Drive A2B November 2017 edition


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DRive A2B magazine for taxis, hire cars, ride sharing

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DRIVE Voice of the Victorian Point-to-Point Transport Industry NOVEMBER 2017 NO 07 incorporating TAXIOF THE TVAOXIICINEDUSTRY on the ranks MAGAZINE since 1966 Ta Be one of the many Enjoy the benefits of our gr • Earning more dollars inste • Get notified when custome • Maximising your vehicles • Bidding for as many jobs • Enabling your taxi service Once registered, it’s as sim Step 1 Receive the request Step 2 Bid for the work $500Gift Card TAXIS HIRE CARS ON DEMAND HIRE OWNERS REGISTER TODAY*T&Cs:1.Thecompetitionisvalidfrom9:00amAEST2nd Nove immediate families, Promoter and its agencies associated & WGO INTO TIHE NDRAW TO26th November 2017. 5. The winner will be notified by tele and 5pm (mon-Fri). 7. ineda takes no responsibility for any to validate and check the authenticity of entries and to dis dence will be entered into. 10. The Promoter is ineda. All e date, the prize will be re-drawn. 12. The eftpos gift cards ca balances transferred, consolidated or replaced. 13. The e receive it. Any balance that remains after the expiry date w $500 EFTPOS CARD SEE PAGE 2 FOR DETAILS DRIVERS SERVICES


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Giving Power Back to Taxi & Hire Car Drivers Be one of the many & get on-board with the FREE ineda app Enjoy the benefits of our growing community including: • Earning more dollars instead of waiting around taxi ranks • Get notified when customers post their taxi or hire car job • Maximising your vehicles earning capacity • Bidding for as many jobs as you like • Enabling your taxi services to include parcel delivery with the ineda app Once registered, it’s as simple as: Step 1 Receive the request Step 2 Bid for the work Step 3 Customer accepts Step 4 Deliver & get paid $500Gift Card REGISTER NOW & GO INTO THE DRAW TO WIN A $500 EFTPOS CARD* *T&Cs: 1. The competition is valid from 9:00am AEST 2nd November 2017 to 11:59pm AEST 25th November 2017. 2. An individual may only enter the competition once. 3. Employees and their immediate families, Promoter and its agencies associated with the competition are not eligible to enter this competition. 4. The winner will be chosen with a random generator on 26th November 2017. 5. The winner will be notified by telephone and email. 6. The winners will receive their eftpos gift card via Australia Post at an agreed time of approx. 9am and 5pm (mon-Fri). 7. ineda takes no responsibility for any delays in delivery time of the prize. 8. Entry is open to residents within Australia only. 9. The Promoter reserves the right to validate and check the authenticity of entries and to disqualify any entrant who submits an entry that is not valid as per these Terms and Conditions and no further correspondence will be entered into. 10. The Promoter is ineda. All entries and information become the property of the promoter. 11. If any prize is not claimed within 60 days of the draw date, the prize will be re-drawn. 12. The eftpos gift cards cannot be used to withdraw cash at ATM or eftpos nor be redeemed for cash, reloaded, returned for a refund, or have their balances transferred, consolidated or replaced. 13. The eftpos Gift Card WILL EXPIRE ONE YEAR after the date of issue. Check the expiry date on your gift card as soon as you receive it. Any balance that remains after the expiry date will not be available for use and will be forfeited by you. 14. Lost, stolen or damaged cards are not replaced or refunded.


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CONTENTS WHAT’S INSIDE 6 Hardship follows chaos The Hon Jeff Kennett voices his views on the destruction of the Victorian taxi industry. 8 What a dog’s breakfast! VHCA takes a look at the Andrews Government’s handling of the introduction of ride sharing to Victoria. 16 Melb Airport breaches rules A Hire Car driver has challenged four parking fines issued by Melbourne Airport. 22 Volvo electrified vehicles These new vehicles will soon be on the roads. Order book is open now. 28 Your say Letters and emails received by DRIVE A2B regarding the Victorian point-to-point transport industry. 30 Code of conduct Rules may need to be set as a standard for point-to-point transport drivers. 36 Overseas news Snippets regarding the point-to-point industry around the world. FRONT COVER Horse racing in the Spring at Flemington Racecourse Find us at ... DRIVEA2B @DRIVEA2Ba @DRIVEA2B 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 $45 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 DRIVE A2B magazine · November 2017 3


