Taxi Talk February 2015

 

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Taxi Talk magazine February 2015 edition

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TAXI TALK February 2015 ISSUE NO 561 TAXI VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY MAGAZINE VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY Official journal of the Victorian Taxi Association Print Post Approved number 100004912 White Night Melbourne Saturday 21 February 2015 An all-night arts and cultural event - dusk till dawn 7pm - 7am. Visitors will be able to experience the visual art, exhibitions, spectacular illuminations, music, theatre, special dining experiences, film, design and performances on display in venues and major cultural institutions right across the city centre. Inspired by Paris’ Nuit Blanche and the international network of White Night programmes around the world, White Night Melbourne is Australia’s most celebrated cultural event. Peak attendance period is between 9pm - midnight. Photo: Craig Silitoe

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INSIDE... 4 10 18 20 22 27 28 Victorian Taxi Association editorial A common thread unites this industry TAXI VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY MAGAZINE OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE VICTORIAN TAXI ASSOCIATION MAGAZINE EDITOR ........................ Toni F. Peters VTA EDITOR ....................................David Samuel FOUNDER ....................................Stanley F. White PUBLISHER ..................Trade Promotions Pty Ltd ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES VTA on-line marketing campaign #TaxiTrippin is now underway Trade Promotions Pty Ltd 42 Grenfell Road, Mt Waverley VIC 3149 PO Box 2345, Mt Waverley VIC 3149 Phone: ............................................. 03 9807 0237 Email: ................................... info@taxitalk.com.au Taxi and hire car statistics Website: ................................ www.taxitalk.com.au Monthly Victorian licence and driver statistics DISPLAY ADVERTISEMENTS All copy, editorial and artwork must be in by the 15th of the month prior to publication date. Advertisement sizes and rates can be viewed at www.taxitalk.com.au. Detroit Auto Show Two Australian concept cars took centre stage SUBSCRIPTION DETAILS 1 year = $35 CLASSIFIED ADVERTISEMENTS Taxi Services Commission Updates on issues affecting the Victorian Taxi Industry $30 for 35 words, $60 for 70 words, etc. Email or Mail your classified advertisement by the 15th of the month prior to publication date, together with your payment. PAYMENT OPTIONS • • • Via PAYPAL to info@taxitalk.com.au Direct Deposit to BSB 033065 A/c 312786 Mail Cheque to Trade Promotions Pty Ltd PO Box 2345, Mt Waverley VIC 3149 Mental health in the workplace Workplaces have a responsiblity to promote good mental health World News A year in review for the City of Toronto Taxi Talk magazine, a monthly publication for the Victorian taxi industry, is published by Trade Promotions Pty Ltd in collaboration with the Victorian Taxi Association Inc (VTA). The VTA is the peak industry body in Victoria, fostering the interests and wellbeing of taxi-cab drivers, taxi-cab permit holders and Taxi Booking Services across the state. Taxi Talk magazine is wholly owned by Trade Promotions Pty Ltd. COPYRIGHT © Trade Promotions Pty Ltd 2014. All rights reserved. The “Taxi Talk – Voice of the taxi industry” heading and logos are trademarks of Stanley F. White. Copyright of articles and photographs of Taxi Talk magazine remain with the individual contributors and may not be reproduced without permission. Views expressed in any article in Taxi Talk are those of the individual contributor and not necessarily those of the publisher. The publisher cannot accept any responsibility for any opinions, information, errors or omissions in this publication. To the extent permitted by law, the publisher will not be liable for any damages including special, exemplary, punitive or consequential damages (including but not limited to economic loss or loss of profit or revenue or loss of opportunity) or indirect loss or damage of any kind arising from the contract, tort or otherwise, even if advised of the possibility of such loss of profits or damage. Advertisements must comply with the relevant provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Responsibility for compliance with the Act rests with the person, company or advertising agency submitting the advertisement. Phone: 03 9676 2635................ Fax: 03 9676 2643 PRESIDENT .................................... Kevin Gange VICE PRESIDENT ................. Stephen Armstrong CHIEF EXECUTIVE ....................... David Samuel Taxi Talk has agreed to advertise taxi clubs because those clubs have stated that they and their products comply with all applicable laws and regulations relating to insurance for taxi operators. Neither Taxi Talk nor VTA has independently verified these taxi clubs’ compliance, and they give no warranty and make no representation as to whether the taxi clubs are compliant. Operators should satisfy themselves as to a taxi club’s compliance with laws and regulations through their own enquiries. These advertisements do not constitute recommendations by Taxi Talk or VTA that operators purchase insurance products from taxi clubs. Neither Taxi Talk nor VTA accept any liability or responsibility for any loss or damage suffered or incurred by any operator because a taxi club or its product or service is non-compliant. Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry February 2015 |3

