Media Release
27 January 2016

Taxi Council Queensland (TCQ) has called for mandatory sentencing for anyone found guilty of assaulting a person who is providing an emergency or transportation service to the public.

The call comes after a spate of attacks against paramedics in south east Queensland.

TCQ chief executive officer Benjamin Wash says his industry stands with ambulance officers and others who are dealing with the public 24/7, as taxi drivers have also been victims of violence.

“All of the talk in the world won’t change things unless courts start sending a strong message, and at this moment sentencing is far removed from community expectation,” he said.

“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.”

Mr Wash said that all too often offenders get no jail time and walk away from court laughing.

“The law doesn’t need to be changed, as the penalties are already there; it just needs to be enforced.”

The Taxi Council believes that mandatory sentencing will send a strong message to offenders and a warning to others that the people engaged in these vital industries must 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.”