Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (12:13:013:): My question without notice is to the Attorney-General, representing the Premier. At the last Public Accounts and Estimates Committee budget hearings I had the opportunity to ask the Premier some questions about the commercial passenger vehicle industry. He acknowledged that many had mixed experiences of, and views of, the 2017 industry reforms. Make no mistake: these reforms devastated licence-holders. Those who were already carrying crippling legacy debts then had to deal with COVID-19, which shut down an industry. The Premier said to me his door was always open and, ‘There well may be more we have to do’.
Premier, I have presented to you a plan. As we move to November, the industry’s 120 000 drivers and 200 000 of their family members want to hear from you, Premier. Does this government intend to let the wolves continue to roam, or do you now recognise this industry must be repaired?
Ms SYMES (Northern Victoria—Leader of the Government, Attorney-General, Minister for Emergency Services) (12:13): Thank you, Mr Barton. Your advocacy of the taxi industry is always on full display, and you have much respect in relation to that. Your question to the Premier I will pass on and ensure that you receive an answer in accordance with the standing orders.
Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (12:14:164:): Thank you, Attorney. The industry is at a crossroads. The government must make a decision. The Premier of New South Wales has just announced that there will be further compensation for plate owners in the taxi industry. We have seen Western Australia also reflect on what the deregulation has done and provide further compensation. New South Wales’s further package recognises the extent of financial suffering experienced by plate owners. The Victorian industry is only asking that the Victorian government repair the past so we can move forward. The question, Premier, is: are you going to throw us all under the bus?
Ms SYMES (Northern Victoria—Leader of the Government, Attorney-General, Minister for Emergency Services) (12:15): I will pass the supplementary question on to the Premier.