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unites this industry A common thread The Victorian Taxi Association would like to take this belated opportunity to again publically congratulate the new Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Transport Jacinta Allan on their election to Government in late November 2014. The VTA would also like to thank the current Parliamentary Secretary for Justice, and former shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Ben Carroll for his contribution and assistance over the last two years. David Samuel VTA CEO The VTA is an apolitical organisation and we are committed to working with the Government of the day regardless of their political affiliation and beliefs. 4 | February 2015

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Having said this, many in the industry found the last four years of Government, and in particular, its approach to the taxi industry, confronting and difficult. Most understood the need for reform but failed to understand the need for such a blatant and public attack on our industry and the service it provides. The VTA is hopeful that with a change of Government we will see a fresh approach to the relationship between our industry and those who regulate it, ultimately resulting in better outcomes for taxi passengers and the taxi industry. It is important that stability and confidence are restored to ensure people are willing to invest in our industry and new and innovative ways of providing our vital service are found. Front and centre in our minds from the first day back in January has been the Knowledge test and its impact on many in our industry, not to mention the potential impact on our customers. It is totally regressive to lose good taxi drivers because a system or process is not yet fully developed. At the time of writing this article it appears that this is beginning to occur. In general terms, regardless of ethnic background, most taxi drivers find the knowledge testing process very confronting because the context is so foreign to them. As we have explained to the Taxi Services Commission (TSC) the way the process works now has little to do with the drivers “knowledge” of how to be a good taxi driver but rather their self confidence and ability to perform a difficult task under extreme pressure in a foreign environment. We are fully committed to working with the TSC staff to find ways to overcome these issues and ensure taxi drivers (new and existing) are prepared for what they are about to encounter. Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry The content of the test(s) itself is another issue altogether, but I believe it can be easily fixed and adjusted moving forward. In fact, the TSC are doing this and have been open to feedback in relation to these matters as well as concerns we have raised about the process as outlined above. This makes the extraordinary attack on the industry by Taxi Services Commissioner Graeme Samuel on the ABC in January, where he labelled the industry “lazy” and/or “recalcitrant”, even more baffling. For the record the VTA completely rejects these accusations. We are well aware of how hard many have been working to prepare for these (and many other) changes. We will keep you posted moving forward. If you want access to our monthly updates please do not hesitate to email admin@victaxi.com.au. Also remember to like our drivers’ Facebook page ‘Vic Taxi Drivers’ and get behind our #TaxiTrippin campaign by visiting www.taxitrippin.com.au Many challenges still lie ahead, but we hope a new and reinvigorated relationship with the new Government will help make the transition, where there is one required, smoother. I hope 2015 proves to be a successful one for all our members and the industry generally. I would like to leave you all with a simple message, all who comprise the industry will do better if more people use taxis, and those taxis are of a high standard. This is important because it must be the common thread that unites us all. D February 2015 |5

