Taxi Talk August 2016


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Taxi Talk magazine - voice of the Victorian Taxi Industry August 2016

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TAXI VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY Australia’s premier independent taxi industry magazine celebra TALK AUGUST 2016 ISSUE NO 578 VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY TAXI MAGAZINE ON THE RANKS SINCE 1966 PROUDLY PUBLISHED AND PRINTED IN MELBOURNE Print Post Approved number 100004912 ting YEARS THE VOICE OF THE VICTORIAN TAXI INDUSTRY 181st MELBOURNE DAY Free Melbourne Day Concert at Federation Square Melbourne Day kicks-off with the official Flag Raising ceremony at Enterprize Park, Flinders Street, at 9am 30 August 2016. Enterprize Park is where the first Europeans, who travelled on the schooner Enterprize, landed on 30 August 1835 to start the first permanent settlement of Melbourne. Celebrate Melbourne’s 181st birthday with a free Melbourne Day concert at Federation Square, Noon - 2pm.


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AwLwEXwTA.AXILS & BROKER P/L TAXI VHA MT $BUY LEASEMT SELL SELL > Taxi leases available VHA $$$ 119 Errol St Nth Melb Call Jimmy 0412 717 616 ALEX TAXISTAXICOVER VANs - SEDANs ATB FOR ALL YOUR TAXI COVER & BROKER P/L> Fastest recovery for loss of income > Prompt repairs carried out Thinking of> > wQeuliclAkeqrleupeipapxiresd twotorpAukstxhyooipsuibnatmcoktotoenbnthihlaemeroaedfAStApP os > Genuine parts used > selling or> TGheitrSdrMepwaAarrLtdyLepdErRofoperr>ntoy /cBlpauRibmIlGsicHalnTidaEbniRloittya>ctofvaeFurAl3tS0clTMaEiimllRsion > 24hr Help Hotline 0425 837 766 > TAXI RESPRAYS FROM $1090 (incGST) MT0412$7B17U6Y16 yloeuarsitnagxi11C9 EarlrloJl iSmt NmthyMteolbdaCyalloCnhantel 9348 9507 Mobile eftpos METMT RlSicOEenLcLe?CVLHAU$$B$axi leases available TAXI VHA Alex Taxis & Broker 119 Errol Street North Melbourne 24 hour COVER19 Erro0lH4SE2tL5PN8Ht3Oh7TLM7IN6eE6lb Call JimTmAFyOX0R4I1A2&LL71Y7VO6UH1R6A R Fastest recovery for loss of income TAXI COVERR Prompt repairs carried out R Genuine parts used VANs - SEDANsR Well equipped workshop in Tottenham ATB 9348 9507aersloltmRRReeps6qttT3G|uarreJrdxuitelpyiep2yprpa0cee1raw6eltolyoiadrvwrpdserweroerdpsoceyfporarrtrayfrkny/oprssourifh&beroloindlcmooplti$o-asa1bitu0ns-il9fitat0yuto(lioctnfocctvgliatesnitrem)c$ns3o0hmMaem Alex tAxis mobile eftposYEARS FOR ALL YOUR TAXI COVER Call Chantel 119 TEaxrirToallkS- tVroeiceeto,fNthoe rTtahxi IMndeuslbtryourne


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Contents 6 IS EVERYONE AGAINST US? Read Hans Altoff’s report and make your own decision. 14 8 GETTING IT RIGHT, RIGHT NOW Let’s get the Commercial Passenger Vehicle industry right, right now. 20 VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY TAXI MAGAZINE ON THE RANKS SINCE 1966 MAGAZINE EDITOR Toni F. Peters FOUNDER Stanley F. White PUBLISHER Trade Promotions Pty Ltd ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES Mrs Toni Peters Trade Promotions Pty Ltd PO Box 2345, Mt Waverley VIC 3149 Phone: ....................................... 0400 137 866 Email: ............................. Website: .......................... REDUCING CONGESTION Some of our major roads are being decongested. 23 LICENCE STATISTICS Monthly Victorian taxi and hire car licence comparison. OVERSEAS NEWS Reports on what is happening in taxi industries around the world. 26 FROM VIC TAXI & HIRE CAR FAMILIES A look at what’s been happening this month within the 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 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. DISPLAY ADS 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 CLASSIFIED ADS $35 for 40 words, $70 for 80 words, etc. Email or Mail your classified advertisement by the 15th of the month prior to publication date, together with your payment. SUBSCRIPTION DETAILS 1 year = $40 PAYMENT OPTIONS • Via PAYPAL to • 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 proudly supporting these organisations since inception..... August 2016 | 3


