DRIVE A2B May 2017 edition


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DRIVE A2B May 2017 magazine for the Victorian Point-to-Point Transport Industry

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DRIVE Voice of the Victorian Point-to-Point Transport Industry MAY 2017 NO 01 READ ABOUT WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING IN YOUR INDUSTRY incorporating TAXIOF THE TVAOXIICINEDUSTRY on the ranks MAGAZINE since 1966 FIRST EDITION Brand new magazine for the Point-to-Point transport industry TAXIS HIRE CARS RIDE SOURCING OWNERS DRIVERS SERVICES


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LAUNCHING SOON Cars & Taxis LUX BLACK driver benefits • Easy-to-use app • Low commissions • Ability to earn more income due to both passenger and delivery options • Participate in the optional profit-share program DISABILITY VAN TAXI ECO DELIVERY Full details DRnieVxt Emonth in Voice of the Victorian Point-to-Point Transport Industry Enquiries: Delivery Services BICYCLE MOTORBIKE CAR VAN / TRAY 2T TRUCK 3T TRUCK


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HELLO DRiVE... and WELCOME to Voice of the Victorian Point-to-Point Transport Industry magazine! DRIVE A2B magazine provides news for taxis, hire cars, suppliers, service providers and ride sourcing providers. Taxi Talk - Voice of the Victorian Taxi Industry was published for 51 years (1966 - 2017) and the new brand of DRIVE A2B - is incorporating everything from Taxi Talk magazine under a new brand - DRIVE A2B - plus more. Taxis as we knew them 12 months ago are slowly but surely changing. The whole industry is changing and we need to embrace this change and move with it, but in doing so not let go of what is important to us all. FAIRNESS. We pride ourselves on providing / reporting on news of the Point-to-Point Transport industry, both in Australia and overseas, when it happens as it happens. Everyone is entitled to have their say and DRIVE A2B magazine gives everyone the opportunity to do just that! DRIVE A2B magazine is filling the niche of a true Pointto-Point transport industry magazine that will deliver news on all the different facets of this industry. DRIVE A2B magazine is published by Trade Promotions Pty Ltd and printed in Melbourne. DRiVE Voice of the Victorian Point-to-Point Transport Industry incorporating TAXIOF THE TVAOXIICINEDUSTRY on the ranks MAGAZINE since 1966


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CONTENTS REGULARS 8 Big boys are taking over Welcome to the brave new world of the taxi industry. 10 Victorian Hire Car Assoc. says The proposed deregulation has caused irreparable harm to a number of small businesses in the industry. 16 Next step forward Behind the scenes the VTHF have put 3 legal actions in place. 22 Your say Letters and emails received by DRIVE A2B regarding the point-to-point transport industry. 30 Industry statistics Figures for last month’s Victorian taxi and hire car industry statistics. 32 Interstate news Report on what’s happening around Australia in our industry. 40 Overseas news Updates on the point-to-point industry all around the world. FEATURES 20 Transport conundrum It’s time for cities to be proactive in planning for our future transport needs. 24 Security nightmares Solving autonomous vehicles’ security flaws will require some fundamental changes to their security architecture. Editor Mrs Toni Peters Publisher Trade Promotions Pty Ltd PO Box 2345, Mount Waverley Vic. 3149 Advertising enquiries Mrs Toni Peters P 0400 137 866 E · W Media Pack containing advertisement sizes and costs can be downloaded from our website. Deadline All articles, editorial and artwork must be submitted by the 15th of the month prior to publication date. Home delivery subscription $40 for your copy of DRIVE A2B to be mailed to you for one year. Payment options Direct Deposit to Trade Promotions Pty Ltd BSB 033065 ACC 312786 REF your name Mail Cheque to Trade Promotions Pty Ltd PO Box 2345, Mt Waverley VIC 3149 FRONT COVER Melbourne Skyline at Night DRIVE A2B magazine · May 2017 5