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Taxi licence brokers ACCREDITATION There has been some misinformation circulating about the need for accreditation in order to facilitate the sale/transfer of taxi licences. A letter from Harry Katsiabanis included in the December edition of Taxi Talk suggested that to facilitate (broker) the sale of a taxi licence you must be a Licensed Estate Agent as set out in the Estate Agents Act 1980 (EEA). This is not correct. The VTA has obtained clarifying legal advice in relation to this matter which revealed that the EAA does not require an individual to be a Licensed Estate Agent in order to facilitate the sale of taxi licences on behalf of another person because there is express authorisation given for this activity under the Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Act 1983 (Transport Act). The relevant legislative provisions are: (a) section 5(10) of the EAA, which states: This Act shall not be construed as prohibiting any person (not being an estate agent or an agent’s representative) from performing any function exercising any power or carrying out any duty which apart from this Act he would have been entitled to perform exercise or carry out under the express authority or permission of any Act.; (b) section 150A of the Transport Act which states: a person must not trade in taxi-cab licences unless he, she or it is authorised to do so under regulations made under section 162; and (c) regulation 6 of the Transport (TaxiCab Licences - Market and Trading) Regulations 2005, made under section 162 of the Transport Act, which, following revocation of the Taxi-cab Licence Market and Trading Rules on 27 June 2014, authorise all persons who are not insolvent or in external administration to trade in taxicab licences. In discussions with the Taxi Services Commission (TSC) following receipt of our advice, the TSC have agreed that the above interpretation of the relevant legislation is correct. As such, so long as an organisation is not insolvent or under administration they do not require accreditation to be a broker of taxi licences in Victoria. D The VTA has created a Facebook page for Victorian taxi drivers which features posts about relevant industry news, dates for VTA driver events, international news and some fun stuff too. Like the page to get posts and updates! It’s also a great way for us to keep you up to date about activities and initiatives the VTA are running to promote the industry. Drivers are the face of the industry and no promotional campaign can be successful without your support. It offers another platform for the VTA to get important messages to drivers, including those related to driver accreditation and the Knowledge. Search for ‘Vic Taxi Drivers’ in Facebook and ‘like’ the page. D 6 | February 2015 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry

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Schmidt G5 Taximeter 01 TARIFF $ Tap to Pause $ TOLLS 5.10 TOTAL FARE 48.50 $ Tap to Add SN 123456 CITY LINK 2.00 EXTRAS 1-4 PPL FARE 1-4 PPL SUBSIDY Coming in 2015 $35.00 $17.50 the air rate changes and software upgrades The revolutionary G5 taximeter will plus the upload of all shift report data via 3G or be available when the Taxi Services PASSENGER TO PAY WIFI. Via secure internet log-in, taxi operators Commission completes its major redraft have access to all shift report details in addition of taximeter requirements. This signi cant to current taximeter status. Drivers also have overhall and rewrite of Victorian the signi cant convenience of secure log-in taximeter requirements is expected to access to their individual shift reports. be nalised in early 2015. Shortly after these requirements are complete, the G5 Incorporated into this powerful taximeter, is an will be released to the market. Infused with intuitive touch-screen navigation, the G5 is the most user friendly taximeter ever developed. Advanced features range from automated road tolling, to capture and storage of complete taxi activity. This includes the details of every fare taken and the entire location, speed, acceleration and braking history of the taxi. Direct communication with the internet, takes this taximeter to the next level. This allows over 17.50 $ SN 123456 optional Passenger Detection System which starts the taximeter automatically when a passenger enters the taxi, thereby ensuring that every taxi fare is metered. Communication is made simple, as the G5 easily connects with multiple EFTPOS terminals, dispatch systems, printers, passenger information displays and much more. Revolutionise your business with the powerful, Schmidt G5 taximeter. Schmidt Electronic Laboratories Pty Ltd Phone (03) 9546 6990 or 1300 132 422 | Email info@schmidt.com.au | Website www.schmidt.com.au Address 153 Osborne Avenue, Clayton South, VIC 3169 | ABN 20 005 631 710

