NOT recover from

the pandemic (which I expect) within

five years, then oil begins to falter

sooner. Only one or two oil companies

survive 2030, but as ailing players

whose time has come. Our forecasts

assume total car sales globally recover

to pre-pandemic levels in 5 years, and

that 2025 or 2026 oil sales get close

to 2019 levels, and then fall away

rapidly at a rate of 5% per annum (the

pandemic was only 9.5%).”

White anticipates the potential of the

US EV market accelerating faster than

the rest of the globe. New players

like Tesla, Rivian, Fisker, and Lucid

have optimistic expansion plans.

Both Ford and GM are announcing

new EVs regularly and are desperate

to keep market share. Ford’s F-150

Lightning and Mustang Mach-E are

good examples where demand has

outstripped production and plans have

had to be frequently upgraded.

Volkswagen will soon be building

EVs on American soil, and Asian

manufacturers are aiming to import

as well (Vinfast from Vietnam is a

recent example). This year’s Super

Bowl had eight commercials for EVs

— and they were worth watching.

Automakers are collaborating with

battery manufacturers, and many new

factories are being built.

By 2036, 100% of all cars sold in the US

will be electric vehicles, and by 2037

more than half of all the cars on US

roads will be EVs. By 2049, all cars in

the US will be zero-emission vehicles,

the great bulk of them EVs.

So..... Will Musk End Fossil Fuels?

Yes, I think Musk will end the fossil

fuel industry, or at least be one of the

major destructors.

24 March/April 2022


New EV

With

1100 km

Range

Range anxiety? Well, you don’t need

1100kms of range to do the daily

drive (Australian average daily drive

= 38kms), but it sure would help on a

trip from Sydney to Melbourne, where

you wouldn’t even need to stop for a

battery top-up.

Solar 3.0:

This New

Technology

Could Change

Everything

Perovskite, named after Lev Perovski who discovered the mineral

in the Ural mountains in 1839, solar cells are being researched

globally and are on the verge of being incorporated into

commercial applications.

Perovskite solar tech has a much higher efficiency than the

typical silicon cells that we see on rooftops today which are

about 20% efficient. By comparison Perovskite cells have an

efficiency double that with a real-world level of around 30%+

and are up to 15 times cheaper to produce. It is predicted that

incorporating these cells into vehicle bodies will be the way

the majority of EVs will be built in the future, harvesting energy

directly from the sun. Already Lightyear, Sono Motors and Aptera

Motors are incorporating existing solar tech into their models.

Hozon is the parent company of Neta

Autos, and by the end of this year,

they are going to be one of the biggest

car manufacturers in the world - and

nobody's heard of them!

Neta has three models of EVs

available in China and their sales are

skyrocketing. The 1100kms Neta S is a

stunner, chock full of tech and due first

deliveries at the end of the year.

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au

March/April 2022

25


26 March/April 2022

Western

Australia

News


BLACK & WHITE CABS

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

news

The new TUSS

Processor

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

contractor to manage Taxi User Subsidy Scheme (TUSS) voucher processing in WA.

Black & White Cabs will begin processing TUSS vouchers from 1 May 2022.

Swan Taxis will continue to process and pay TUSS vouchers until this date and will accept vouchers

until 5.00pm Friday, 22 April 2022.

HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR TUSS VOUCHERS

Submitting vouchers in April

The outgoing contractor, Swan Taxis, will accept TUSS

vouchers for processing until 5.00pm Friday, 22 April 2022

no vouchers will be accepted from any drivers or on-demand

booking services (ODBSs) after this day.

To guarantee your vouchers are processed in time, please

hand them to Swan Taxis directly at:

7 Harvey Street,

Victoria Park WA 6100

If you can’t attend the Swan Taxis office, you can post your

vouchers. Make sure to post your vouchers as early as

possible, as Australia Post is currently experiencing delays.

