Interview about Taxi Council calls for mandatory sentencing following ambo attacks.
Interview about Taxi Council calls for mandatory sentencing following ambo attacks
By AAP, 1:07pm January 27, 2016
Queensland's taxi lobby is calling for mandatory jail terms for people who assault professional drivers.
The Taxi Council of Queensland's plea comes after a spate of attacks on paramedics in the state's southeast.
"Whether it is a taxi driver, police officer, bus driver, paramedic, firefighter, railway employee or anyone who is carrying out their job of transporting or attending to the public, they deserve a level of protection from the law that is currently not there," chief executive Benjamin Wash said.
Mr Wash said mandatory sentencing would send a strong message to offenders and a warning to others that transport workers should be treated with respect.
"This is their workplace and they are faced with issues most of us will never be faced with in our workplace, so there needs to be special consideration given to their specific roles," he said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her government would be open to discussing the idea.
"I'm not aware of those concerns, but my (Transport) Minister Stirling Hinchliffe will be more than happy to sit down with the taxi council about those issues," she said.
There has been a recent spike in assaults on Queensland paramedics, including three incidents on Sunday alone.
One saw a 21-year-old woman allegedly bash a paramedic in the back of an ambulance after she had earlier passed out in the toilets of a Brisbane hotel.
7 News - "We need more secure ranks": Footage backs figures on out-of-control violence at Brisbane taxi ranks
Seven News has gained access to footage of violence in Brisbane, as new figures confirm assaults around taxi ranks in the city’s south-east are out of control.
Taxi Council Queensland has called for more secure ranks to make sure people make it home unharmed.
A video released to Seven News under Right to Information shows a fight between several men and taxi supervisors in January last year.
At a crowded cab rank in Fortitude Valley, it only takes seconds for violence to break out.
What starts as pushing and shoving quickly escalates.
Police are quick to respond but the attackers are not fazed by their presence.
“From what we've seen in terms of coward punches and the tragedies that have happened in recent times, we don't need less secure ranks we need more secure ranks operating more often,” chief executive of Taxi Council Queensland Benjamin Wash said.
There have been 309 assaults around taxi ranks in the Valley and city, over the past three months.