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efTrdoHimtoEr’s desk VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY TAXI MAGAZINE ON THE RANKS SINCE 1966 PROUDLY PUBLISHED AND PRINTED IN MELBOURNE If you want your voice heard and recorded with your thoughts, concerns and opinions about ride-sharing services in Victoria, then get your submission into the Economy and Infrastructure Committee by Monday 8 August. The parliamentary committee is examining issues such as barriers to entry, access for people with a disability, customer safety and workplace rights in ride sharing services. Full details can be found at http://www. The Committee must have a report presented to Victorian parliament by 8 December 2016, at the latest and hopefully it will be much earlier than this. At the Taxi Services Commission (TSC) there are three newly appointed Commissioners. Yehudi Blacher is in the chair plus Janet Dore and Monique Conheady join him as the team that will advise the TSC CEO for the next three years. Welcome aboard. I’m sure the industry will be watching you closely for decisions and action in the coming months. Then there’s the report that Professor Holden, from University of NSW, compiled looking at the economic case for compensation within the Australian taxi industry. He thinks that the $1 levies imposed by current State Governments will harm the taxi drivers and operators as fares will be increased to cover this, thus driving away the public from taxis and into the world of ride sharing. “Taxing consumers doesn’t seem to be the right way to go. It’s punishing consumers for a choice they make. It also disadvantages innovation for making a supreme product offering,” he told Herald Sun newspaper. So where are the State Governments supposed to get the money to fund the compensation schemes? One way or another, it will be the taxpayers that will support the compensation funds. Up the north coast of NSW, inland from Newcastle is Maitland, and it is here that Cabcharge 13Cabs has introduced three private hire cars. The hire cars have the same lights and signs as taxis but with a bit of extra writing, in small print, describing them as hire cars. These cars can be booked by phone, the internet or by the 13Cabs apps. 4 | August 2016 YEARS Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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Apparently Newcastle and Mait- to mid 2017, primarily GoCar, “We know there is a huge demand land taxi drivers are complaining their ride-sharing service that they for ride sharing in regional com- that Cabcharge is cannibalising launched in February 2016. munities across South Australia its own business by operating hire cars in direct competition with their taxis. The Newcastle Taxi Association has taken it one step further and reported these vehicles to the ACCC. Apparently if they don’t raise the money needed they won’t be able to pay their debts and therefore it is unlikely that they will be able to continue to be in business. So, it seems that Cabcharge wants The shareholders were meeting on Preptaorehtaovepaistss ycoakuer and eat it too. TVaicxtiotTnTrrhoaeiaewlsinayt,TPthh1aare3evxyCepi aD.a1brr3eisCveaainrbptAsop,cahcilHlirraeeardiol icutaaanprtdspioAatnounTosd-.est What next? Practice and gain confidence. July 29 to make a decision on this issue. Let’s hope a good decision wwaitshmade. Over in South Australia, Uber is thinking about launching a new 1• 0D0r’isveorfGBpeorahCcatviacioetucqrhuestaionnsnoonu: nced last month • DriverthGeantertahleKnyohwalevdgee to raise up to $3 mil• KnowliinognYotuhrrWoauygAhrouthnde issue of 6.7 million Melbosuhrnaeres at a pre-money valuation of Learn w$h1ermeveilrliyoonu ?are. Log in and learn via phone, tablet, oGr doeCskatotpc-h24/7says that the money raised would be used to fund go- service to make South Australia’s wine regions more accessible to tourists. Uber Senior Marketing Manager Mal Chia said the initial trial would take place in the Adelaide Hills, with other regions to follow. particularly given many regional centres are currently under-served by transport,” Mr Chia said. “We have also seen across many markets, that having access to safe, reliable and affordable transport lowers incidences of drink driving – an issue that is particularly felt in regional communities across the country,” he continued. Well, we certainly are living in interesting times and this month was just that. Wonder what we shall encounter next month. Toni Peters Editor TT Catch’s business activities through Prepare to pass your Track your progress and watch yourself improve. FREE English Victorian Taxi Driver Accreditation Test with Language Support! PrepTaarxeitToepsat sPsreypo.ur FREE TRIAL! Victorian Taxi Driver Accreditation Test with PPVrRiesipEt aoPurerAwtRoebEpsiatFesOtsoRysotaurtryours now. TaxiPTraecstictPePraenrdepgapar.ien ctoonfpidaesnscey. our Taxi Driver Accreditation Test with 100’s ofVpircactoticreiaqnueTstaioxnis Donr:iver Accreditation Test with Victorian Knowledge Taxi TestSign up todTaya. *x$ or $49.99 for all 3 tests (bundle) Practic••eDDarriinvvdeerrTgGBaaeeinxhnaiecvroTaionleufKisrdnteonwPcleered. gpe. Practice and gTainAcXonIfidTeEncSe.T PREP 100’s of practice questions on: All practice questions are based on the Official Knowledge Handbooks from P•• rDDarriicvveetirrcGBeeeh,n*Paelrevircaieaosl urKarrnenfoo&rw9l0eg-ddaagyiesnubsccroiptnionfsi.dence Tt•••1oh0MDDKo0enrrel’iisovvmltbeewooLL•orrfoioeunBGKMtapsghargenresnteraehionnYsenlacbaweoiKtwocavsri•P1•uicaiunnncth0orrDDelrdago0euuyWKnrrcq’iirsrwlYrvveonteeuaaieeoooacuvelyrrtfueerweesBGnpAridrtalnereeirW&vaynoghondicodnapaeeuagtvuprsirgnycaepiTeoradoealhAoeupiKrnnoqrresfnao:unec.otureeoswisn,nnstldfeigoiidodngefnseonaocrnle:. •• KFnouwlliynginYtoeurraWcatiyveArosuonfdtware • MQeluboeusrtnieon bank containing hundreds of questions relating to:- LLeeaarrnn LLooggiinn twwaaannhbhdedleerltreel,eeavo•arvernKMrrednnvyreeoiolasvbywukioopaitunaohurgprponeYhaen.