Friday 15 April 2022 is the deadline to send your vouchers. You

may choose to use Express Post to help ensure your vouchers

arrive on time.

Any intended voucher submissions from Saturday 23 April

onwards must be postponed until Sunday 1 May 2022.

Submitting vouchers

from May onwards

From 1 May 2022, drivers and

ODBSs should submit completed

TUSS vouchers in person or by

post to:

Black & White Cabs,

1/33 Frederick Street,

Belmont WA 6104

or by post to:

Black & White Cabs, PO Box 184,

Belmont WA 6984

Once validated, Black & White

Cabs will credit the driver's

nominated Australian bank

account within 5 working days.

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au

March/April 2022

27


NSW News

Over 50

MPs sign

PLEDGE

More than 50 Members of Parliament

(MP’s) from the Upper House and the

Lower House of the NSW Parliament

across several political parties

have signed the NSW Taxi Industry

Pledge, supporting fair and proper

compensation for all Taxi Licence

Owners in NSW.

The NSW Taxi Council appreciates the

support and assistance from the NSW

Taxi Licence Owners who have reached

out to their Local MP to get the NSW

Taxi Industry Pledge signed. Thank you.

We also express our gratitude to more

than 50 NSW MP’s who have signed

the NSW Taxi Industry Pledge across a

number of Parties.

Taxi Licence Owners in NSW have lost

the value of their NSW Taxi Licences

since the NSW Government changed

the rules governing the Taxi Industry in

2016. Transport for NSW are preparing

a Bill on further reforms in the Pointto-Point

Transport Industry to be

introduced into the NSW Parliament in

2022. The NSW Government proposes

to cancel all existing Taxi Licences

with inadequate compensation and

issue unlimited annual licences for a

small fee, abolish operating areas, and

deregulate fares.

The NSW Taxi Council continues to

coordinate with Taxi Licence Owners

across NSW to make an appointment

with their Local Member of Parliament

and request their Local MP adds their

name, electorate, signature and date to

the NSW Taxi Industry Pledge, showing

their support towards fair and proper

compensation for the loss in value of

Taxi Licences in NSW.

So far, over 50 MP’s have signed the

NSW Taxi Industry pledge and it is

critical we keep the push going.

To find a list of NSW MP’s who have

signed the NSW Taxi Industry pledge,

please visit the NSW Taxi Council

website here - https://www.nswtaxi.

org.au/mp-s-who-have-signed-thepledge

28 March/April 2022


NEW SOUTH WALES news

GOVERNMENT CONSIDERING

INCREASED

COMPENSATION

PACKAGE

The Australian Newspaper reported

in March 2022 that a billiondollar

compensation package

is being developed by the NSW

Government for the Taxi Licence

Owners in NSW, who have suffered

a loss in value of their Taxi Licences,

since the NSW Government

changed the rules governing the

Taxi Industry in 2016. The NSW Taxi

Council has requested a meeting

with the NSW Government to

provide more details on the news

story published by the Australian.

Martin Rogers – CEO, NSW Taxi

Council said, “We welcome the

news that the NSW Government

is considering an increased

compensation package for the

NSW Taxi Industry. We need to

see the details of the package to

see what it means for each of our

members, the Taxi Licence Owners

across NSW. We would like to

thank our members across NSW –

the Taxi Licence Owners for their

continued support in bringing this

matter to the awareness of their

Local Member of Parliament.”

The NSW Government destroyed

the savings of Taxi licence owners

in how they legalised rideshare

in 2015 and subsequent reforms

in 2016 and fair and proper

compensation, is the vital, first

step for the NSW Government to

get right. The NSW Taxi Council

proposed a workable, no-net cost

solution to the NSW Government.

Furthermore, the NSW Taxi Council

requested Taxi Licence Owners

across NSW to reach out to their

Local Member of Parliament to

sign the NSW Taxi Industry Pledge,

in support of fair and proper

compensation. We have had 58

Members of Parliament across all

political parties sign the NSW Taxi

Industry Pledge.