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RIDESHARING action must be taken A foreseeable outcome of illegal passenger vehicle services was reported in mid January with a driver illegally operating their private vehicle as a taxi arrested over indecent assault committed on New Year’s Day in Melbourne. The Victorian Taxi Association has been warning the community about the dangers of unregulated taxi services since their emergence in Victoria. We can all appreciate that there is the potential for incidents to occur across all service types, but it is unacceptable that illegal services be allowed to continue in the face of outcomes such as this. It is the responsibility of the Taxi Services Commission, via its Commissioners, to enforce the laws that govern commercial transport service providers in Victoria. It is now time for the platitudes and rhetoric to end and for the Taxi Services Commissioner to take strong and decisive action on illegal ridesharing to ensure all commercial transport service EASY CAR LOAN APPROVALS... NO TAX RETURNS REQUIRED* * conditions apply providers are operating within the law. Self regulation, star rating systems and voluntary selfadministered police checks are not effective tools to protect the community. Meaningful penalties must be introduced and enforced against those who openly choose to flout the law and endanger public safety. The ability of taxi industry regulators across the world to respond to the challenge of enforcing local laws will ultimately determine the quality, reliability and safety of taxi and hire car services everywhere. Accredited taxi drivers are subject to dynamic criminal reporting from the date of their accreditation and ongoing, this is not the case for services operating outside the law. Legal operators are also able to ensure drivers are swiftly excluded from the taxi industry following any inappropriate behaviour, which cannot be assured in the case of illegal services. D Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry TAXI finance We are accredited with over 30 banks and other lenders cheap rates best service fast approvals GAP COVER AVAILABLE cheap finance rates... ALL TAXI LICENCES & VHA CAR FINANCE all taxi vehicles (cars and vans, VHA vehicles, limos and others) $ 30,000 yarrafinance experts in commercial finance Phone 96 Garden Road, Clayton (near Ikea) 9561 8876 8| February 2015

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PRESIDENT’S TABLE: Kevin Gange (VTA President), Jeff Kennett AC, John Bowe (ATIA President) Garry Bradd (Past VTA President), Stuart Overell (13CABS COO) VTA Annual lunch The VTA held its Annual Luncheon in December at the Carousel in Albert Park. It was a fantastic day, bringing together more than 120 taxi industry participants, including operators, networks, former industry members, industry suppliers, and transport industry colleagues. Renowned Victorian, former Premier Jeff Kennett, Taxi Services Commission CEO, Marnie Williams and Ben Carroll the recently re-elected Member for Niddrie were among the guests. An enjoyable afternoon was had by all involved. It was a great opportunity to celebrate another challenging yet productive 12 months in the industry, as the VTA’s 50th anniversary year comes to a close. The VTA was proud to have Rova Media, Cabcharge, Sprintgas & UNIGAS and Toyota on board as 2014 VTA 50 Year Gold Sponsors and would like to thank them for their support throughout a milestone year for the Association. D Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry February 2015 |9

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ON LINE marketing campaign The VTA’s #TaxiTrippin promotional campaign is now underway. Supported by digital advertisements, a dedicated website, taxi trip giveaways and competitions, the aims are to position taxis as a central part of any great night out, day at the races or Christmas party and to encourage people to talk about taxis on social media using the hash tag #TaxiTrippin. You may start to see Cabcharge gift cards with the TaxiTrippin branding that customers have received or won through a competition. If you do, please encourage them to talk about their experiences on social media using the hash tag (#TaxiTrippin) and make sure you give them the royal treatment! Tell your passengers about the promo and get them to use the hash tag to land themselves a free trip. Join us on Facebook to keep up to date – ‘Vic Taxi Drivers’ or check out www.taxitrippin.com.au. D Happy Chinese This year is also known as the Year of the Sheep or the Ram. The person born in the Year of the Goat (or Sheep, or Ram) is elegant and creative. 19 February 2015 welcomes in 10 | February 2015 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry

