Fair and equitable compensation for taxi plate owners.

NSW Shooters, Fishers & Farmers Party -The Hon. ROBERT BORSAK defending NSW Taxi Owners VIDEO CLIP

Hon. ROBERT BORSAK speaking in NSW State Parliament on 18/09/2018 stating how the Government  has basically failed to deliver on its promises


The Hon. ROBERT BORSAK (18:13): Tonight I again speak about the New South Wales taxi industry and in particular about the hardworking, law-abiding small business taxi owners who have been left high and dry and in the lurch by this Government, which has basically failed to deliver on its promises. In its haste to re-regulate our transport industry, the Government promised the most generous hardship package in the world would be delivered in New South Wales, yet the situation has become so critical that lives and families are being destroyed. This bureaucratic treachery is causing consequences obviously never thought through by those who initiated point to point transport reforms.


Taxi plate owners who have been encouraged and regulated by the Government to invest their life savings in their own small businesses now face bankruptcies, the loss of their family homes, foreclosures, marriage breakdowns, and severe physical and mental health issues while banks and financial institutions are now refusing to lend against the value of an owner’s plates. The Government has allowed the licencing of 75,000 rideshare operators, ever increasing in numbers in New South Wales, yet the Government’s new commission has made minimal effort to regulate these new players. The result is totally prejudiced towards overseas big business operators of the likes of Uber and Google at the expense of small business owners, and has resulted in the destruction of small businesses in New South Wales.


The taxi industry in this State is an essential service which operates on a 24/7 basis for every member of our community. It is a vital part of the developing integrated transport system that can support the initiatives of Government to provide safe and secure travel throughout the State, support economic growth and development of our cities and our tourism needs, meet the requirements of an aging population and the disabled, and provide vital entry-level employment to many people in our community. To date, negotiations with the Government regarding compensation have rested with the NSW Taxi Council, whose members have deserted it en masse. Its directors principally represent networks, not the owner-drivers and small business owners of many thousands of taxis who employ drivers and have ultimate responsibility for improved standards within the industry.


The NSW Taxi Council has been unsuccessful in keeping the Government to its promises. It has been lock-in-hand with this Government’s unjust and drawn-out process that has so badly affected the taxi owners who have done the right thing. The NSW Taxi Council has lost the confidence of the industry, as reflected in its dwindling membership base. As far as the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party is concerned, the only true voice for the entire NSW Taxi Industry is the Taxi Owners Small Business Association [TOSBA]. If the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party is fortunate enough to hold the balance of power in either House after the next election, we will work hand in hand with the TOSBA to right these wrongs.


It is an absolute disgrace that those owners who have invested in a taxi as their retirement income are now faced with the real prospect of being forced onto social security payments to survive, let alone losing any prospect of transferring their taxi asset to their next of kin. In May this year I addressed Parliament and appealed for more to be done to address those small taxi owners and operators who have been denied natural justice and are still waiting for the Government to deliver on its promises. The only thing that has happened since then is a complex and short-term additional assistance payment scheme application process which resembles a social security application with no quantification of amount or performance benchmarks.


The promise was that hardship compensation would open in November 2016 and close in July 2017. It is now September 2018 and despite levies being raised this year on all taxi and rideshare trips we are yet to see anything that would offset the pain caused to those who have fulfilled their obligations to Government by investing in their businesses. It is an absolute disgrace for any government to do this to small business, let alone a conservative government. The taxi industry in New South Wales employs more than 15,000 full-time taxpaying workers who are dedicated to lifting standards and service delivery across the board. It is critical that we recognise the importance of these small business people and the safe service they provide to our travelling public and other users, and put a halt to the wrongful hardship that they have to endure. It is time to correct the wrongs that have been inflicted on small business taxidrivers and owners.



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