Media Release
August 29, 2016

Queensland’s taxi peak body has accused the State Government of targeting taxi drivers as payback for the industry’s lack of support for the deregulation of the industry, announced recently following the Varghese Review into personalised transport.

Taxi Council Queensland CEO Benjamin Wash revealed that police were breath testing all drivers on a major city rank on Saturday night, disrupting taxi services.

He said this had never happened before on this scale and that police informed drivers that they were acting on the direct orders of “Queensland politicians”.

“We feared that the Government would target law abiding taxi drivers because we didn’t jump for joy when they deregulated our industry, and it appears they are doing exactly that.”

Mr Wash said the review was a whitewash and it was clear that the Labor Government was more interested in supporting illegal multinational operators that don’t pay tax in Australia, over Queensland small business.

“Every small business in Queensland should be worried that not only did the Government abandon the 16,000 small business operators that make up the taxi industry, but are now vindictive enough to target them and ensure they lose more business.

“By deregulating this industry, they have stripped consumers of protection, ignored their responsibility to put safety first, and supported a breakdown of the rule of law.”

He said that under the new era of deregulation, anyone can start their own taxi service with no checks or balances, no rules and no quality standards.

“The Queensland public should be aware that this is not about a company called uber, but about opening up public transport to anyone with the bar set so low it’s scary and dangerous.

“Sadly something very serious will have to happen before the Government wakes up.”