Taxi Talk October 2015

 

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Taxi Talk Magazine October 2015

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TAXI TALK October 2015 ISSUE NO 569 TAXI VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY MAGAZINE ON THE RANKS SINCE 1966 Print Post Approved number 100004912 VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY SPRING FLING STREET FESTIVAL Victoria Street, Errol Street and the surrounding laneways will be transformed with live music, shopping, free activities and delicious cuisines. There’s the Sound Forest Stage with a number of North Melbourne venues displaying up-and-coming musicians; a Cultural Forest Stage showcasing a range of local community cultural performances; and the Dog Show to find the most obedient, best dressed pooch. Plus much, much more. Nearby food vendors will be cooking up a range of cuisines as you’re transported across the world by the colour and music in this hub of cultural celebration.

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DON’T BELIEVE WHAT YOU ARE TOLD Schmidt G4 Taximeters are fully compatible with the new Cabcharge Fareway Plus EFTPOS Terminals If you are being pressured into removing your G4 Taximeter, please contact us immediately. 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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C 6 12 18 20 27 28 ontents Unforseen Consequences It has been a most tumultuous time in our industry. TAXI VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY MAGAZINE ON THE RANKS SINCE 1966 MAGAZINE EDITOR Toni F. Peters FOUNDER Stanley F. White PUBLISHER Trade Promotions Pty Ltd Around the States We take a look at what is happening around Australia. ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES Mrs Toni Peters Trade Promotions Pty Ltd PO Box 2345, Mt Waverley VIC 3149 Phone: ....................................... 0400 137 866 Email: ............................. info@taxitalk.com.au Website: .......................... www.taxitalk.com.au Providing Service What is UberX? DISPLAY ADS Taxi Services Commission Updates on government issues effecting the industry. All copy, editorial and artwork must be submitted by the 15th of the month prior to publication date. Advertisement sizes and costs can be downloaded at www.taxitalk.com.au. Licence Statistics CLASSIFIED ADS $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. Comparison of monthly Victorian taxi and hire car licences Spring has Sprung SUBSCRIPTION DETAILS 1 year = $35 Warmer weather, itchy eyes, sneezing and wheezing. proudly supporting these organisations since inception..... PAYMENT OPTIONS • • Via PAYPAL to info@taxitalk.com.au Direct Deposit to Trade Promotions Pty Ltd BSB 033065 A/c 312786 Mail Cheque to Trade Promotions Pty Ltd PO Box 2345, Mt Waverley VIC 3149 VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY • Views expressed in any article in Taxi Talk magazine 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. Taxi Talk magazine 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. Taxi Talk magazine has not independently verified these taxi clubs’ compliance, and 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 magazine that operators purchase insurance products from taxi clubs. Taxi Talk magazine does not 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 MAGAZINE Taxi Talk magazine is wholly owned by Trade Promotions Pty Ltd. COPYRIGHT © Trade Promotions Pty Ltd 2015. 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. Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry October 2015 |3

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EDITOR’S DESK TAXI VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY Over the past few years, we have seen the introduction of many new internet/digital sharing businesses such as Uber and Netflix. This has had an impact on countries worldwide - especially UK, USA and Australia and people are becoming more and more dependant on digital services. Uber has turned the world’s taxi industries upside-down. It has caused strikes overseas and locally. Just last month, here in Australia, taxi drivers went on strike in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra. What did these strikes achieve? Did they stop UberX from continuing to operate? No! Did they get the price of licence plates increased? No! Did they give more work to UberX? Yes! Did the taxi strikes give the travelling public a bigger option to try out UberX; let the public become more aware of just what UberX is? Yes! So, what did the strikes achieve for the Australian taxi industry? “The leaders of these protests are taxi investors, not drivers. These same investors are the ones who have kept drivers’ wages low and working conditions poor for decades before Uber arrived,” a spokesman for Uber said. “Instead of improving their own business, these plate owners are blaming others. Uber is not to blame for taxi drivers’ poor working conditions. Taxi industry data shows that the taxi market has grown since Uber arrived,” he continued. The rules and regulations that protect taxis in Australia need to be reviewed, adjusted and done with fervour. Last month goCatch, who has partnered with Mint Payments, installed their mPOS into 25 Sydney taxis on trial, with a view to rolling out their big installation this month into their 35,000 taxis that they currently liaise with. MAGAZINE ON THE RANKS SINCE 1966 | October 2015 64 | September 2015 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry

