06 July, 2018
The Taxi Council of Queensland (TCQ) has called for State Government to follow Victoria and make urgent changes to address unfairness in its Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance scheme.
Queensland taxi operators are greatly disadvantaged under the current CTP scheme, having to pay Class 3 premiums at $4,120 pa per vehicle while booked hire competitors, Uber and Ola drivers, only pay $576.20 pa for their vehicles’ (CTP Class 26). This is despite taxis and booked hire vehicles operating with similar risk profiles as they go about providing passenger transport services to their respective customers.
TCQ CEO Blair Davies says Queensland has been left behind by the other states, principally Victoria but also New South Wales, when it comes to establishing a level playing field for all competitors in the Personalised Transport market. Local Queensland businesses in the taxi industry cannot afford to wait while our Government sits on its hands on the issue and the Government’s approach of creating a new CTP class, Class 26, for booked hire vehicles last year isn’t working to promote a level playing field.
“Under the current Queensland CTP scheme, taxis are paying a far higher CTP premium than all other operators in the personalised transport sector. We’re operating with almost identical risks to booked hire vehicles, so there should be no reason why our operators should be forking out more,” said Mr Davies.
“We have ordinary Queenslanders in family-run businesses who have invested their life savings into making taxi services available for their communities and now they’re struggling to keep those businesses on the road. When they are hit with a common renewal date for Rego and CTP, they can be up for tens of thousands of dollars that they simply cannot afford and that their competitors don’t have to pay.
“We’ve already seen one large taxi operator go into bankruptcy and more will likely hit the wall unless the Queensland the Government doesn’t act urgently to fix the current CTP scheme for the personalised transport sector. If the Victorian Government can put taxis, limousines and booked hire vehicles all on a premium of $510.40 pa in Melbourne, and $396 pa in regional areas, from July 1, what’s stopping the Queensland Government from doing something similar?”
As of July 1, the Victorian state Government dropped premiums from $2,586 pa to $510.40 pa for Melbourne taxi, limousine and booked hire operators and from $1,289 pa to $396 pa for regional operators to level the playing field for all competitors in the sector. Earlier this year, the NSW Government reduced taxi premiums by an average of 40 per cent and it is moving to premiums based on kilometres travelled.
“It’s not a level playing field when a small business taxi operator has to pay thousands more per vehicle for CTP than their competitors running booked-hire vehicles. Queensland’s CTP scheme isn’t keeping up with the realities of life in the personalised transport sector. The Government has to take responsibility for the unfairness in the regulated scheme, own the problem, and commit to fixing it.”
Mr Davies said with more booked-hire providers looking to enter Queensland, time has run out for the Government on CTP. It needs to catch up to the Southern States and remove the regulatory distortion in the scheme that is badly disadvantaging Queensland taxi operators.
“TCQ isn’t objecting to competition in the personalised transport market, we’re simply calling for a level playing field for all businesses operating in the sector. There is a huge disparity between the premiums taxis are forced to pay versus booked-hire vehicles and that has got to stop, and stop now, not sometime next year or the year after,” concluded Mr Davies.