-oeor2ue,n4r /eW7,ay Around Lea•rn wDhreivreevreBr yeohuaavrieo.ur Log•in GanednleearranlvAiaspsheosnse,ment tab•let, Goredoesgkrtaopph- 2ic4/A7 ssessment Visit todFaRyEE! TRIAL!Track your progress and watch yInouvrseeslftiminpryovoeu. rself for $19.99 per tatabblelett,, loarpdteospkL,teodapern-s2wk4tho/e7prev-e2r4yo/7u are. TyoraucrskeylLtofaoubigmlreinptp, rroaoonrgvdderele.essaksrtnoapvni-ad2p4wh/o7antceh, Track your progress and watch FREEyourself imprTorvaec.k your progress and watch moduleLaEonnggruli$ashg5e0 for all tyhoruerseelVf!iimsiptroovuer. website to start yours nLobSaEerwuGFnoynspR.goiagctvpduuEllceaioLrasEhs-SsryhagEaLsteuonFn!enanErlpouRofgFngncprtRgouogElesioiuElmasnEnei&rasEhgltt.hgft!ehhketeheeeep FREE TRIAL! Support! wwwFR.tEaxEitTeRsItApLre!! FREE TRIAL!Sign uVpitsoidtaoyu. *r$w19e.9b9siftoer etaocshttaerstt oyro$u4r9s.9n9ofwor. all 3 tests (bundle) Visit our website to start yours now. Taxi Talk - Vwoicwe owf t.hteaTaxxii tInedsusttrpy Sign upwtodway.w*$1.9t.9wa9 xfwoVriiwtesaeitc.hotsuatTertsAxwpt eoiXrtbr ee$sI4itTsp9e.E9tt.o9pcSfsrooTtraearmtpPlly3.Ro.tcueaErsostPsunm(obAwuu.n.agdulues)t 2016 | 5 Sign up today. *$19.99 for each test or $49.99 for all 3 tests (bundle) YEARS Sign up today. *$19.99 for each test or $49.99 for all 3 tests (bundle) All practice questions are based on the Official Knowledge Handbooks from


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Is the whole world against the taxi industry? It certainly looks like everybody is against the Industry. Most people who have the destiny of our industry in their hands seem to find it easier to hide behind catch phrases like “you cannot stand in the way of technology, or this is the new age of innovation and technology so better get used to it”, than to uphold the laws of our country and look objectively at the situation in hand. The Taxi Services Commission finds it easy to enforce regulations and laws in the Taxi Industry with respect to operators and drivers. They accredit the Network Service Providers in the interest of the public, operators and drivers. Yet they fail to enforce service standards that would help the public, the taxi operators and taxi drivers who provide the actual service. They seem to be totally impotent when it comes to prosecuting Uber and their drivers for their lawless behaviour. The army of lawyers that Uber employs are obviously superior to our own, and it seems that the Taxi Service Commission has given up on enforcing our Australian laws. Canberra was the first city in Australia where Uber could legally operate. The Government introduced new laws and regulations to make it possible for Uber to operate. The Government in Canberra acted too quickly and probably received bad advice, that ignored the fact that Uber provides a point to point transport for monetary reward, in the same manner as the Taxi Industry does. They also failed to realise that Uber treats their drivers like employees with respect to the control they exercise over them, but undermines Australian laws and workers’ employment conditions by claiming that they are independent contractors. The Government in Canberra should have protected their own citizens, from exploitation, by setting maximum fares. Instead they allowed Uber to set their own fare structure and use surge pricing. Last, but not least, it seems that most people, including some politicians, believe the greatest lie of Uber that they are a ride sharing company. There is no Ride Sharing! You order a car and the driver takes you to where you want to go, in the same manner as a Taxi. Some politicians should ask themselves the question if they were elected into office to put the interest of Australians first and foremost, or if the interest of big American companies and the money manipulators of Wall Street come first. They have to be careful when taking advice from people who act primarily in self-interest and consider the consequences and impacts that their decisions and actions have on the lives of thousands of people. 