Touting at Melbourne Airport
Last nights segment on touting at Melbourne Airport aired on A Current Affair, shedding light on a concerning issue within the commercial passenger vehicle industry. Touting laws, initially intended to protect ethical taxi drivers who adhere to the proper protocols by waiting in line for fares, also serve to safeguard passengers from potentially unlicensed and uninsured operators. The practice of touting, however, tarnishes the image of the city, likening it to a third world nation.
Regrettably, the segment failed to delve into the root causes behind the proliferation of touting at the airport. This omission is disheartening, as it masks a more complex backdrop involving the Andrews Government and Melbourne Airport. Both entities have contributed to the environment that compels individuals to resort to such actions.
The government’s role in allowing the commercial passenger vehicle industry to transform into an unregulated domain akin to the “Wild Wild West” is disconcerting. Neglecting to ensure that regulatory obligations are met has resulted in the coexistence of legitimate and illicit operators, thereby compromising public safety. The government’s apparent indifference toward foreign Uber’s taxi company operators further compounds the issue.
Melbourne Airport’s decision to relocate the primary taxi rank and sell access to foreign Uber while pushing local taxis to more distant ranks exacerbates the problem. The ensuing inconvenience for travellers, people with disabilities and the removal of a level playing field for local drivers casts a shadow over the airport’s reputation.
This in my view should be investigated by the ACCC because this decision not only restricts competition for taxis but also other rideshare operators.
Equally disappointing is the lack of response from the Regulator and Minister Carroll on this matter. Their reluctance to address the situation they have played a role in creating raises questions about accountability and commitment to rectifying the issue.
The recent A Current Affair segment provided an eye-opening view of touting at Melbourne Airport. While shedding light on a critical problem, the segment fell short of scrutinizing the deeper factors contributing to the issue.
The involvement of the Andrews Government, Melbourne Airport, and regulatory bodies in shaping the environment that fosters touting is disturbing and raises concerns about the well-being of both taxi drivers and passengers.