Mr Rogers said, “There is evidence

of cross-party support in the NSW

Parliament to address the matter.

The NSW Taxi Industry welcomes

the ‘sympathetic ear’ of the NSW

Transport Minister – David Elliott

and his further comments on

having the industry’s back and the

need to resolve the matter of Taxi

Licence Compensation”.

“We are actively engaging with the

NSW Government to understand

the finer details of the package

and look forward to receiving

more information from the

NSW Government regarding the

proposed compensation package”,

Mr Rogers added.

The NSW Government needs

to ensure fair and proper

compensation for Taxi licence

owners. With any further reforms

ensuring a regulated system

remains, that supports a Taxi

industry that encourages future

business investment and provides a

viable, reliable and affordable travel

option for passengers across all of

NSW.

This article was prepared based on the

news story - “$1bn for NSW cabbies to

soften Uber blow” published in The

Australian by Yoni Bashan in March 2022

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au

March/April 2022

29


NEW SOUTH WALES news

NSW TAXI INDUSTRY

CONFERENCE 2022

HIGHLIGHTS

EMBRACING THE

FUTURE TOGETHER

The NSW Taxi Industry State

Conference has been the

cornerstone for bringing

together the NSW Taxi Industry

stakeholders over the years.

The NSW Taxi Industry State

Conference -2022 – ‘’Embracing

the Future Together’’ was held

on 27-28 March 2022 at WEST HQ

(Novotel), Rooty Hill, Sydney, with

industry stakeholders across the

whole of NSW attending. It was

the first time we were able to

meet face to face in 2 and ½ years.

The 2022 Conference offered the

Delegates, Exhibitors, Sponsors,

Speakers and Industry Partners

from all over NSW, who attended

the event, an opportunity to

meet-up, shake hands, share

ideas and have an enjoyable

time across the two days. It also

provided a great opportunity

for the industry suppliers to

showcase their products and

services in a professional and safe

environment.

30 March/April 2022


www.drivenow-magazine.com.au

March/April 2022

31


NEW SOUTH WALES news

NSW TAXI INDUSTRY

CONFERENCE 2022

HIGHLIGHTS

Geoff Ferris – Chairman, Taxis

NSW & President, Country Taxi

Operators Association and

Martin Rogers – CEO, NSW Taxi

Council opened the Conference

by welcoming all the delegates

and stakeholders from the

NSW Taxi Industry attending

the event and provided current

industry insights and updates.

The delegates also took a

moment to remember the valued

and respected stakeholders of

the NSW Taxi Industry who have

sadly passed away in the past

two years.

Craig Rispin – Business Futurist

and Innovation Expert gave

the keynote speech for the

Conference focussing on the

current and future trends

impacting the NSW Taxi

Industry.

Craig motivated the delegates

to come up with 20 topics

which they would like to discuss

over the two days at the

Conference in the Open Space

Interactive Sessions.

The format for the 2022

Conference – Open Space

Interactive Sessions was very

well received and appreciated

by the delegates attending

the event, as everyone had an

opportunity to share their ideas

and raise questions.

Delegates were also able to

have an open discussion with

other industry Stakeholders,

developing solutions together.

This resulted in a suite of ideas

and solutions which would

benefit the delegates and the

NSW Taxi Industry more broadly.

In total, twenty Open Space

Interactive Sessions were held

over two days of the Conference.

Centering on the Speaker

sessions, Steve Gamble –

Man Anchor, explained the

importance of health and wellbeing

to the delegates, focusing

on mental health.

Leonie Kyriacou - Partner, Pigott

Stinson Lawyers, provided an

Industry update on the current

safety and regulatory matters

impacting the NSW Taxi Industry.