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This deal between goCatch and Mint Payments is a threat to the Cabcharge monopoly and also to Ingogo, who has recently partnered with Ingenico. Cabcharge has been hit hard with the reduction of the credit/debit card surcharge from 10% to 5% and their taxi service fees have already dropped dramatically. The ACCC dictates that all surcharges must be declared clearly before any transaction is completed and the federal government is considering imposing a limit on the value of the surcharge. The actual cost of the credit/debit transaction is only 12c, or 0.5 per cent of the value of the transaction, whichever is less. So, we now have Cabcharge, goCatch and Ingogo competing for a piece of the $5.4 billion regulated taxi market and Uber keeps on growing, waiting and taking the Australian taxi industry head on. Editor Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry TT Toni Peters TAXI VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY TALK October 2015 ISSUE NO 569 TAXI TALK ISSUE NO 568 September 2015 TAXI VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY MAGAZINE ON THE RANKS SINCE 1966 Print Post Approved number 100004912 VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY ROYAL MELBOURNE SHOW 19 - 29 September at Melbourne Showgrounds The 2015 Royal Melbourne Show, Victoria’s largest and most iconic annual community event, attracts close to 500,000 people over 11 spectacular days. It offers a huge variety of unique memorable interactive agricultural experiences, tantalising food and wine tastes, pop-up restaurants, carnival rides, spectacular stunts, glittering nightly fireworks and much more. It’s fun for young and old alike. TAXI VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY MAGAZINE ON THE RANKS SINCE 1966 Print Post Approved number 100004912 SPRING FLING STREET FESTIVAL every month to your mail box Victoria Street, Errol Street and the surrounding laneways will be transformed with live music, shopping, free activities and delicious cuisines. There’s the Sound Forest Stage with a number of North Melbourne venues displaying up-and-coming musicians; a Cultural Forest Stage showcasing a range of local community cultural performances; and the Dog Show to find the most obedient, best dressed pooch. Plus much, much more. Nearby food vendors will be cooking up a range of cuisines as you’re transported across the world by the colour and music in this hub of cultural celebration. subscribe TODAY! Never miss an edition of Taxi Talk magazine again! Send $35 and your mailing details and we will add you to our mailing list to receive a printed copy of Taxi Talk for 1 year. Want more than 1 copy - no problem - send us an email and we will advise you of the mailing price. Mail and cheques: PO Box 2345, Mt Waverley Vic 3149 Enquiries: 0400 137 866 Email: info@taxitalk.com.au Direct Deposit - Westpac BSB 033065 Account No. 312786 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry October 2015 |5

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UNFORESEEN CONSEQUENCES The Taxi industry went through a tumultuous time over the last few years. The Government and the Public argued that the industry needed a radical overhaul and that the taxi industry had to be reformed in order to give a cheaper and better service to the Public. The Government implemented the recommendations of Professor Fels and it is claimed that the service improved. We are led to believe that customer satisfaction improved significantly over the past couple of years. Yet we still get told that Uber is providing a better service than the taxi industry. Let us look at some of the major changes that affected the taxi industry in the last couple of years: 1. Introduction of about 600 more licences into the market. 2. The knowledge test for Drivers. 3. The mandated 55/45 split between operator and driver. 4. The immigration changes introduced by the federal Government. 5. The impact of Uber in the taxi market. Each of the above actions had an impact on the whole or part of the industry and the public. In some cases the impact was felt immediately and in others we have yet to see the results of certain actions that were taken. The introduction of additional licences impacted most heavily on operators who operated a greater number of cars. Numerous drivers took up the permits from the Government, operated them with their friends, thereby taking many drivers out of the pool. The easy financing of these “business ventures” made it possible for many to try their hands at becoming an “owner”. Several of these people will experience difficulties over the next couple of years or, worse, declare bankruptcy. Unfortunately nobody cares. We made our money, buyer beware. The knowledge test delivered another blow to operators of multiple cars. As commendable as the intentions might have been the reality showed that the “Knowledge” failed. Any test that has a failure rate of 98% is designed for failure rather than a test of competency and has led to a severe shortage of drivers for operators who operate multiple cars. The decision to make it compulsory for existing taxi drivers, who held their DCs for less than 2 years, to complete the “Knowledge”, depleted the driver pool even further. It provided ready-made “Uber Drivers” or forced drivers to seek alternate employment. Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry 6 | October 2015