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T20 MATCH 2015 taxi driver memorial cup The event will honour all Taxi Drivers who have lost their lives on the job. In addition to honouring Taxi Drivers, the Taxi Driver Memorial Cup will raise funds for the Monash Children’s Hospital. The first 13CABS Memorial Cup held in 2006 honoured Rajneesh Joga, a Cab Driver who died tragically while on the job and $20,000 was raised for Rajneesh’s family. All funds raised in 2015 will go to the Monash Children’s Hospital. 13CABS will be donating $50 for every four hit, $100 for every six hit and $100 for every wicket taken on the day. The match will be held at Essex Heights Reserve (corner of Huntingdale Road and Essex Road, Mount Waverley) and commences at 5pm. D On Monday 23 February 2015 a team of Melbourne taxi drivers will take on an all star team in a T20 match for the Taxi Driver Memorial Cup. The event is dedicated to celebrating the lives of those we’ve lost by helping young lives receive the best medical care available. ‘We are delighted that 13CABS has chosen to raise funds for our new Monash Children’s Hospital at this special cricket match,’ said Monash Health Foundation Director Debbie Shiell. the Year of the Goat New Year! People born in the year of the Goat are generally believed to be gentle, mild-mannered, shy, stable, sympathetic, amicable, and brimming with a strong sense of kindheartedness and justice. They have very delicate thoughts, strong creativity, and perseverance, and acquire professional skills well. Although they look gentle on the surface, they are tough on the inside, always insisting on their own opinions in their minds. They have strong inner resilience and excellent defensive instincts. Those born in the year of the Goat are very serene and Chinese zodiac sign for people born in 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003 and 2015 calm. Therefore they tend to have fewer health problems. They are reserved and quiet, most likely because they like spending much time in their thoughts. Lucky numbers 2, 7, or numbers containing 2 and 7 (like 27 and 72) Lucky colors brown, red, and purple Lucky flowers carnations and primroses D Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry February 2015 | 11

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THE Knowledge Knowledge test The VTA welcomes the adjustments to the limit on the number of attempts, scores being offered and the release of a manual soon. Taxi industry participants will have seen the announcement made by the Taxi Services Commission (TSC) on 20 January about a number of changes to the new Knowledge test. While the VTA has always supported the introduction of the new driver accreditation testing, and it is reasonable to expect the new test will have teething problems, a failure rate of well over 95% was strongly indicating significant issues. We appreciate the changes to allow applicants and existing drivers to attempt each module up to eight times per year, but still don’t understand the justification for any restriction at all and why this is necessary. Having said that, we hope this change will reduce the pressure on applicants and we will begin to see a greater success rate. The development of a training manual is also strongly supported. The VTA thoroughly rejects comments in the media from Graeme Samuel that the manual should have been developed by taxi companies. Taxi networks have been working diligently to reform their training programs to best prepare drivers for success, a task which has been made extremely difficult by the lack of information from the TSC on the test content. Given that, the TSC, as the regulatory body responsible for designing and implementing the test, is the only one in a position to produce such a resource. It is helpful that applicants will be offered a percentage score to give them a sense of how they have performed, but this measure does not go far enough. Feedback on the areas of competency and difficulty is vital to equip individuals to focus their study efforts on areas of weakness and to allow training providers to better tailor training to the areas of difficulty. We strongly encourage existing drivers to speak with their network about refresher training prior to attempting the Knowledge test modules. D 12 | February 2015 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry

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TAXI COVER NO. 1 FOR 35 YEARS NO. 1 - TRUSTWORTHY NO. 1 - RELIABILITY NO. 1 - SERVICE NO. 1 - PEACE OF MIND MEMBERSHIP LINE 9092 6082 February 2015 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry | 19