6 | August 2016 YEARS Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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It should be remembered that the Australian Taxi Industry was the most accepting Industry of technology and innovation in the world. We were the first in the world to:- • accept credit cards in the Taxi Industry, and • put safety security cameras into our Taxis We were leading the industry in:- • providing transport for the handicapped • cutting emissions by the use of LPG. • our dispatch and communication systems, and • our service to the public was and still is, very good compared to rest of the world. So what went wrong? In a nutshell “Professor Fels’ bad and biased advice to Governments and greed of some elements in the Victorian Taxi Industry.” It would be remiss of me not to mention the various taxi dispatch companies that are against the Taxi Industry. All of them are fighting for as big a piece of the Taxicake as they can get. They are not interested in the travelling public, as long as they can make money by charging the operators. They want to control us, but leave the costly provision of the service to us. They do not want to dispatch our taxi bookings to ALL the cars in Melbourne, in order to get the most efficient and cheapest service. No, they are more interested in destroying our brand by using different coloured cars and selling cars to people in the industry who cannot afford them. In the face of all this adversity it is surprising to see how resilient the Taxi Industry still is. It could be a different story if all the forces that are against us have a win. Do we have a fighting chance? We certainly have a chance if the our Government upholds our laws and does not change them in order to accommodate big business and destroy the lives of thousands of hard working citizens of this country. We can also take back what is rightfully ours by organising ourselves into a co-operative and again have a say in our industry. Surely I am dreaming again when I wrote that last sentence. Hans Altoff Taxi Owner / Operator TT Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry YEARS August 2016 | 7


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Getting it right, right now In the last 18 months as a Member of Victoria’s Upper House, I have learned a few things. First, there are few better workouts available than running up and down ancient stairs all day. Second, by 3 in the morning on a sitting week, Parliament can start to get a bit silly. Finally, the simplest of ideas can lead to the most complicated of legislation. Law has a way of reflecting social values and progress from 10 years ago, but not today. With the rapid advance of technology, sometimes laws can seem three or more steps behind reality. The Commercial Passenger Vehicle (CPV) industry continues this tradition. Laws currently in place that govern the way taxis and hire cars operate have been a mishmash of older ideas and attempts to keep up with progress. An example of this came about in May of this year, when an outdated section of transport legislation was used to effectively throw out a court case against an Uber driver. This led to wider concerns over a lack of prosecutorial power for the TSC, eventually leading to legislation being rushed through Parliament to account for the error. Like so much of our CPV legislation, this was reactive rather than proactive. When I set out to push the Government into finally giving some certainty to these industries, I was amazed at the diversity of response. Individuals and groups within the taxi and hire car industries, disability activism groups, rideshare operators and everyday citizens all took the time to contact, com- Fiona Patten Member for Northern Metropolitan in the Victorian Parliament and Leader of the Australian Sex Party ment, support and advise. These conversations were largely positive, and extremely valuable in providing information on the multitude of stakeholders who cared about ridesharing. My office also received phone calls with threats of violence, I was demeaned online, and I found myself questioning how this issue had been able to simmer for so long. The resentment and frustration of the CPV industry was clear, and I was all the more determine to find a solution. Ridesharing is not going away, and failing to be responsive to it has led to a deeply unfair situation for Uber drivers, taxi drivers, taxi plate owners, and CPV passengers. This is why I introduced my Ridesharing Bill 2016. continued on page 10 ---> 8 | August 2016 YEARS Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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Your Taxi / Hire car Insurance Partner • Low Premiums and third party insurance (Cover By QBE) • Hire cars comprehensive insurance from $1200. (Excess Starts from $500) • $1500 flat Excess for Taxis. • Quickest repair time guaranteed. • Upfront Loss of Income paid (Conditions apply). • Claims Recovery and Management. • Lodge Claims online Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry YEARS July 2016 | 7


