Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (18:13): I am pleased to rise this evening to speak on taxi pricing, and I address this to the Minister for Public Transport. I would ask Minister Horne to direct the Essential Services Commission to review and then increase the maximum regulated taxi fares by 10 per cent immediately and link those fares through the annual CPI increases in the future.
Our friends in the taxi industry have not seen a fare increase for some years—in fact since 2014. Increased tolls, the $1 trip levy and airport access pricing have all meant increases have passed on to the consumer, yet cabbies have seen none of these. These workers get no sick pay, no holiday pay, no super and certainly no overtime, and heavily subsidised rideshare operators have robbed them of the market.
Deregulation in August 2017 was supposed to create a level playing field for taxis and rideshare operators, but the government did not kick a goal; they hit the post. Fuel, insurance, the need to maintain roadworthy vehicles—all these costs go up, but the fare has remained the same. So I ask the minister for fairness: review the taxi fares, put them up and make provisions for annual CPI increases.
This week I asked the Minister for Public Transport to give cabbies a pay rise and increase the maximum cap set by the Essential Services Commission on taxi fares.