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Welcome to the inaugural edition of DRiVE Voice of the Victorian Point-to-Point Transport Industry Editorial Like many other industries, the Victorian Taxi and Hire Car Industry has been disrupted by the introduction and concept of the Sharing Economy. The Directors of Trade Promotions Pty Ltd (publishers of Taxi Talk magazine) believe that to remain competitive and relevant to this industry – the commercial passenger vehicle industry – it is time for Taxi Talk – Voice of the Taxi Industry to be rebranded. It is with some sadness that we farewell the end of an era, an era of 51 years to be exact, that Taxi Talk – Voice of the Taxi Industry had been reporting on the ins and outs of the Victorian taxi industry. The April 2017 edition was the final Taxi Talk to be printed. We didn’t sell Taxi Talk magazine, we have simply rebranded it DRIVE A2B - Voice of the Victorian Point-to-Point Transport Industry, to keep it current and competitive with this digital age we are living in. DRIVE A2B magazine will be providing more news for taxis, hire cars, suppliers, service providers and, dare I say it, ride sourcing providers and drivers. It will be published by Trade Promotions Pty Ltd and printed in Melbourne. We welcome everyone’s thoughts, comments and ideas for DRIVE A2B magazine and look forward to receiving and reading your emails each month. On another note, there has been resignations in many facets of the Australian taxi industry over the past month. GoCatch has lost quite a few - CEO David Holmes, Alex Turnbull, Tim Fung and Chairman Bill Beerworth. Sunil Patel is at the helm now as Chairman and he is trying to turn the company towards a profitable path. Roy Wakelin-King CEO NSW Taxi Council has left and Christina KlaasseChellos is filling the position for the interim. 6 DRIVE A2B magazine · May 2017


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incorporating TAXIOF THE TVAOXIICINEDUSTRY on the ranks MAGAZINE since 1966 Just makes you wonder if the entire Australian taxi industry is going to implode some time soon! In Victoria last month, there was a situation where a taxi driver was poisoned from carbon monoxide while taking a power nap in his Capital Taxis car with its engine running.... and.... the following night another driver suffered from exposure to carbon monoxide in the SAME vehicle. Really! I thought all taxis had to be monitored and pass stringent testing by a Licensed Taxi Tester. Surely the taxis are checked for carbon monoxide leaks? How did this one get past? How did the operator let this vehicle on the road? Slater and Gordon lawyer Jana Athanasopoulos said “Death in a workplace is never acceptable and no family should have to go through the devastation of losing a loved one.” “We cannot rely on safety regulation alone, workplace safety must be the priority of everyone to ensure people are going home to their families at the end of each day.” Drivers, if you think there is something wrong with the vehicle you are driving, speak up and let the Operator know. Operators, please take more care of your drivers’ workplace - your vehicle, their workplace. BMW has announced that its autonomous car with self driving capabilities of • level 3 (still requires a driver to intervene in certain situations) • level 4 (it can handle a whole trip - but is limited by some conditions and environments) • and level 5 (requires zero input from a driver) technology will be ready in 2021. Only 4 years away! And that’s going to come around very quickly. Toni Peters EDITOR Views expressed in any article in DRIVE A2B 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. DRIVE A2BTM is wholly owned by Trade Promotions Pty Ltd. © Trade Promotions Pty Ltd 2017. All rights reserved. Copyright of articles and photographs in DRIVE A2BTM remains with the individual contributors and may not be reproduced without permission. DRIVE A2B magazine · May 2017 7


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TAXI NEWS Neither politicians nor people from the media want to know about the fact that Uber flaunts our employment laws and rips off its customers through surge pricing. BIG BOYS TAKING OVER BY HANS ALTHOFF, Taxi Owner/Operator The brave new world of the Taxi Industry. What will the Taxi Industry look like in a couple of years and who or what will be left of the once proud and efficient Taxi Industry when the Government is finished with their destruction of the Industry? It has become very clear that a lot of the regulations which for decades were deemed so very important for the protection of the Public have now been abandoned by our Government. It seems no longer necessary to protect the Public from price gouging and exploitation. In our brave new world the poor compete with the rich on price when they need transportation. The AFL calls it dynamic pricing when they sell tickets for blockbuster games, Uber calls it surge pricing and who knows what it will be called when Cabcharge enters the fray. All this happens under the mantle of competition and innovation, which is supposed to help the consumer, but only serves to make the rich people richer and guarantees service to the rich, who can afford to pay more than the less fortunate. In our new world there will be no more individuals who hold valuable Taxi Licences. The Government will have taken them and paid very little compensation. The Government will allow big business to determine prices. They will charge customers whatever they can get away with and pay the people who provide the service, as little as possible, whilst burdening the real service providers with most of the cost. To put it in another way, Taxi Operators will become the slaves of big business. We will no longer have individual depots that train new drivers or give part time taxi drivers and students the ability to earn some extra money. The quality of service will decline dramatically because drivers will find it near impossible to make a living. One can ask why and how could it ever happen? Why and how could a thriving and very good industry, like the Taxi Industry, finish up like this? If we go back in time we can find several occasions where Government and Industry actions 8 DRIVE A2B magazine · May 2017 In our brave new world the poor compete with the rich on price when they need transportation.