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Getting it right, right now ..../continuedfrompage8 When I introduced my legislation to Parliament my intention was simple – to characterise the relationships in a ridesharing arrangement in order to allow for them to be properly legislated and regulated, and to impose some very basic safety requirements. Bills such as mine are subject to heavier restrictions – I could not draft anything that would create buy back schemes or levies, accreditation or further powers for the TSC, or even cover aspects such as access to disability subsidy schemes. This is a matter for the State Government to undertake, and I’m pleased to say that this Bill created the momentum required for a clear commitment to legalise ridesharing this year. Other jurisdictions have done this effectively through levy schemes, compensation funds, buy backs, and other supportive forms of legislation. I would like to see Victoria completely reform their system to reflect competition, which can drive innovation, industry improvement, and better alignment with technology and consumer expectations. Expecting taxis to operate under heavy, monopoly driven regulation while others don’t is not competitive – it is unfairly restrictive. The advantages of ridesharing are clear. Not having to exchange cash protects customers and drivers, and means the risks for drivers can be lowered significantly. Trips can be sent to loved ones to follow the journey, and the ability to make some extra cash can work well for individuals working part-time. That being said, ridesharing should be a component of a wider CPV puzzle. During Melbourne winter there is rarely a more reassuring sight than a bright yellow taxi that I can hail. A knowledgeable taxi driver can be worth their weight in gold, ensuring safe journeys home, or shaving time off an otherwise lengthy trip. I want a CPV industry that is fair, level, and provides consumers with options. I want the restrictions that once governed an industry with a monopoly now removed, and individuals compensated, to adjust for an increasingly competitive market. After the State Government’s commitment to introduce a framework this year, it seems as if we’re on the right track. But if this track does not include wider system reform, we’ll be back here in five, ten, or twenty years, once again working to provide an overworked industry with some kind of clarity. We need to get it right, today, to create a stronger transport industry tomorrow. Fiona Patten, MP TT HAVE YOUR SAY The Economy and Infrastructure Committee has been commissioned to inquire into, consider and report, no later than 8 December 2016, on the need for, and appropriate structure of, regulation of ride sourcing services such as Uber Written submissions from individuals and organisations addressing one or more of the issues in the terms of reference need to be submitted by 8 August 2016. Visit for more details. Terms of Reference • barriers to entry; • consumer protection; • customer safety; • competition; • access for people with disabilities; • remuneration and workplace rights for drivers; • how impacts of such regulation on the taxi industry can be minimised; • industry transition; and • any other issues the Committee regards as relevant. 10 | August 2016 YEARS Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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Schmidt G5 Taximeter Schmidt G5 SN 123456 01 $48.50 TARIFF Tap to Pause or Hold to Total FARE $5.10 $2.00 TOLLS CITYLINK Tap to Add EXTRAS DAY • HIRED Day View Keep control of your business • Fully automatic self-calibration - World’s first self-calibrating taximeter. - Recalibrates itself automatically whenever required e.g. when you change tyres. - No need to visit a dealer for calibration, saving you time and money. • Eliminates off-meter fares and could pay for itself many times over every year - World’s first taximeter with optional ultrasonic passenger detection - Keeps the fare running whenever a passenger is riding in your taxi • Prevent other parties from owning your confidential income data and putting your privacy at risk • Control your taximeter via secure website log-in Schmidt Electronic Laboratories Pty Ltd Trusted by thousands of taxi operators & drivers for more than 35 years Taxi TPalhk o- nVoeice(0o3f)th9Ae5d4Tda6xri6eI9nsd9su0s1ot5rry31O30sb0o1r3n2e 422 | Email Avenue, ClaytonYESAoRSuth, VIC 3169 | A| BWNeb2s0it0e05w6w3w1 .7s1ch0Amuigduts.ct o20m1.6au| 33