Furthermore, Nick Abrahim –

Deputy CEO, NSW Taxi Council,

presented on the Disability

Reference Group (DRG) – a

reference group including

representatives from the NSW

Taxi Industry and the Disability

sector,focused on addressing

passengers’ needs with a

disability. On behalf of the DRG,

Nick and the support from Point

to Point Transport Commission

also launched the video on

“Assistance Animals in the Point

to Point Transport Industry”.

Anthony Wing – Point to Point

Transport Commissioner, NSW

also provided an Industry update.

32 March/April 2022


NEW SOUTH WALES news

Greg Kay – Head of Memberships

& Partnerships, NSW Taxi Council

presented the participants of the

“Taxi Connect” Programme with

the Achievement Certificates,

for successful completion of the

programme over 2020-2021.

Additionally, the Q&A Panel

Discussion at the 2022

Conference was an opportunity

for delegates to engage with the

panellists - Anthony Wing, Point

to Point Transport Commissioner;

Leonie Kyriacou, Partner,

Pigott Stinson Lawyers; Blair

Davies, Australian Taxi Industry

Association and Rod Barton,

MLC - Transport Matters Party

(Victoria) and raise important

questions about the NSW Taxi

Industry.

Brian to the NSW Taxi Industry

over the years.

The NSW Taxi Industry State

Conference 2022 concluded with

a Hawaiian theme Gala Dinner,

loaded with fun and games

involving cookies, balloons,

coconuts and pineapples, live

music and delicious food.

The NSW Taxi Council is thankful

to all the delegates, speakers,

industry partners, exhibitors, and

sponsors for their support and

contribution to a successful NSW

Taxi Industry State Conference

2022 and looks forward to

welcoming everyone to the 2023

annual NSW Taxi Industry event.

Overall, the delegates attending

the event walked away with

100 ideas discussed over the

two days of the Conference via

various Speaker Sessions and

Open Space Interactive Sessions

with a view to Embrace the

Future Together.

Moreover, a significant highlight

of the 2022 Conference was

honouring Brian Wilkins –

President, NSW Taxi Industry

Association and Country Director,

Taxis NSW with a Lifetime

Achievement Award, recognising

the extraordinary contribution by

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au

March/April 2022

33


REPORT ON THE INQUIRY INTO

ROAD SAFETY

The Parliament of Australia Joint

Select Committee on Road Safety

has tabled the final report for its

inquiry into Road Safety.

The report examines factors

contributing to fatal and serious

injuries on Australian roads and

considers opportunities to improve

road safety outcomes through

measures which:

• support the design,

construction, and

maintenance of high-quality

road infrastructure that

minimises the likelihood and

severity of road crashes;

• encourage the uptake of

modern vehicles fitted with

proven safety features;

• effectively manage speeds to

safe levels and deter unsafe

behaviours;

• ensure all road users are

equipped with the knowledge

and skills to identify and

respond appropriately to road

safety risks;

• embed road safety as part

of ‘business as usual’ in

public and private sector

organisations;

• promote safety for gig

economy participants who use

the road as a workplace;

• enhance road safety in the

heavy vehicle sector; and

• contribute to effective postcrash

response and trauma

support.

The report also identifies a need

for effective leadership and

oversight in relation to road safety

at the national level, noting that

efforts to improve road safety in

the past have been stymied by

poor governance, a lack of clearly

defined responsibilities for reducing

road trauma, and failures to report

progress towards set targets in a

meaningful way.

In addition, the report highlights

the importance of high-quality

research and reliable, accurate

data to understand the road safety

environment and the design,

implementation, and evaluation of

innovative measures to improve

road safety outcomes.

The report includes 61

recommendations relating to these

matters.

Committee Chair, the Hon Darren

Chester MP, said that “road trauma

touches the lives of all Australians,

whether as victims of a road crash

or as family members, friends, first

responders, or members of the

wider community.”

“The committee’s report outlines

a series of measures that may be

taken to improve road safety in the

short term, while also highlighting

some of the steps that should

be taken if we are to achieve

sustainable reductions in road

trauma into the future,” he added.

