January 29, 2017 5:00am
LAYNE Gardiner predicted the Keating Government’s demise. Years later, he sensed the downfalls of prime ministers Howard and Rudd.
The 60-year-old is neither a pollster nor political buff, but a cluey cabbie who has spent decades lending a sympathetic ear to the Cairns voting public.
“I could predict every Federal election ... because you are talking to people, you understand their problems,” he said.
“You’ve always got someone new who you are meeting, and you learn a hell of a lot.”
Born in Launceston, Tasmania, he moved to Cairns in 1981 to drive taxis for his father-in-law Vince Murdoch.
This year marks three decades since Mr Gardiner bought his first cab, a Holden Kingswood that “got the job done”.
“When I came here there was a set of traffic lights at Florence and Sheridan, that was it,” he said.
“I used to drive a lot at night, which I didn’t mind because it meant I could spend time with my wife and kids during the day.”
These days, Mr Gardiner is the long-serving Cairns Taxis chairman and a Taxi Council of Queensland board member.
His first stint in the Cairns Taxis top job came when he was just 34.
With 137 cabs and 600 drivers, the company last year turned over about $44 million.
“Business is going great ... this month is probably one of our best Januarys,” Mr Gardiner said.
Read More: http://www.cairnspost.com.au/business/cairns-taxis-chairman-layne-gardiner-still-loves-life-in-the-drivers-seat/news-story/5cb4ab5493d2dd98a95c86486ec0d3ed