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Insurance for taxis Drivers and owners beware of your insurance rights and obligations. Ensure you have the correct insurance policy. Ninety per cent of people injured in vehicle accidents will have to battle giant insurance companies alone and without legal assistance under controversial changes to the NSW Compulsory Third Party Green Slip scheme (CPT scheme) put forward by the NSW government. The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances. This is just one of the detrimental effects of the proposed reforms for the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme announced by the NSW government, said Justin Stack, Managing Director of Stacks Law Firm. “While the current CTP scheme has problems, these reforms go too far against the interests of the victims of vehicle accidents, and give too much power to the giant insurance companies,” Mr Stack said. “Insurers have a vested interest in not paying out for injuries, so the entire focus for justice for victims has shifted.” The government has proposed a no-fault, low-benefits, compensation style scheme for motor accident victims. After a certain period, only about ten per cent of accident victims receive any ongoing benefits. Instead of a government agency dispensing benefits which has some sort of oversight and obligation to treat accident victims fairly, the scheme will rely on five powerful private insurers whose only motive is to maximize profits and squeeze victims. “The vast majority of people with long-term loss of earnings and longterm medical needs will be pushed into reliance on Centrelink payments or public hospitals and Medicare. The taxpayer will effectively be picking up the bill for the insurance giants. “If victims dispute a decision on lost earnings and future medical needs, it will be the insurer who receives the appeal, the same company that just denied the benefit.” “This is obviously unfair, and groups like the Australian Lawyers Alliance are deeply concerned there will be no independent way to review decision making by the insurers, and that ninety per cent of claimants won’t be allowed to engage a lawyer to assist them to access benefits to which they are entitled. “Insurers have powerful teams of highly experienced in-house legal experts, and to expect accident victims to battle against them without anyone qualified to help or support them is a denial of justice.” “Stacks Law Firm has extensive experience in this aspect of law and we are concerned vehicle accident victims will be denied their rights, and insurance giants will pocket massive profits. “It sounds good for the NSW government to say the changes will bring down the cost of a green slip, but we’ve seen what happened with similar changes to the NSW Workers Compensation scheme - accident victims got less and insurers’ profits went up.” Justin Stack Stacks Law Firm TT 12 | August 2016 YEARS Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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Victorian taxi owners have a responsibility to have the necessary vehicle insurance. An excerpt from the current Driver’s Agreement with regards to vehicle insurance is below. All drivers should read this carefully and if not understood, you should discuss this with your taxi operator. All taxi owners should also understand this clause and sub-clauses and similarly if you don’t understand the wording contact the Taxi Services Commission, your insurance agent or lawyer for clarification. From 30 September 2014 and for the term of this Agreement, the Operator must maintain one or more policies of insurance providing cover of at least $5,000,000 for each Taxi driven by the Driver against liability in respect of property damage caused by or arising out of the use of the Taxi. 6.2 The policies must: (a) be issued by a corporation authorised under the Insurance Act 1973 (Cth) to carry on an insurance business; (b) be held in the Operator’s own name; and (c) not be held in any name other than the Operator’s. For example a policy held in the name of a person other than the Operator with the Operator as a beneficiary will not be sufficient to comply with clause 6.1 6.3 The Operator is responsible for and will pay any applicable excess on the policy payable in relation to a claim involving the Operator’s vehicle. 6.4 At any time during the term of this Agreement, an authorised representative of the TSC may request evidence from the Operator which demonstrates that the Operator has in place a current insurance policy as required under condition 6.1. The Operator must provide such evidence to the reasonable satisfaction of the authorised representative. 6.5 The operator must ensure that the insurance policy or policies are current, and must provide a copy to the Driver on request. 6.6 Subject to clause 10.4(b), the Operator must indemnify the Driver for vehicle damage (including damage to the Taxi) arising out of the use of the Operator’s Taxi, and for costs including legal costs associated with such vehicle damage. 