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contributed to the demise of the Industry. However the elephant in the room that nobody is prepared to acknowledge, is the fact that Australian Governments of all denominations are not prepared to uphold our Australian laws. We make excuses for people who break our laws by saying that they acted under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or that they are from another culture. What about the majority of Australians who are law-abiding citizens? Do they not have a right to be protected from the actions of people who treat our laws with disdain? Lawlessness reigns supreme in Victoria where criminals receive more sympathy and attention than their victims. Uber and their drivers have flaunted our laws for many years and instead of enforcing our laws, Governments change them and reward the lawbreakers. I am at a loss to find a reasonable explanation for the disgraceful and shameful actions of our Victorian Government with respect to the Taxi Industry. It is also very hard to understand that the Opposition and many people in the media, talk about upholding our laws while at the same time endorse the actions of Uber. They cannot, or do not want to, see that Uber is a multinational American bully that ignores the laws of countries all over the world. Uber uses money to get world domination in the transport industry and makes a select group of billionaires richer by destroying the livelihood and lives of many hardworking Australians. Neither politicians nor people from the media want to know about the fact that Uber flaunts our employment laws and rips off its customers through surge pricing. Uber should not be able to hide behind their claim to be a technology platform that uses Partner Drivers, when it is clearly an employer according to Australian law. This brings me back to the elephant in the room, our Government does not enforce our Australian laws, and I doubt that this will change in the short term. Can’t you see it? Uber is a multinational American bully that ignores the laws of countries all over the world. DRIVE A2B magazine · May 2017 9


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VICTORIAN HIRE CAR ASSOC. It is with great honour and excitement that we present our first contribution to the newly launched DRIVE A2B publication. We acknowledge and salute the incredible work Toni and her team have done over the past 51 years with TAXI TALK and hope that industry operators, drivers, customers and supporters will embrace the new format. Like many other industries, the Victorian Hire Car and Limousine industry has been disrupted by changes in consumer behaviour, advances in technology and Government intervention. Though the proposed deregulation has caused irreparable harm to a number of small businesses in the industry, through the VHCA the 2700+ licensed operators have a voice that is being increasingly heard. Ombudsman Update In late February 2017, the Victorian Hire Car Association (VHCA), through its legal representatives Mann Lawyers, lodged an official complaint with the Victorian Ombudsman Ms Deborah Glass, regarding the conduct of Minister Jacinta Allan and the Taxi Services Commission (TSC). The complaint has centred on the seemingly selective enforcement of the current legislation which requires both driver and vehicle to be licensed to carry paying passengers. This has been no better displayed than at some of Melbourne’s major events including the Spring Racing Carnival and Australian Grand Prix. At these events Uber proactively promoted dedicated pick-up and drop-off ranks – yet no representative of the TSC was present to take action. In contrast, our Members have been continually asked to present their vehicles for routine inspections, pay ongoing licence fees and be subjected to certain restrictions at Melbourne Airport due to their “commercial” nature. The impact of Uber itself (being an on-demand service that charges significantly more than the industry average out of the Airport) is only modest. It’s the increasing number of unlicensed niche operators that appear to have been given the go ahead by the Government and/or TSC that are eroding the viability of many established operators. 10 DRIVE A2B magazine · May 2017


