Today Rod read in his motion which he will debate in the Upper House tomorrow afternoon.
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I give notice that, on the next day of meeting, I will move —
That this House —
- acknowledges that —
- in 1998, the High Court of Australia determined that a taxi licence was a valuable item of property;
- since the commencement of the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Act 2017, the revocation of perpetual Victorian taxi and hire car licences amounted to a compulsory government asset acquisition;
- the revocation of perpetual Victorian taxi and hire car licences for a fraction of their worth constitutes as a breach of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006;
- arbitrary transition assistance payments in lieu of some, but not all, perpetual Victorian taxi and hire car licences was grossly inadequate and unfair;
- the deregulation of the industry in 2017 has —
- created a glut of commercial passenger vehicles on our roads;
- reduced driver income to well below minimum wage;
- threatened the economic viability of the industry;
- caused worsening traffic congestion;
- calls on the Andrews Government to —
(a) accept a financial proposal to properly compensate the industry for the compulsory asset acquisition of all perpetual Victorian taxi and hire car licences;
(b) make adjustments to the commercial passenger vehicle industry structure to better balance market components and end driver exploitation; and
(c) support a recovery plan to build back and move the commercial passenger vehicle industry forward through COVID-19.
This week, Rod asked the Premier about the treatment of Essential Transport Workers.
Thursday 12th November 2020
Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (12:42): My constituency question is for the Premier. Taxi fares in Victoria have not increased since 2014, and there have been a number of reviews. Taxidrivers are essential transport workers, as has been demonstrated during this pandemic. They receive no holiday pay, no sick pay, no superannuation and no maternity leave, and many have been known to work for less than $10 an hour—well below the minimum wage. The Essential Services Commission sets these fares, and it is interesting to note the executives at the Essential Services Commission in the same period have received a pay increase of 24.5 per cent. The information I seek is: what is the justification for this unfair treatment of these essential transport workers?
Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria is responsible for outlining the rules and perimeters that dictate this industry, one would thought that as the regulator, they would have statutory responsibilities to ensure the taxi and hire car industry has a plan to move forward.
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.
A support package to keep taxi drivers working is essential to maintain transport options for Victoria’s elderly, disabled and vulnerable according to Eastern Metro MP and Transport Matters Party leader Rod Barton.
“Drivers have had it tough for the last few years and for many this will be the last straw.”
The taxi industry is at the coal face when it comes to arrivals into Australia and the risks associated with close social contact during this Covid-19 crisis. This week Rod has written to the Premier and asked in Parliament for support for drivers who are ill or must self isolate. With no sick pay and no holiday pay these are the hard workers who are getting Victorian’s home safely and they and their families deserve our support.