6.7 If the Operator holds a policy for: (a) public liability insurance; or (b) personal injury insurance for the Driver in relation to this Agreement, the Operator must keep the following records (and must provide these records to the TSC and/or the Driver on request within a reasonable time): (a) whether the Operator agrees to maintain the policy for the duration of this Agreement; and (b) the expiry date of the policy; and (c) either of the following for the policy – i. the policy information; or ii. how the policy information can be obtained from the Operator. 6.8 If an Incident occurs while the Driver is in possession of the Taxi, the Driver must: (a) tell the Operator about the Incident as soon as possible (including, where possible, the details of all the people involved, witnesses, injuries suffered and damage to property); and (b) as soon as possible, give to the Operator, or he Operator’s insurer on request, copies of any statements the Driver makes to the police or any other person about the Incident. TT Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry YEARS August 2016 | 13


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Reducing congestion Melbourne’s roads have never been busier, so the government is helping to get the traffic moving. 14 | August 2016 YEARS Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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Punt Road M80 Ring Road Clearway The new 24 hour clearways will operate on Punt Road seven days a week from 29 August. This will get traffic flowing outside the peak periods and on weekends. The clearways will operate along both sides of Punt Road, from Alexandra Avenue, to Gladstone Street on the east side and from Alexandra Avenue to Union Street on the west side. The announcement comes as welcome relief for residents and motorists frustrated with bottlenecks and choke points on weekends, when just one parked car can reduce the critical north-south corridor to one lane in each direction. The clearways will also improve safety by reducing accidents as vehicles merge, and provide more consistent and reliable travel for bus services along the busy road. “Victorians know the frustration of getting stuck on Punt Road, especially on the weekend or off-peak,” said Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan “This is a critical north-south corridor that 330,000 people rely on each day and we’re getting it moving,” he continued. The loss of on-street parking will be compensated for, with three new car parks in the area to be opened by the end of December. The new car parks are located at 182 Punt Road, 198 Punt Road and 274 Punt Road. TT Drivers on the M80 Ring Road (formerly the Western Ring Road) will be the first in the world to benefit from new technology that will help reduce congestion and get Victorians home sooner. The Adaptive Variable Speed Limit system recognises when traffic is starting to build-up, and adjusts traffic speed, regulating traffic flow and providing a safer and more reliable journey for the 160,000 drivers who use the road every day. The system has now been fully automated on the M80 Ring Road from Furlong Road to Sunshine Avenue, to relieve a pinch-point where traffic has to move from four lanes, down to two lanes. Powered by an algorithm, the system assesses live traffic condi- tions and regulates traffic speed by sending information to drivers via overhead gantries. Without intervention, traffic would eventually become congested and stop. Instead this system aims to reduce the congestion time and maintain movement. The groundbreaking system is the result of collaboration between VicRoads and the Technical University of Crete, to find new ways to reduce congestion. The new technology will form part of the upcoming construction of the $300 million M80 Ring Road Upgrade from Sunshine Avenue to Calder Freeway, due to start later this year. Drivers can expect to see speed limits change before traffic becomes heavy, particularly during morning and afternoon peak times. Traffic data from the new system will be closely monitored and evaluated, with a view to rolling the system out more broadly across the state’s freeway network. TT fiTnAaXnIce We are accredited with over 30 banks and other lenders cheap rates best service EASY CAR LOAN APPROVALS... NO TAX RETURNS REQUIRED* * conditions apply fast approvals cheap finance rates... ALL TAXI LICENCES & VHA CAR FINANCE all taxi vehicles (cars and vans, VHA vehicles, limos and others) $3GA0P,C0OV0ER0 AVAILABLE yarrafinance Phone 9561 8876 experts in commercial finance 96 Garden Road, Clayton (near Ikea) Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry YEARS August 2016 | 15



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