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Editorial WELCOME to the November 2017 edition of DRIVE Voice of the Victorian Point-to-Point Transport Industry It just doesn’t seem right. Taxis and hire cars have been an integral part of the transportation means for the AFL Grand Final and Spring Racing Carnival for decades. Yet on Grand Final day 2017, the taxi and hire car ranks were so far away from the MCG that it was just totally ludicrous. While Uber was right at the “front door” of the MCG. The same happened during the Caulfield Cup Carnival and will happen at Flemington Melbourne Cup Carnival. How is this fair? How is this a level playing field? Why does Uber get front row seats at these major events? And for sure Uber will be price gouging whilst offering this service in peak demand times. Such as one Uber driver who wanted $35 per passenger to travel from the City to Caulfield Racecourse - in the same car at the same time! Minister for Transport Jacinta Allan, has announced that flexible fares will be introduced as part of the second tranche of the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry (CPVI) bill, in 2018. A revised version of the CPVI Bill is currently before Parliament. If passed by the Upper House this Bill will effectively permit all players in the Victorian commercial passenger vehicle industry to set their own fares. They will therefore be as cheap as you want to be competitive, and as high as you dare when there is high demand - just like Uber currently does! Ms Allan stated earlier this year during the Melbourne train disruption (due to a computer fault) that price gouging would be stopped. But now she is going to allow it? No wonder we get confused. Ms Allan says one thing last month and something totally different this month. Georgia Nicholls, CEO Victorian Taxi Association, was reported in many media outlets last month, to have applauded the changes and the government’s “commitment to creating genuinely fair and equal competition in the commercial passenger vehicle industry”. “The finer points of the regulation are still to be negotiated, however, broadly speaking the levelling of the playing field is good for consumers and the industry,” she said. 4 DRIVE A2B magazine · November 2017


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I’m not sure what’s happened to Ms Nicholls’ eyesight as the only level playing field I can see is the one whereby those wishing to do their own thing, and break the law to do so, are able join Uber and get away with it without fear of prosecution. In this edition you will notice that the Hon Jeff Kennett AC (ex-Premier of Victoria) and the Hon David Davis (Shadow Minister for Transport) have both written for Drive A2B. Ms Allan was also invited to submit an article, but we received no reply to our invitation. The question must be asked... Why is the Minister not granting an audience with any of the industry stakeholders except the VTA and Uber? Is there some sort of conspiracy happening behind the scenes? Toni Peters | EDITOR TIPS FOR TAXIdrivers There are three main complaints against the taxi industry. 1. taxi drivers won’t accept short fares; 2. they take the longest route; and 3. smelly drivers and / or vehicles. These are tough times you are working in and you need to get your act together so as to be competitive with the other commercial passenger vehicles on the road. ACCEPT each and every fare. The best customer you can have is the one sitting on a seat in your car. DISCUSS the route to be taken with your passenger. Remember the passenger can easily check you by keying the co-ordinates into Google, or like, on their phone. FRESHEN your vehicle and yourself. Keep your car tidy, clean and smelling fresh. Keep yourself washed, deodorised and smartly dressed. MAKE an impression the first time - and a good one at that. There is enough room on the roads for all of you, but only the smart ones are going to survive and win. 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 · November 2017 5


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Hardship BY THE HON JEFF KENNETT AC former Victorian Premier It is hard to imagine a more glaring example of government mismanagement than the way the Andrews Government and Minister Jacinta Allan have handled the arrival of Ride Sharing into Victoria, and the destruction of the Taxi Industry that has served this community so well for so long. In the 90s, with clear leadership, we were able to transform the Taxi Industry into one which not only provided a valuable service, but one that was respected by the Victorian public. We recognised that the vast majority of taxi licences were owned by single families who used their licence through hard work, to create financial opportunity for their families. Since the turn of the century no government, Coalition or Labor has appreciated the value of the industry within our community. The importance of a flexible public transport system, where the owners and drivers were potentially the best ambassadors for Victoria. Ted Baillieu started the process with the appointment of Alan Fels to review the industry. Jacinta Allan has delivered the final blow. As a result, today, many taxi families are having their houses repossessed by banks, who had lent full value on the purchase price of a licence plate that was secured by Government licence. follows 6 DRIVE A2B magazine · November 2017