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The increasing number of unlicensed niche operators that appear to have been given the go ahead by the Government and/or TSC, are eroding the viability of many established operators. Legal Challenges Taking instruction from its Members, the VHCA has also instructed Mann Lawyers to investigate the possibility of taking legal action against the Government, TSC and Uber. In assessing the merits of our position with other legal counsel, Mann Lawyers has advised the VHCA that a number of legal options could be explored with relatively positive chance of success. At the time of writing, the VHCA is in the midst of securing sufficient industry support for a class action that would be supported by international litigation funding companies who have agreed to support the case. For those who wish to be a part of this, there is still an opportunity to register on the VHCA homepage BECOME A MEMBER OF THE VHCA and join us in fighting for your rights as a Victorian Hire Car Licence holder send the following via email to 1. Membership details • Your Name | Email | Mobile Phone no. • # MH Licences | # SV Licences 2. A remittance notice of your applicable payment advising your bank reference and value of payment made. (A receipt will be sent to you) Please pay direct into our bank account Account Name: VHCA #2 Account BSB: 083337 Account no: 408246370 $250 - MH Licence $100 - SV Licence JOIN WITH US TODAY 11DRIVE A2B magazine · May 2017


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VICTORIAN HIRE CAR ASSOC. Hardship / Fairness Fund On April 30, applications to the Hardship / Fairness Fund closed. Despite continually promoting the fund as a source of “immediate” relief for those suffering financial hardship resulting from the proposed changes to the legislation, at the time of writing, not one applicant had received an outcome to their claim. We are aware of many within the industry who have lost a significant chunk of their business and as a result, are suffering financially, psychologically and emotionally. Despite formal approaches to the Government and Administrators of the Fund by VHCA Executive, no response has been received and unfortunately the immediate relief sought by many has not been forthcoming. Where To From Here? No doubt, these are changing and challenging times for Taxi, Hire Car and Limousine drivers. Like all industries, we must embrace these challenges and continue to raise the bar with regards to our service offering. We must continue (or start) to support our industry bodies in their pursuance of a just and equitable outcome for all. And, above all, we must not lose faith. We have been around for a long time. Our clients know us and trust us. That can’t be said for everyone. FREE DO YOU OWN AN MH (VHA), SV, RHV or TAXI LICENCE? REGISTER YOUR INTEREST TO JOIN THE LEGAL ACTION at In order to secure funding, the VHCA must be able to demonstrate it has sufficient numbers to support the action. The proposed legal action can only be initiated with external funding. There will be no outlay of funds for industry members. VEHICLE CHEAP financeRATES CHEAP FINANCE RATES FOR taxis limos vans buses 9561 8876 95 Garden Road, Clayton (near Ikea) EASY BEST FAST CAR LOANS SERVICE APPROVALS We are accredited with over 30 banks and other lenders GAP COVER up to $30,000 available vha vehicles all cars yarrafinance experts in commercial finance proudly serving the taxi industry 12 DRIVE A2B magazine · May 2017


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PROUDLY SUPPORTING THE VICTORIAN HIRE CAR INDUSTRY ofcial sponsor of For all HIRE CAR and TAXI related legal enquiries contact Nadav Prawer, Partner, Mann Lawyers T: 1300 557 564 F: 1300 557 554 E:


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VICTORIAN HIRE CAR ASSOC. Class Action Over the last 12 months there has been a lot of discussion about the potential of initiating legal action against the Taxi Services Commission, the Andrews Government or Uber itself. Taking instructions from our membership, the VHCA instructed Mann Lawyers to initiate investigation into any legal options that may be open to us. Mann Lawyers have advised us that there are a number of legal options that can be explored. On the back of that advice we have referred a number of matters to Senior Counsel and other law firms for further legal analysis. Consensus is, that there is a case, and if it went to Court we would be more than likely to be successful. However, there is always a risk in these matters. So, to protect the VHCA members we have chosen to only proceed if (a) we achieve litigation funding and (b) the members are indemnified against cost if we are unsuccessful. The what, how, why, when and the who, we will keep to ourselves for the moment for strategic reasons. We are now requesting expressions of interest to participate in a Class Action with full litigation funding. NO COST TO YOU! (Please note that we have had litigation funders expressing interest subject to sufficient numbers participating!) There are both national and international companies that specialise in litigation funding. Briefly, the way it works is that the funder assumes all financial costs, risk and liability for any action in return for participating in the proceeds of any successful action. REGISTER your EXPRESSION OF INTEREST at Please note, we are not seeking a binding agreement, just an expression of interest subject to litigation funding being secured. You can sit there and complain about how unfair this all is .... but what we know is, at this stage, you are going to get 100% of NOTHING. JOIN US and maybe, just maybe, we will get a little bit of something! 14 DRIVE A2B magazine · May 2017


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