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Fair and equitable compensation for taxi plate owners.

Taxi plate owners promised ‘fair go’ as Uber fare levy mooted by new WA Government

An industry-funded buyback scheme will be introduced for WA taxi plate owners by the end of the year and could be paid for by a fare levy on ride-booking services, the McGowan Government has said according to ABC NEWS covering this taxi buy back scheme in Western Australia.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the Government had “inherited a mess” and would start from scratch at reforming the industry, in an effort to create a level playing field between taxi owners and ride-booking services like Uber.

She said she had asked her department to investigate models for a voluntary buyback scheme — funded by industry — and hoped to have legislation ready soon.

“We will work to end the uncertainty that remains in Western Australia’s taxi and on-demand transport sector,” she said.

“This is about giving taxi plate owners a fair go.

“Loss of plate value is a major issue for metropolitan taxi plate owners, and I have instructed the Department of Transport to look into options for an industry-funded buyback scheme.”

Ms Saffioti said one option would be to impose a levy on passengers using ride-booking services to fund the buyback scheme.

Before the introduction of Uber, taxi plates were valued at between $200,000 and $300,000.

They could now be worth as little as $10,000.

However, Ms Saffioti said it was too soon to say how much the Government would pay for individual plates.

The previous Barnett government created a $27.5 million hardship assistance package last year to help the taxi industry adapt, with most of that set aside to allow for $20,000 compensation payments for plate owners.

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