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“I have never been opposed to change or welcoming it. Competition is good.” The reality is when Ride Sharing was the more efficient service, is Taxi Industry. Your caring Labor arrived they operated outside any beyond me. government has spat in the eye government controls, charges or regulations. The public were totally unprotected. Their operating costs were substantially cheaper than those imposed by government on the taxi industry. So instead of just regulating Ride Sharing, as was the clear option, your Labor government decided to destroy the Taxi Industry as it had existed for years, destroy families’ wealth and, for many, cause mental health issues that are unbearable. So much for social justice! Now to make matters worse, in the In my opinion there was room in our growing society for both the Taxi Industry and Ride Sharing to exist and compete. Without destroying so many families’ wealth overnight. It may not be a callous act by Government but it has certainly been stupid, unprofessional and uncaring. The Minister has varied the upfront for compensation for licences and the number of licences held, but the assurance that the operation of the Fairness Fund would be efficient, and all claims met before licences of your hard work, destroyed your financial security, in some cases been the cause of your house being re-possessed, and taken away your superannuation. Not bad to do all of that in one term of government. But I guess you are only five or six thousand families, so who cares? There is now no protection for the frail and the elderly, or those with little language, or our young, or our visitors to this great State, because in the name of reform fares will be totally unregulated. name of reform, this caring loving were basically repealed has not Finally, I hear the industry is government is going to take away occurred. Simply because when considering standing candidates any protection the public may have they got their legislation through in several seats at the next State from rogue operators by removing the Parliament, the government lost election. any control on fares. Price gouging will become the new interest in the process. Many are still waiting for completion. Well good luck to you if you do. Select your targets carefully. regular complaint, as it is now with The Taxi Industry as we have known Only stand in half a dozen seats, Ride Sharing. it, is broken. An industry based on get good candidates, and have the hard toil of so many Australians, all in the taxi industry work as a This is not reform at all. This is complemented by many new team to work against those who stupidity, it is cowardice. It shows arrivals after and since the Second have so clearly, so quickly and so a total lack of understanding of World War. Individuals who worked unnecessarily, destroyed so many the public interest, not to mention long hours in the industry. Saved small businesses and families. the welfare of those who have enough money to buy a Licence provided a public service for plate. Used the plate as security to The time will come when those decades, or the public interest. buy a house, and to provide for their who have played within the rules Why in God’s name the Government later years. will exercise their democratic rights. did not simply regulate Ride 2017 will be remembered as Sharing, issue no more Licences Chaosand allow the public to decide what the year the ALP killed the Taxi industry. DRIVE A2B magazine · November 2017 7


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VHCA DWhOat Ga ’S BREAKFAST this has become! BY ROD BARTON | President, Victorian Hire Car Association Could Transport Minister Jacinta Allan get this more wrong? The damage that the Andrews Labor Government Transport Minister Jacinta Allan has done to the Hire Car and Taxi Industry is breathtaking. The Government has had a Taxi and Hire Car Forum, Ride Share Working Group and Parliamentary Inquiry, and we participated in all of these. We, and other taxi industry stakeholders, have had meetings with TSC personnel, other government bodies and with the Minister herself. We, along with many others, have shared and supplied information about the industry. Ms Allan cannot say she was not briefed. The VHCA never stated for Uber to be banned or restricted. We fought for either Uber to be forced to comply with the current regulations, have the same cost and conditions applied to them, or remove the cost and conditions applied to us. Ms Allan has ignored her own mantra of a level playing field - she has ignored fairness. Her actions are unprecedented whereby this Victorian Government has not paid fair market value upon acquiring property. The Andrews Labor Government has cancelled all taxi and hire car licences and brought these assets to an end. Ms Allan has chosen to destroy the value of hire car and taxi licences. By her actions she has left those established industry operators who worked within the law, paid taxes and serviced the Victorian community, in financial destitution. Ms Allan, you have given these operators a legacy debt. This is not a level playing field! You must be the only person who does not understand this. We can assure you the travelling public does! The formation of this policy was developed by a handful of public servants who were determined to finish the work of Professor Fels and his extreme right wing philosophy. Policy formation and roll out has been amateurish and incompetent, leaving disaster in its wake. Who in their right mind would consider it fair to pay transition payments on entity? How can two people own the same amount of licences and end up getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars different? This was no transition fund - this was a LUCKY DIP! 8 DRIVE A2B magazine · November 2017