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The mandated split of 55/45 between driver and operator introduced by the Taxi Services Commission sent some operators into liquidation and others to the brink of extinction. This in itself is probably not a big deal for regulators as it only involves a relatively small percentage of the industry. many good drivers leave Australia, and go to Canada or go back to their country of origin. Uber has already disrupted the taxi industry around world. The taxi industry is, and has been, regulated primarily in the interest of the public. There should be no doubt in anybody’s mind that Uber acts primarily in the interest of its founders and their shareholders. times more expensive than a taxi fare. Our government and our regulators have to decide if they bow to unscrupulous American businessinterest or act in the interest of the Australian public. Will we allow an American company to exploit and change our laws, so that it can destroy Australian lives by the use of money and deceptive behaviour? We can only hope that our politicians are not blinded by money and see that Uber is only here in its interest and not ours. Hans Altoff Taxi Owner/Operator TT Multiple operators perform a very important role in the taxi industry. They provide the main training ground for new drivers and deliver service to the public when and where others do not want to. The effects of this will be felt progressively over the next few years. The tightening of immigration laws by the Federal Government saw Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry The Uber business model can only work if they work outside the existing laws or if they get these laws changed to suit their model. Uber fares are not regulated and “surge-pricing” can make the charge to the customer many October 2015 |7

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IS YOUR MEMBERSHIP WORKING? I am a taxi driver and I’m sad to see that Taxi Talk, the voice of the taxi industry for the past 50 years, has been dumped by the Victorian Taxi Association (VTA). The Queensland based Taxi Magazine Publishing Company (TMPC) will in future publish a magazine for the VTA. This is a repeat of what happened some 20 years ago when the VTA commissioned TMPC to print their magazine, instead of Taxi Talk - that partnership didn’t last long. At the same time the VTA were cheeky enough to try and pinch the name “Taxi Talk” from the White family which legal action prevented the VTA from doing. The latest VTA newsletter is waxing lyrical about their new magazine “VicTaxi” without offering any reason for dumping Taxi Talk. The rumour mill has it that this has been brewing for a long time, with the VTA applying pressure on Taxi Talk to stop accepting insurance cover advertisements from taxi clubs who are regular advertisers. Taxi Talk refused to be bullied into doing so, on ethical grounds. So, what happens next? Are we expected to tolerate the out-of-date taxi industry content contained in the Queensland based magazine, like we did last time? Or are we going to tell Silver Top Taxis and the Cabcharge-owned 13Cabs that it is about time taxi operators refused paying any of their hard earned money to support what is now commonly regarded by the rank and file as a tired, if not useless, organisation. The rank and file taxi operators have every reason to resent being forced to pay part of their monthly depot fees to an organisation that has represented them for many years and has not been able to stop the price of licences drop in value from $500,000 in 2010 to $273,000 today. They also have every reason to resent being represented by an organisation that has failed dismally to stop, or even restrict, UberX infiltrating the Victorian taxi industry. If anyone doubts the level of taxi operator discontent with the VTA then I suggest that they go out to the Taxi Holding area at Melbourne Airport and chat with as many taxi owners, operators and drivers as they can. I guarantee they will be lucky if they find anyone who has a good word for the current VTA. What is the solution? There may not be one. Taxi Licences may never be worth $500,000 again, more likely the UberX service will continue to grow (unrestricted) and further dilute the value of taxi licences. N. Singh, Taxi Driver TT Send your opinion letter to email: yoursay@taxitalk.com.au or post: PO Box 2345 Mt Waverley VIC 3149 Please include your name and full contact details for verification. 8 | October 2015 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry

