To the stakeholders
Over the past month I have been lobbying the government for support for the taxi industry during the Covid-19 crisis.
Yesterday the Minister for Transport, Melissa Horne, requested that I join a Parliamentary Advisory Panel with Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Steve Dimopoulos, to create a set of Covid-19 support recommendations to take to the Minister for consideration.
The advisory panel will then continue with the work of forming the government’s response and implementation of the recommendations from the parliamentary inquiry into the 2017 CPV Industry Reforms.
This is a great achievement for the industry. Victoria is the only state with representation at this level and I intend to make sure that is reflected in the package we present to the Minister.
The Andrews Government recognises that the taxi industry is an essential service and needs to be supported. The role taxis play for our elderly and those with a disability must be maintained.
Mr Dimopoulos brings some authority to the process and I have worked with him on many varied issues while I have been in parliament. He is a strong supporter of the taxi industry and understands the challenges we have faced.
Covid-19 support for the industry is urgent and therefore Minister Horne has provided resources from the Department of Transport (DoT) to assist us in creating a speedy but comprehensive set of recommendations. Our job is to support the taxi industry through this crisis while also developing a pathway to move forward on the other side.
Since the onset of this crisis both the government and I have heard from individuals, owner operators and small and large networks offering advice and pleas for help. Many worthy suggestions have been presented for consideration. However, we must manage our expectations – the reality we must accept is that not everything will get up.
Many of you have also asked about the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Reforms of 2017 and the government’s response, which was due to be released in May. The coronavirus pandemic means we won’t get a response in May. However, once we get the Covid-19 support package in place I will be continuing to work in this advisory role to develop and implement the Government for a response to the reforms.
Take care of yourselves and your families,
Rod Barton MP
Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region
Parliament of Victoria | Legislative Council