Mr Chester also stated that “while

the committee’s report outlines

several areas where road safety

can be enhanced, what is crucial is

that governments at all levels take

responsibility for reducing fatal

and serious injuries on our roads,

including implementing as a matter

of urgency recommendations of

this and other inquiries.”

34 March/April 2022


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www.drivenow-magazine.com.au

March/April 2022

35


Be

Safe

on the

Roads

at

Easter

With thousands of families heading away on

road trips to tourist hot spots or many taking the

opportunity to relax at home, RACV Policy Lead

- Safety, Elvira Lazar and RACV General Manager

Home, Darren Turner, have provided some timely

advice.

“We’re all really excited about the Easter holidays

and the opportunities for travel and reunion. At

this time, we need to take a moment to think about

safety on the road and in the home,” Ms Lazar said.

“Take the time to plan your trip before you depart,

attempting to take major, more well-maintained

roads where possible.”

“To stay aware of potential emergency warnings

and community information that could impact

travel, utilise resources such as the RACV Arevo app,

and the VicEmergency app – the official Victorian

Government app.”

“Schedule some breaks to ensure you’re well rested

and have patience for your fellow motorists. Before

you head off, make sure your insurance policies and

RACV roadside assistance are up to date and that

the water, oil and tyre pressure are all where they

should be.”

In addition to ensuring their road trip is as safe as

possible, there’s a lot that can be done to ensure

Victorians do not return home to a different kind of

tragedy, says Darren Turner.

“There are measures we can take to protect our

homes and possessions while we are away,” Mr

Turner said.

“Make a trusted neighbour aware of your absence,

and wherever possible, set a timer for some lights

to come on at night. Double-check that every single

door and window is locked properly.”

“For those planning to make up for lost time

with more than one holiday in 2022, it’s worth

considering installing an alarm system to protect

your home and its contents – for a small monthly

fee, your peace of mind will improve whether you’re

going away for a weekend or three weeks.”

36 March/April 2022


MARCH/APRIL 2022 - EDITION 53

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37


AUSTRALIA’S

AUTO AWARENESS

NEEDS A

TUNE-UP

Almost two-thirds (64%) of Aussies consider

themselves excellent drivers, but nearly a

quarter (23%) ask their parents how to keep

their car maintained.

With a love for road trips, motorsports and driving

video games, Aussies are confident when it comes

to hitting the road. But new research from mycar

Tyre & Auto reveals that although Aussies are

enthusiastic about driving, some are still unsure of

what our cars actually need.

As a nation that feels at home behind the wheel,

Aussies say the more years of experience a licence

holder has, the more confident they feel in both

their driving ability and their knowledge of road

rules, with 45–54-year-olds most likely to call

themselves excellent drivers (70%). However, over a

third of Aussies (35%) don’t know what tyre is best

for their vehicle and their driving style.

Despite half of the nation playing or streaming

video games (46%), most choose to add more

power (33%) and change their car’s aesthetics (31%)

before upgrading their wheels and tyres (25%) when

playing driving games.

To truly understand the difference between

driving in real life and in-game, mycar Tyre & Auto

partnered with popular video game personality

Stephanie 'Hex' Bendixsen to experience a series

of driving challenges IRL. From heavy braking to

tight cornering in the wet, Hex learnt first-hand the

impact good tyres can make.

"When I'm driving in video games there's no

consequence for losing traction. But when it comes

to safety in real life, I think I underestimated the

difference good tyres with plenty of tread can

make. You don't have to be an expert to feel the

difference when it comes to that grip and security.

38 March/April 2022


It's something I learned on the

track and might even carry over

into my gaming,” said Hex.