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Your money transfer. Their Diwali made a little brighter. Send money to India with fees starting * from $5 1 800 049 087 moneygram.com.au /moneygram Send at: And anywhere you see the MoneyGram sign *A higher consumer fee will be charged for send amounts which exceed AUD 50, being the maximum transfer amount for the advertised fee rate of AUD 5. In addition to the transfer fees applicable to a transaction, a currency exchange rate set by MoneyGram or its agent will be applied. MoneyGram, the Globe and MoneyGram Bringing You Closer are marks of MoneyGram. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. © 2015 MoneyGram. UPDATE I X S TA Best Deals In Town O 7 D PE AY N S LL PM CA - 9 M 9A 04/2014 CAMRY HYBRIDS GAS / PETROL / TAXI YELLOW from 10/2013 CAMRY ALTISE GAS / PETROL / TAXI YELLOW from 08/2011 CAMRY ALTISE lmct 9707 carcentral_1015 from GAS / TAXI YELLOW / METER / DOME / STICKERS MORE CARS IN STOCK call 0425-83-88-55 October 2015 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry |9

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DONATED CARS DOUBLE BENEFITS After 13CABS’s David Brumby got a company car, he found he had no further use for his 2000 Statesman, but wasn’t sure what to do with it. “I didn’t really want to go through the hassle of trying to sell it,” said Mr Brumby. As a taxi driver with more than 40 years’ experience, Mr Brumby is a regular reader of Taxi Talk and when he saw Kids Under Cover’s “Unsellables” ad for its Donate Your Car program, he realised he’d found the solution he was looking for. “It sounded like such a fantastic idea and it was so convenient,” said Mr Brumby. “I made the call, filled in the form and then someone turned up and took the car away. “I liked the fact that it solved my problem and that it’s doing some good at the same time.” Kids Under Cover is a charity dedicated to preventing youth homelessness. A young person may have many harmful experiences in their life, such as the breakdown of family relationships, mental illness, domestic violence, unemployment and parental drug and alcohol abuse. When this is combined with a severely overcrowded home, it leaves young people without the physical and emotional space needed to deal with the effects of their experiences. Kids Under Cover’s early intervention approach is simple, unique and effective. At the heart of our work are the relocatable studios that provide stable and secure accommodation for young people at risk of homelessness. We complement this with scholarships for education or job training to empower young people to achieve their goals. This combination has been shown to prevent young people from becoming homeless and to keep families together. Since the launch of the Donate Your Car program in 2006, more than 8000 vehicles have been generously donated to Kids Under Cover. All the proceeds from the sale of the cars go towards our work in preventing youth homelessness and donors are eligible for a taxdeduction for the amount the vehicle was sold for. For more information, visit www. kuc.org.au TT 10 | September 2015 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry

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Taxi Talk magazine on the ranks since 1966 We’ve moved Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry, Australia’s premier taxi magazine is now proudly independent. Published monthly since 1966, Taxi Talk magazine has become the Victorian taxi industry’s most valuable communication tool, representing every facet and section of the Victorian taxi industry. TAXI VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY • Taxi Talk magazine Took its first faltering steps in May 1966 and for the first time in 60 years provided a forum for a common cause in the taxi and hire car industry. • Taxi news TALK October 2015 ISSUE NO 569 A progressive approach to sharing the industry’s news to Victorian taxi owners, operators and drivers. • Monthly editions 11 issues a year! (Feb - Dec) TAXI VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY MAGAZINE ON THE RANKS SINCE 1966 • Email notification SPRING FLING STREET FESTIVAL Victoria Street, Errol Street and the surrounding laneways will be transformed with live music, shopping, free activities and delicious cuisines. There’s the Sound Forest Stage with a number of North Melbourne venues displaying up-and-coming musicians; a Cultural Forest Stage showcasing a range of local community cultural performances; and the Dog Show to find the most obedient, best dressed pooch. Plus much, much more. Nearby food vendors will be cooking up a range of cuisines as you’re transported across the world by the colour and music in this hub of cultural celebration. Print Post Approved number 100004912 Sent to your inbox monthly when the latest edition is published. Register at www.taxitalk.com.au. • www.taxitalk.com.au Updated monthly with the current magazine edition. Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry October 2015 | 11

