Fair and equitable compensation for taxi plate owners.

Qld Taxi Owners take legal action against Queensland State Government

As stated in the North West Star by Melissa North on NOVEMBER 21 2018,  KAP Federal Leader and Member for Kennedy Bob Katter will join with lawyers in Cairns this week as part of a roadshow inviting Queensland taxi licence owners to join a legal claim against the Queensland State Government.


Mr Katter has been passionately encouraging taxi licence owners across the state to stand up and fight after action by the State Government has seen the value of Queensland taxi licences almost completely eroded.


“Twenty-five percent of all monies for taxi transportation will now go overseas to a foreign multinational,” he said.


“There are currently 700 plaintiffs, who each hold a licence, involved in the legal action, and numbers are growing. It’s estimated that the plaintiffs have suffered a combined loss of hundreds of millions of dollars.”


A statement of claim has been completed and will be filed in the Queensland Supreme Court by early 2019.


The claim has been years in the making, with the establishment of a steering group from across Queensland earlier this year. The group travelled to Melbourne to meet with legal counsel in May this year and again last week.


“There has been over 1,000 hours put in by the leading lawyers in Australia, the most-high level team we could put together,” Mr Katter said.


In Mount Isa the United Cab Company employs 136 people, including 23 taxi licence owners (who own 34 licences), 88 drivers and 10 base operators.


The company has two wheelchair-accessible taxis and commits to daily school transfers for 26 children with disabilities.


Licence owner Glenn Corlis owns three cabs.


“The licence was our super,” Mr Corliss said.


“(But the ridesharing industry) devalues it.”


If Uber did establish in Mount Isa, Glenn Corlis said it would serve a big blow to business.


“It would be detrimental to all the cabs; there’s no such thing as an equal playing field.”


Together Mr Katter, legal counsel Barrister John Ribbands, instructing solicitor John Maitland, Ian Coleman SC and Gerry Nash QC are driving a closed proceeding, seeking compensation from the Queensland Government arising from the introduction of ridesharing in the state, which has adversely affected the taxi industry.


Mr Katter said across Queensland 15,000 to 20,000 full-time drivers will be thrown into casualised labour with no real liveable income.”


“If ever there has been a bloody and terrifying example (and these words are used with forethought) of the free marketeers at work, the Judas Iscariot agents for the foreign takeover of Australia – this was the classic example.”


“The leadership of the State Government will wish they have never heard the word ‘Uber’ by the time this case is over.


“If the Government gets away with this we are in pre-Magna Carta territory, meaning the government, the executive and the Crown are above the law. And all the hundreds of thousands of martyrs who fought to make the Crown subject to what we call the rule of law will all be gone.”


Mr Katter praised the work to date by the legal counsel involved in this case.


“The case is pretty simple – taxi owners had a property right, the right to operate a taxi. Government action destroyed the value of that property right and the Crown is liable,” he said.


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