The research also found Aussies

are opinionated when it comes

to what makes both good and

bad drivers, labelling the top five

attributes of excellent drivers as:

• Being cautious (79%)

• Being courteous to others

on the road (75%)

• Never texting while driving

(74%)

• Ensuring your car is serviced

and roadworthy (73%)

• Making sure your passengers

always wear a seatbelt (72%)

Unsurprisingly, the top five

identifiers of bad drivers are the

opposite:

• Driving recklessly (87%)

• Using your mobile phone

when driving (83%)

• Being distracted behind the

wheel (82%)

• Having poor knowledge of

the road rules (74%)

• Driving an unroadworthy

and unserviced car (64%)

There are a few everyday road

risks that make Aussies sweat,

with wet road driving named the

most nerve-wracking scenario

(59%) followed by heavy/busy

traffic (44%) and high speeds on

motorways (27%).

So it’s clear Aussies place a great

deal of importance on on-road

safety. However, fewer have the

same assurance when it comes

to their understanding of car

maintenance.

While 84% of the nation plans on

servicing their car this year, less

than one-third consider whether

their tyres are suitable for the

journey ahead and just over half

get their tyres checked regularly.

For those who don’t keep up

with their logbook servicing, 29%

say they will wait until their car

has an issue, a further 29% don’t

know the type of maintenance

their car needs, 20% don’t see the

point in it and 17% don’t have the

time.

Managing Director of mycar Tyre

& Auto, Adam Pay, said having

good, well-maintained tyres on

your car is essential to keeping

you safe on the road, especially

in situations like wet road driving

and high-speed motorways.

“Tyres can sometimes be an

afterthought when it comes to

taking care of our vehicles, but

the fact is, they are one of the

most important components

when it comes to car safety.

Tyres that maintain the correct

air pressure and have a safe

tread depth are more effective

when turning, accelerating and

braking.”

“With the current wet weather

across much of the nation, this

has never been more apparent.”

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au

March/April 2022

39


Driver JOBS

QUEENSLAND

COOLANGATTA/TWEED HEADS

Is it time to enjoy the great outdoors, beautiful weather

and laid back lifestyle? Then the magnificent border

area of Tweed Heads / Coolangatta is the place for you.

Earn a few dollars while you are here by driving one

of our modern taxis. Plenty of shifts available. Phone

0439 769 259 now!

TOWNSVILLE 13CABS

Single car Owner /Operator looking for a motivated

driver who is flexible on shifts available, and wants

to get on with the business of making money. New to

town or looking to become a Taxi Driver, no problem, as

in-depth training can be provided to help reach your full

earning potential. Contact Darren 0407 597908 to learn

more of what’s on offer.

BRISBANE CROWN CABS

All shifts available – 7 days per week. Please phone Tuna

Guclu on 0419 484 666.

BLACK & WHITE

All shifts available. Home changeover available all over

Brisbane. Set Pay or 50/50 Commission. Limited Set pay

cars available. Albion Cab Centre. Call Ronnie today on

0411 864 392.

\

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

PERTH BLACK & WHITE CABS

Day shifts (5-7 days). Call Georgina on (08) 9230 0400.

CROWN CABS

Drivers wanted full time or part time in Morley and Perth.

Contact Tuna Guclu on 0419 484 666.

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the fantastic lifestyle of Broome. APPLY NOW to drive with

us in Broome. Email: Res@broometaxis.com.au

NEW SOUTH WALES

BYRON BAY

Taxi Driver Positions Available. Day and night shifts

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SOUTH TAMWORTH

Existing positions available for Taxi drivers. Day and

night shift available. Phone 0456441538.

SALAMANDER BAY

Nelson Bay Taxis are looking for additional driver to

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New drivers will need to have held a full NSW Driver

Licence for a minimum of two years, have a clear

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Taxi Driver Wanted for 13cabs Toyota Camry Hybrid.

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NELSON BAY

Nelson Bay Taxis are looking to hire additional drivers

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You must have held a full NSW driver licence for at least

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or phone (02) 4984 6699.

