The Taxi industry has been granted some relief following the historic passing of the Transport Legislation (Taxi Services) Amendment Bill 2015, aimed at strengthening the taxi licencing regulations.
The bill which passed with amendments, not only significantly increased the fines for those operating a taxi without a taxi licence, it also increased the powers of Transport officers to assist with prosecution.
“Queensland has made a stand tonight, we will not allow multinationals to dictate our laws,” Member for Mount Isa Rob Katter said.
“This is not about denying access for companies to enter the transport market in Queensland, this Bill is about a fair and level playing field for the Taxi industry.”
“We hope this is a strong message for everyone looking to bypass the laws of our land, we are being the grown ups here, willing to looking beyond ourselves and to look at the greater good,” he said.
Mr Katter said the KAP believed it is always the responsibility of the government to uphold its own rules and regulations.
“We could not stand by and let these services continue to undermine the government’s own legislation and the lively-hood of its people,” he said.
“If we start the ball rolling how many other regulated industries will we be willing to tear apart in the name of the latest thing, ”
The Taxi Services bill, only the ninth private member bill to pass through Queensland parliament since the state’s formation is the second to be passed by KAP.
“It’s about making sure that Queenslanders can be sure when they use a taxi, they have all of the regulations in place to ensure a safe and fair ride,” Mr Knuth said.
“This is an industry that is regulated to look after the community, no other major jurisdiction has Minimum Service Levels and Universal Service obligations.
“Queensland is also the world leader in Wheelchair Accessible Taxi services, offering the only service that is not subsidised by the government. – This is instead cross-subsidised by the regular service,” he said.
The KAP members were thankful of the Minister who took a stance on the issue and guaranteed to place a six-month moratorium on the replacement of taxi vehicles until the review process is finalised and certainty is returned to an industry.
“This will provide some form of relief to the mum and dad operators out there who do not have the ability to invest in another vehicle in this uncertain environment,” Mr Knuth said.