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AROUND THE STATES WAVS IN PERTH Mr Davies, who has spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, uses an electric wheelchair and needs 24/7 care, said West Australian wheelchair users deserved a more reliable, safe and convenient transport alternative to taxis. Mr Davies wants Uber to launch its Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle option, UberWAV, in Perth to utilise inactive disability vans, increase competition and make the system fairer on drivers and consumers. “When I meet someone new who uses a wheelchair, my first question is: ‘Which drivers do you use?’ There are a few out there who are really good, and then there are those who just play the system”, he said. “There is no mechanism for seeing what they are like when you make a booking. But with Uber you see their face, their name and their rating”, he continued. Mr Davies said there were hundreds of wheelchair accessible vans associated with disability service providers that were only in use during work hours. “A ride-share app could be an avenue for carers to make some more money, and for associations to better use their fleet,” he said. An Uber Australia spokesman said the company was speaking with WA disability groups for better ways to provide transport for people in fixed wheelchairs. “While we have no plans to launch any additional services at this time, we will continue to explore how we can provide more transport options for Perthians with different accessibility requirements,” he said. TT NO TASSIE OPPOSITION Tasmania’s government said last month it would not regulate to stop the sharing economy. Tasmania’s Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding said he expected the taxi industry to compete with new players. Like everywhere else in Australia, Tassie drivers believe there are already too many taxis on the road and they are concerned that competition will compound the problem. In a statement Premier Will Hodgman said the sharing economy represented challenges and opportunities, and the Government would be putting forward a policy position soon. Uber has stated that it has had “meaningful discussions” with the State Government and would be providing more information on how ride sharing could work in the state, but had not set a start date. TT 12 | October 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 October 2015 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry | 13

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AROUND THE STATES FUNRIDE SELFIES Last month UberX started offering $4.99 Funrides around Adelaide. An email to Uber’s members in Adelaide encourages them to “take a fun selfie” while on one of the promotional rides and “upload it to social (media) to show your support for bringing ridesharing to SA”. Uber says that the Funrides are designed for the passenger’s fun and amusement. It will also give the passenger a taste of how ridesharing could work in Adelaide. The Funrides promotion offers ride-sharing services for $4.99, just below the $5 threshold in SA’s passenger transport regulations. State Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan said his advice was that the promotion was in breach of the Passenger Transport Act and its regulations. A spokesperson for Uber said, “Uber is familiar with the Passenger Transport Act and Regulations, and believes that the Adelaide Funrides promotion is compliant.” “We provided written notice of this $4.99 Funrides promotion to the Minister several weeks ago, and had two follow up discussions with his office. The first we heard of the Minister’s objection is now, through the media.” “We hope the government does not simply bow to the wishes of the taxi industry. We will always support our partners, as we always do around the world,” the spokesperson continued. Uber FunRides go from the following locations:• • • The Beachhouse to Clever Little Tailor The Hilton to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre Adelaide Bowling Club to Kart Mania Gepps Cross TT FIGHT UBER GOLIATH Adelaide’s taxi industry plans to fight the “Uber Goliath” with good service and safer rides home, not with strike action. 14 | October 2015 Taxi Council SA president Jim Triantafyllou said, “In a democracy, even a $50 billion Uber Goliath cannot be allowed to think it’s above the law,” said Mr Triantafyllou. “The safety laws that apply to small Aussie mum-and-dad businesses in the taxi industry should apply equally to any foreign company.” “The continued push by UberX to enter the South Australian market raises very serious safety concerns in relation to regulation and the absence of other measures designed to protect passengers, such as cameras and GPS tracking, which are all provided in taxis,” he continued TT Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry no

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ACT DEREGULATION UberX will be allowed into the Canberra taxi market, stated ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr. “Without giving away all of the detail of the Government’s reform package, you can certainly expect that there will be a regulatory environment for Uber,” he said. “But importantly there will be a lot of deregulation of the taxi industry in order to create a more level playing field.” The Chief Minister said the industry needed to change. “We will not be arresting Uber drivers. The bottom line in all of this is that the Government will not be able to arrest our way out of Uber’s entry into the market,” Mr Barr said. Greens Minister Shane Rattenbury, who is assisting Mr Barr on transport reform, said it was not clear when Uber would arrive although it may do so before regulation is introduced. “We are certainly working as quickly as we can to get regulation in place and we have indicated that Uber should expect that, and we trust they will abide by it,” he said. Mr Barr said the trick would be to deregulate the taxi industry, helping traditional cabs better compete with the new technology and services. TT Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry TAXI finance We are accredited with over 30 banks and other lenders EASY CAR LOAN APPROVALS... NO TAX RETURNS REQUIRED* * conditions apply 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 October 2015 | 15

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