40 March/April 2022


VICTORIA

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Lots of opportunities than Melbourne to operate an

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& DRIVERS

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SHEPPARTON

Shepparton Taxis Pty Ltd now has opportunities to

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www.drivenow-magazine.com.au

March/April 2022

41


How successful is Australia's

COVID-19 booster rollout?

Is it enough ahead of Winter?

Isabelle Lane and Amy Hall recently wrote an article for SBS regarding vaccines and boosters

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

their article here, for your perusal.

Australia's COVID-19 cases are

surging as Omicron BA.2 'gains

momentum'. Here's what it means

Epidemiologists say Australia is in

the midst of what is effectively a

"second wave" of Omicron, this

time driven by the more infectious

BA.2 variant.

Australia's COVID-19 case numbers

are surging again as the Omicron

BA.2 sub-variant spreads across

the nation, and epidemiologists

fear the growing outbreak could

again put the nation's healthcare

system under strain.

Currently, an estimated 60% of

COVID-19 infections in Australia are

from the BA.2 variant, 39% from

BA.1, and 1% from other variants

including Delta.

The 'effective reproduction' or

Reff number has also been rising,

which means "people infected

with COVID-19 have been infecting

a greater number of people",

explained epidemiologist Nancy

Baxter, head of the Melbourne

School of Population and Global

Health at the University of

Melbourne.

"In the past, when the outbreak

was shrinking, one person was

transmitting it to less than one

person on average. Now it's

definitely above one. In many

states it's gone to 1.2, which

means that the outbreak is gaining

momentum now," Professor

Baxter said.

“In NSW a month ago, we had

cases per day as low as 5,000.

Today, we have around 24,000. So

there's clearly something different

happening.”

“We're starting to see hospital

numbers and ICU numbers go up,

and we know that those metrics

trail the rise in cases. So we'd

expect hospitalisations to be

trending upwards as well and will

42 March/April 2022


continue to do so until after the

peak is reached."

What’s driving the

transmission?

The BA.2 variant is more infectious

than the original Omicron

strain, but eased restrictions

and changing behaviour are

also contributing to its spread,

Professor Baxter said.

“Our behaviour has changed

because we've lifted restrictions,

lifted protections, so we have

people going back to work, lifted

mask mandates, changed the

close contact rules and these

types of things. All of these things

have driven opportunities for

transmission,” she said.

Will the healthcare

system cope?

The BA.2 wave will likely have

a higher peak than BA.1, which

will put pressure on health care

services, Professor Esterman said.

Professor Esterman noted federal

and state governments, except

South Australia, which has

retained mask mandates, have

little appetite for reimposing

COVID-19 restrictions, but may

be forced to do so as the BA.2

outbreak worsens.

"We're at the beginning of the end

of the pandemic, but we're not

there yet.”

While intensive care units (ICUs)

are expected to "be able to

manage" the BA.2 outbreak,

"There could be more stress on

the system, particularly for people

who are unwell but not ICU

unwell", Professor Baxter said.

COVID-19 is “not going

away”, and the risk

of reinfection is real,

Professor Baxter said.

“Instead of thinking about the

inevitability of COVID and why

bother trying, you should be

thinking about how many times

you want to get COVID. You

probably don't want to get COVID

as often as you get a cold,” she

said.

“So what can I do to

reduce my chance of

getting infected? That's

vaccines for sure and

boosters, but it's also

being smart.”

“In the next three or four weeks,

states and territories and the

federal government will have to

consider reimposing public health

measures because our hospital

numbers will get too high,” he

said.

Contact your local GP or pharmacy TODAY!

www.drivenow-magazine.com.au

March/April 2022

43


overseas news

Drivers say they can’t

take much more!

by Natalie Goodwin

OTTAWA, CANADA - Taxi drivers in

Ottawa are worried the industry

may die after experiencing

multiple blows over many years.

“The pandemic, it just put the

last nail in the coffin of the taxi

industry,” said Latif Dadshani, who

has been driving a cab since 1990.