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Regional Operators I have been a country and now a regional taxi driver for 23 plus years. Over this time I have seen many changes. From my first time in 1974/75, then returning in 1994, till now. Much has changed - vehicle types, different meters - but one thing that has never changed is our passengers. Regardless of age, colour or nationality it is, for me, still the same. Customer service was instilled in me from my first job at age 15 till now at the age of 65. I have always put the customer first. I spent eight and a half years driving nights and over that time I made a lot of good fiends. Whether drunk or not there was always a level of respect for what we did. I now spend my time driving days and it’s a totally different client base. Most are elderly who rely on us for their transport. Every second passenger has an MPTP card which makes up a large part of our daily income, then come the short fares which make up 85% of our daily income. Over the past few years I have been privileged to be a member of the then VTD driver forum and now as a member of the TSC’s Stake Holders Reference Group which, for a country/regional driver has been very interesting. Also over the time of the taxi reform period I was able to attend a number of meetings with both Prof. Alan Fels and also Dr David Cousens, who I felt had a pre-conceived opinion of what the future of the taxi industry was to be. Now with the easing of restrictions on licences and the introduction of PBO’s it has opened up the market to greater competition, i.e freedom town cars which have made moves into some country/regional areas already. With price notification now well in place in some areas, there is a lot of misunderstanding or incorrect knowledge being passed onto the general public - i.e that the fare rate for MPT Program has not increased since the Essential Services Commission handed down it’s fare increase in May last year. False advertising of fare rates by those who are trying to get into our industry, is in the end going to hurt all involved. Finally, country/regional drivers are different to metro drivers because our customers come first, however this should not be. All drivers should be the same. Our customers are our bread and butter and should be treated with respect at all times. Country/regional WATs drivers treat all their clients with the greatest of respect regardless of distance or disability. They are, after all, a person the same as anybody else. Discrimination of any type should not exist or be tolerated in our industry. I am very passionate about this industry and hope to remain involved for many years to come. Let’s all get behind one another and make this a great industry, not a disjointed one as it currently is. Robin Smith, Bairnsdale D TAXI TAXI INDUSTRY TAXI TALK JULY 2014 ISSUE NO 555 VOICE INDUSTRY OF THE TAXI TAXI TAXI INDUSTRY VOICE OF THE WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU Help us be the voice of the industry’s major players by emailing your opinion letter to yoursay@taxitalk.com.au or via post to PO BOX 2345 Mount Waverley VIC 3149. Please include your name and full contact details for verification. VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY TAXI MAGAZINE TALK Housing Estate – Artists: Nick the Official journal of on Victorian Taxi Associati Print Post Approved number 100004912 2014 USTN FESTIVAL AUG TIO PROJEC DE STREET Atherton Gardens Azidis, Amanda Morgan and Ian De Gruchy – Photo: Bernie Phelan Reforms 30 June 2014 P Driver Agreement P Knowledge Test P Zone Boundaries P New Taxi Licences P Price Notification see pages 22-23 GERTRU Projection Festival is celebrating its TAXI OF THE TAXI VOICE INDUSTRY ISSUE NO 556 Street most visible and MAGAZINE e’s The 2014 Gertrude Melbourn of staging inner seventh year festival. large scale arts the accessible free Official journal of 6pm - midnight, the length July, on d by the visions - 27Associati from 18 Taxi Victorian For 10 evenings will be illuminate Projection Street in Fitzroy number 100004912 Gertrude Street of Gertrude Print Post Approved light up s artists for the and tree trunks of talented projection laneways, footpaths s. Festival. Buildings, fic, curated projection with site-speci TALK mber ISSUE NO 557 OF THE TAXI VOICE INDUSTRY Septe SANCTUARY HEALESVILLE NDERLAND TAXI hibernation WINTER WO to come out of ing everyone need your MAGAZINE is encourag . You’ll precious of the Healesville Sanctuary a freeze on extinction Official journal help them put some of our most snow this winter and as you discoverAssociati on e faux Experienc and gumboots Victorian Taxi the snowline. winter woollies that live above some of Australia’s number 100004912 and fire stick keepers telling endangered animals Print Post Approved dreaming stories the campfire with and share play, sit around children’s stories favourite classic di. making with Murrundin VOICE OF THE E STAR MELBOURN ION WHEEL of people OBSERVAT of thousands the r 2013, hundreds attraction, in Decembe e’s newest tourism Since opening a ride on Melbourn have enjoyed Observation Wheel. Melbourne Star that a 30 minute flight offers guests including Melbourne Star the city and beyond, Open daily, the nt views across is a perfect g Ranges. It takes in magnifice and the Dandenon Mount Macedon or night. Melbourne, day introduction to 14 | February 2015 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry

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Driver Safety screens The Taxi Services Commission had a mandatory compliance date to fit Protection Screens to all Toyota Camrys by 31 December 2014. Martin Meters would like to thank their customers for their patience and understanding during the December rush to purchase Bodyguard Protection Screens. Owners are reminded that Martin Meters will install your Bodyguard screen free of charge, during normal working hours any time during 2015. In the best interests of driver safety it is strongly recommended that you take advantage of this offer. Happy New Year to all, Martin Meters Management D Toyota Camry Owners URGENT TSC DEADLINE 31/12/2014 TOYOTA CAMRY OWNERS TSC MANDATORY COMPLIANCE DEADLINE 31/12/2014 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry February 2015 | 15

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