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Fair and equitable compensation for taxi plate owners.

NSW HARDSHIP PACKAGE

PREFACE

This package is also known as “The Additional Assistance Package”.   It forms part of the transitional industry assistance for the NSW taxi industry that was put in place by the NSW Liberal government and administered by Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW).

 

Payments under the scheme are deemed to be subject to federal income tax and are also included in the Centrelink calculation for welfare/pension eligibility, thereby reducing the effectiveness.  The scheme is designed to assist eligible industry participants for the loss of income suffered as a result of legislation passed in December 2015 allowing commercial rideshare operations to become legal in NSW.  It does not address the substantial loss of equity suffered by taxi license owners.

 

Applications under the scheme were to open in November 2016, with all payments to be finalised by July 2017.

 

The panel that has been established to oversee the process and adjudicate on applications includes representatives from TfNSW, NSW Treasury, The Premier’s Department plus two officers from the NSW Taxi Council to act on behalf of the industry.

 

TIMELINE

Over three years have elapsed since the December 2015 passage of legislation allowing commercial rideshare to operate legally in NSW and the process for receiving applications has only recently closed – two years later than scheduled.  To date no assistance payments have been made under this scheme, despite the government having collected in excess of $50 million through a $1 per trip levy imposed on all taxi and rideshare trips in NSW (with some minor exceptions).

 

The scheme finally opened in July 2018 with only a three month window for applications to be made – less in practice due to delays in notification and original certified documents needing to be sent to Dubbo for processing.  The application form itself was particularly lengthy and intrusive and was followed up in most cases with a second round of certified documentary requirements that were even more intrusive of personal domestic arrangements – with no privacy provisions included.  Naturally, many refused to divulge personal information under this scenario and were excluded from further consideration of their circumstances.

 

For those who persisted with the process, the advice from TfNSW was that ‘notices’ would commence being issued from 21 December 2018.  As at the time of writing, I am unaware of anyone having received any communication regarding the fate of their application.  TfNSW has now advised that the process for distribution to eligible applicants will extend until 31 March 2019, which curiously comes after the 23 March 2019 NSW State elections.  One has to wonder if the revised date is coincidental or by design from a government that lacks compassion and will renege on its commitments.

 

It is noteworthy that during the as yet unexplained delays, over 50% of license transfers (153 of 291) have resulted from deceased estates where these poor souls have passed in a climate of distress and anguish at seeing their life’s work evaporate due to the unconscionable actions of an immoral government.

 

As regards to the NSW Taxi Council, several attempts have been made at obtaining information from them relating to the number of applications and the percentage successful/unsuccessful; the criteria being used in the adjudication process; the reasons for the extensive delays and the expected payment amounts.  However, no information has been provided.

 

It leaves one wondering whether the NSW Taxi Council is working in good faith with its constituents or whether there is an alternate agenda being pursued.

 

CALL TO ACTION

The State Election is scheduled to be held on 23 March 2019.

 

Politicians from both Liberal and Labor who are well aware of the taxi industry’s plight have betrayed us over the past three years.  Their disregard and total lack of care has resulted in severe hardship being experienced across all taxi industry members and families.  These politicians clearly demonstrate few morals and zero compassion for the people they claim to represent.

 

However, they still want your vote in the coming elections!

 

sff logoI encourage you to consider your vote very carefully.  This is likely the last opportunity to be heard.  In the three years since the changes to point to point transport were introduced, only one political party has been prepared to take an interest in the injustice that has occurred and support our industry.  That is The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party of NSW.  With representation in the lower house of parliament and the balance of power in the upper house the taxi industry will have a strong political ally to right the injustices and amend the bad legislation that favours multinational rideshare operators over professional, dedicated and hard working taxi industry participants.

 

THE ONLY CHANCE FOR JUSTICE IS TO GIVE THE SHOOTERS, FISHERS & FARMERS OUR SUPPORT

 

Silvano Porcaro

President

Taxi Owners Small Business Association Inc

SITEMAP

VISIT the SITEMAP LINK which represents the interests of all taxi plate owners and operators and drivers.

Goal

We are representing the interests of all taxi plate owners in response to financial losses in income and asset value forced upon us by the NSW Mike Baird Liberal State Government and other NSW parliamentarians.

DISCLAIMER

Please visit the Taxiowners Disclaimer which states it position on taxi matters in Australia.