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FAIRNESS FUND The Fairness Fund is equally flawed - badly formulated, implemented and managed. The VHCA raised concerns at our first meeting with Ms Allan, nearly three years ago, when it was announced that Marnie Williams would be Chair of the Andrews Government Taxi and Hire Car Forum. We did so as we believed that Ms Williams did not have the support of the Taxi and Hire Car Industry, primarily because of her poor handling of the Fels reforms when she was CEO of the Taxi Services Commission. Then amazingly Ms Williams was again given a very important and sensitive role - the Chair of the Fairness Fund – and in a part-time capacity. Minister Allan has stated publicly that the Fairness Fund was for “immediate financial assistance”. Just 20% of the people who were eligible to apply for assistance from the Fairness Fund, did so. There are thousands of others who were also eligible, but for assorted reasons did not apply. Many found the whole application process confusing, daunting and simply gave up. But it doesn’t end there. Nowadays, dealing with the Fairness Fund is stressful. You are unable to speak to anyone who can give you assistance or advice. The contact number supplied connects you to a call centre in Sydney, where the telephonist doesn’t have any answers, but gives you a generic email address to which they suggest you send your queries. What a Dog’s Breakfast this has become! CLASS ACTION SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT 21 NOVEMBER 2017 11:30am VHCA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING SKYWAYS 113 Matthews Avenue, Airport West OPEN INVITATION TO EVERYONE DRIVE A2B magazine · November 2017 9


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VHCA continued We know of people who lodged their applications over eight months ago, have repeatedly followed up and received no response. Just recently they have received an email or letter asking for further information and stating that they have 10 days to respond. Just 10 days! This is after eight months of waiting for any response and they are only given 10 days to provide the information requested! This is a joke. Imagine if we ran our businesses like this! If Minister Allan was genuinely sincere and truly wanted her Government to fairly help those affected in transition, she must do what is fair! We recommend that the Fairness Fund be reopened, Ms Williams step down and someone truly independent of government be appointed as Chair of the Fairness Fund. With these measures, perhaps some of the harm caused to these very innocent families can be remedied. Apart from the devastating financial harm Ms Allan has inflicted on tens of thousands of innocent families (which was avoidable), she has driven away tens of thousands of traditional Labor voters. Some of you know someone who has voted Labor in every State and Federal election since he was 18, voted Labor for 42 years, and voted Labor when he new they didn’t deserve it. He did so because he was a true believer. However, come the next State election, Labor will not get his vote. This person will be working with thousands of others to have a change of State Government in Victoria come 24 November 2018. This person is Rod Barton. #TransportMatters You can sit there and complain HIRE CAR & TAXI OWNERS JOIN VHCA TODAY ONLY $120 pa 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! 10 DRIVE A2B magazine · November 2017


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ATTENTION HIRE CAR OPERATORS All access to the public parking areas on the ground floor of the "At Terminal T1 T2 T3 Car Park" will be closed from Wednesday 25 October 2017. Please see map below for alternate routes to the Hire Car Permit area at T1 (ground floor). No change to Hire Car Permit Area at T3 (level 1). Directional Key Entry to Hire Car Permit Area T1 Ground Floor (Via Rental Returns Lane) Hire Car Area Entry to Hire Car Permit Area T1 From Upper Levels (via Exit Ramp) Closed from 25 October 2017 TERMINAL DR Entry Gate Entry access to VHA Hire Car T1 VHA Car Park T1 Exit to VHA Hire Car Entry access to upper levels TERMINAL DR CENTRE RD Entry access to upper levels


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VIEWPOINT Do we have a LEVEL PLAYING FIELD? BY THE HON DAVID DAVIS MP Victorian Shadow Minister for Public Transport Victorian taxi and hire car owners and their families are staring oblivion in the face following the recent passage on the Andrews Labor Government’s harsh commercial passenger vehicle legislation. Recently Daniel Andrews, through the Victorian Taxi Services Commission, advised many, but not all, perpetual licence holders, by text message, that detail was posted on the TSC website that new ‘permits’ were ready to be mailed. These effectively formally revoke long standing perpetual licences without any proper or genuine compensation. Drivers under the government’s scheme will be sent a permit. Unlimited permits will be issued soon. Serious consequences will directly follow; many families whose assets are largely tied up in taxi licences will be bankrupted and those whose superannuation funds contain taxi licences will have their retirement savings stripped away. It is clear that versions of ride sharing are here to stay and that firms like Uber in the peer to peer economy will play a significant role into the future. What is not clear is what arrangements will be implemented with Uber, given the government says that it will have further legislation before the end of the year. Under the Government’s system, taxi drivers will be issued permits for which each must apply. There will be no charge for taxi-cab and hire car licence applications and an annual licence fee of just $52.90. A special arrangement has been struck with Uber, where Uber will issue the permits through its own accreditation process and a private portal. It appears the Taxi Services Commission will simply rubber stamp Uber’s arrangements. This “trial” system is again clearly not a level playing field. Despite requests by industry associations, the Government has not released its modelling behind the inadequate “transition payments”, nor it seems, have they been independently assessed. Independent assessment, perhaps by the Valuer-General, of the value of taxi licences before recent changes could have led to fair compensation. Labor’s transition assistance to taxi licence owners is deeply 12 DRIVE A2B magazine · November 2017


