September 26, 2016
Melbourne uber incident highlights safety dangers created by new regulations
A recent incident which saw two elderly women mistakenly get in the wrong rideshare vehicle highlights the inherent dangers customers now face under changes to passenger transport legislation.
The incident forced the Melbourne women to complain to ridesharing service uber, claiming a driver tried to force them out of the vehicle in a deserted street late at night.
Taxi Council Queensland (TCQ) Chief Executive Officer Benjamin Wash says customers are putting their safety at risk by thinking any vehicle could be their booking, because the cars are not clearly identified.
“Sadly we will see more and more instances of customers getting fooled and mistakenly getting into the wrong ridesharing vehicle – or a car pretending to offer rideshare - and being put in harm’s way. It is happening overseas and is becoming common in some jurisdictions.”
Mr Wash said taxis are clearly marked, driver identification is on display, and all cabs are equipped with cameras, unlike rideshare vehicles which, “can be operated by just about anyone”.
“The State Government has released the genie from the bottle and more serious safety incidents will occur as these watered down regulations allow rideshare vehicles to operate under flimsy protection guidelines.”
Original article can be found here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-08/uber-trip-for-two-older-melbourne-women-ends-in-complaint/7827610
September 5, 2016
Taxi Council says Hinchliffe lying over compensation
Taxi Council Queensland (TCQ) says the claim by Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe that the taxi industry has been paid $4.3 million in immediate financial relief is “a total lie”, revealing that not a cent has been provided.
Furthermore, TCQ chief executive officer Benjamin Wash says the entire $100 million package is a “fairy tale” that will never be paid.
“We have email correspondence from the department telling us that not a cent will be paid until late 2017 at the earliest, and the Government may not even be in office then.
“Queenslanders will also be shocked to learn that only around 20 per cent of taxi owners will even be eligible because the compensation is not going to be paid to anyone who has their licence in a company name.
“In other words, this figure of $100 million sounds good and gives the impression that the industry is being looked after, when in fact it’s a $100 million sham.”
Mr Wash said the Government’s proposed regulations are a mess.
“Nowhere in this regulation does the Government make rideshare legal, nowhere does it bring clarity on rank and hail business – this is government mismanagement at its worst.”
He said TCQ acted in good faith throughout the review yet the minister and premier have showed “unprecedented arrogance to the industry”.
“Put simply, the minister is fabricating these figures. None of this so-called red tape reduction will save the industry a solitary cent and it’s time someone called out this government for its ineptitude and shameless mistruths.
“He must think we are stupid. Waiving fees that have already been paid is not a saving.
“The minister is lying. There is no nicer way to put this.”
September 5, 2016
Taxi industry silent protest – TODAY 11:30am
Taxi drivers, owners and operators will descend on Queensland’s Parliament House today for a silent rally to protest the State Government’s ham-fisted new regulations that will lower taxi safety standards and affect over 16,000 small business operators. Taxi Council Queensland has offered its support to this protest.
Where: Parliament House George St Brisbane
Media spokespeople available at rally – including Bill Parker, General Manager Yellow Cabs.
This is a silent rally to show strength in numbers, and disruptive noisy attendees will be asked to leave. Drivers on shift have been asked not to attend so customer services are not disrupted.