Hit hard by low-ridership during

the pandemic, people hoping

to drive cabs are now looking at

soaring gas prices and a backlog of

licensing fees, in addition to having

to share the streets with ridehailing

companies.

“I don’t know what’s going to

happen to us,” Dadshani said.

Numbers from the city show the

total licensed drivers went from

1,950 in the year 2019 to 1,125 in

2021. In 2014, there were 2,776

drivers.

It’s been a tough road, Dadshani

said, since the bylaw was changed

in 2016 to allow for ride-hailing

companies like Uber and Lyft.

“It was just like putting my hand

behind my back - tied in a boxing

ring,” he said.

He usually rents out the two taxi

plates he owns, although now he

is having trouble finding anyone

willing. Taxi plates issued by the

City of Ottawa have become less

valuable in recent years.

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

44 March/April 2022


Not all of those licence owners

are necessarily driving, according

to the drivers’ union. It said their

membership shows a decline of

drivers actually on the road —

before the bylaw allowed ridehailing,

there were more than

1,500, now they have about 700.

Dadshani said allowing for

unlimited trips on a ride-hailing

app diminished the value of taxi

plates — something you used to

be able to retire on.

He has not sold his plates, but said

before ride hailing, plates would

sell for $350,000 or more; after

it was around $50,000, now it’s

about $8,000.

The taxi industry has filed a

class action lawsuit against the

city for allowing the ride-hailing

companies, which is set to go to

court in April. Quebec provided

compensation to drivers after it

deregulated the industry in 2019.

Rising costs prohibitive

The cost to drive a cab also

concerns some drivers. During the

pandemic Coventry Connections,

the company that runs Blueline,

WestWay and Capital continued to

charge the dispatch fee.

It runs upwards of $500 a month,

meaning some had to pay

thousands of dollars to return to

work. Abulhamid Hussein ended

up paying $3,731 for the months he

was off. He also said he could no

longer find a second driver for his

accessible van, so was stuck with

less income too.

Hussein, who isn’t driving currently

because of a ticket in Quebec that

is preventing him from getting

insured, says the large dispatch

fee, plus insurance fees of $850

a month aren’t helping drivers

get back on their feet. And now

there’s an added pinch — gas

prices are skyrocketing.

“Nobody wants to pay 1,400 every

single month…compared to Uber,

it is very hard.”

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www.drivenow-magazine.com.au

March/April 2022

45


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We are expanding in Brisbane. We will pay $100 to lease

assignments. Call into our office in Salisbury & ask for Tuna

Guclu or call 0419 484 666 to discuss price & terms.


overseas news

20,000 new Uber drivers

on the horizon after London licence

renewal drives recruitment push

by Michael Murphy | www.taxi-point.co.uk

By the end of the year Uber could

have up to 20,000 new drivers

working on their platform as they

continue their recruitment drive

following the announcement that

Transport for London granted

them a 30 month operator's

licence to work in the capital.

Jamie Heywood, Uber’s boss in

northern and eastern Europe, told

the Evening Standard that demand

for trips was up by more than 10

per cent in London compared with

pre-pandemic levels — and by far

more at the weekends.

He said: “For us our challenge is,

as it has been since the pandemic

eased, to continue to get more

drivers onto the platform... we

have fewer drivers than we need

to meet the demand we’re seeing

so we are trying to recruit drivers

in as many ways as possible

“We’re comfortable with our

pricing... But obviously if things

change, if costs change, if demand

changes, we’ll go back in and take

another look at it.”

TaxiPoint recently reported that

Transport for London made the

decision, just days before Uber's

licence was due to run out, to

issue them a new licence to run

for 30 months. The decision

came after Uber faced criticism

for its business model. But

following a High Court ruling, the

controversial app was made to

restructure it's model to fall in line

with TfL's licensing regulations.

Uber have said that their aim

is 20,000 new drivers on their

platform before the start of 2023.

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www.drivenow-magazine.com.au

March/April 2022

47


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