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inadequate. Just $100,000 is paid for a first licence and $50,000 for each of the following three licences to a total maximum payment of $250,000. And this despite some licence holders paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for each individual licence and paying this to the State Government. Some families have many licences for which they will receive nothing at all. Unfortunately, for these owners, many of whom worked hard, saved, and made family sacrifices to build up their position lawfully within a government regulated industry, they have now been left high and dry by Daniel Andrews’ own decisions. Some families may have a dozen or more licences purchased with debt finance or as part of a retirement income/superannuation holding. There is a risk that there will be a sudden knock on from the shock of wiping value to effectively zero for thousands of taxi licences. Many of those for whom these licences were treated as collateral will face rapid foreclosure by banks. This process has already begun. And don’t think there aren’t serious consequences for some banks either. I am very fearful for the health of many of those families and individuals who face losing everything; suicide and selfharming are very real possibilities. The High Court of Australia has ruled that taxi licences are assets. The tragedy is the Victorian Labor’s uncaring and aloof Public Transport Minister, Jacinta Allan, has viciously stripped away these assets offering only inadequate and unfairly administered transition assistance and no compensation, in the process ruining the lives of many taxi families. The Victorian Parliament’s watchdog in the Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee (SARC) has not warned like it should have, blithely accepting Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan’s patently false assertions that taxi licences are not assets. SARC failed to sharply invoke the Charter of Human Rights which at Section 20 says: “A person must not be deprived of his or her property other than in accordance with the law”. Whilst this right is weak under the Victorian Charter, surely few Victorians would find it acceptable that one may be deprived of his or her property no matter how unreasonable the law is. Plainly, the Andrews Labor Government is prepared to thumb its nose at common decency which would see such protections upheld. Daniel Andrews and his government have allowed Uber to operate illegally instead of properly legislating, properly regulating and properly compensating preexisting taxi licence holders. Victorian Labor will also introduce a nasty new tax of one dollar per taxi, hire car or Uber ride to be paid The Hon David Davis MP Shadow Minister for Public Transport by the passengers on each and every trip. Sadly, it is not clear this will be used to support those who deserve compensation. In fact, a seriously misguided amendment introduced by a minor party, but fully supported by Labor and Greens, will direct much of the taxi tax money to funding state bureaucracy. The Coalition sought unsuccessfully, by amendment, to reverse Labor’s misdirection of its new taxi tax. No-one can stop the tide of history and change. New technologies, arrangements and apps must be embraced, but government surely has a responsibility to treat fairly those who have operated lawfully under the taxi arrangements it put in place and sold licences from which it profited over decades. Small businesses, many of them run by thrifty hardworking migrant families, are the victims of Labor’s shambolic process. 13DRIVE A2B magazine · November 2017


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TAXATION UPDATE NTRAONSTITIOTN PAAYXMEANTBS LE The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has made determinations on the taxability of payments from both the Victorian Fairness Fund and the Victorian Transition Assistance. FAIRNESS FUND Yes - Income Tax applies. The Fairness Fund provides targeted financial support for licence holders facing significant financial hardship. The payments are assessable income because they are designed to provide financial support to licence holders that are experiencing: • a lack of current income or the loss of a future income stream that is significantly impacting on household spending capacity, • significant difficulty in meeting ongoing debt obligations related to the licence(s) held, or • a lack of available funds to meet financial commitments. You can claim a tax deduction for costs incurred for seeking legal or professional tax advice in relation to the taxation of the payment. TRANSITION ASSISTANCE No - Income Tax does not apply. The Transition Assistance payment is intended to assist eligible licence holders transition to the new legislative framework following the cancellation of their existing taxi-cab and hire car licences. The payments are not ordinary income because the payments are made as consideration for the cancellation of taxi-cab or hire car licences which brings those assets to an end. The payment should be included in the calculation of the capital gain or capital loss that is made by the licence holder on the cancellation of the taxi-cab or hire car licence(s). Full details can be found in the ATO Fact Sheets uploaded onto DRIVEA2B Facebook. 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 14 DRIVE A2B magazine · November 2017


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