Drive A2B December 2017 edition

 

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Drive A2B December Christmas 2017 January 2018 edition

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DRIVE Voice of the Victorian Point-to-Point Transport Industry December 2017 / January 2018 NO 08 incorporating TAXIOF THE TVAOXIICINEDUSTRY on the ranks MAGAZINE since 1966 TAXIS HIRE CARS ON DEMAND HIRE OWNERS DRIVERS SERVICES

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CONTENTS WHAT’S INSIDE 6 Uber is under the microscope Maurice Blackburn has started investigation proceedings on behalf of Victorian taxi and hire car drivers, owners and operators. 8 VHCA changes its name to CPVAA Commercial Passenger Vehicle Association of Australia is the new name of the VHCA. Their members will be taxi and hire car drivers and operators, nationally. 12 Uber investigation FAQs Maurice Blackburn have provided us with answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the Uber investigation. 16 Toyota faces class action If you have a faulty Takata airbag in your car, you are eligible to claim for compensation in a class action. 18 What’s level about this playing field A taxi driver gives a recount of his view of the Victorian taxi industry. 22 Drive Safer this Christmas Christmas is a high risk time on the roads and we have some safe driving tips for you. 32 Your say Letters and emails received by DRIVE A2B regarding the Victorian point-to-point transport industry. 36 Overseas news Snippets regarding the point-to-point industry around the world. Find us at ... www.drivea2b.com.au DRIVEA2B @DRIVEA2Ba @DRIVEA2B info@drivea2b.com.au 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 tonipeters@drivea2b.com.au · W www.drivea2b.com.au 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 · December 2017 / January 2018 3

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Editorial WELCOME to the December 2017 / January 2018 edition of DRIVE Voice of the Victorian Point-to-Point Transport Industry It’s wonderful to think that the CBD is getting more pedestrian visitors - great for commerce, great for a thriving city economy, great for the liveability status of Melbourne CBD. But just as there are traffic jams, there are pedestrian jams. The roads surrounding Flinders Street and Southern Cross Stations are pedestrian-heavy areas. Pedestrians cannot move quickly nor safely in these areas. There are proposals that are suggesting that Elizabeth Street, from Queen Victoria Markets to Flinders Street Station should become 20km/h shared zones, with priority given to pedestrians. And the smog is increasing in and around Melbourne’s CBD and this is primarily due to the extra cars that are on the roads. Extra cars on the roads is increasing the congestion - the congestion on our major arterials. These extra cars belong to ridesourcing drivers, such as Uber drivers. Some would wonder as to why we are allowing this to happen. In this day and age, shouldn’t we be more concerned with pollution and traffic congestion, rather than lining the pockets of an external hire car booking service aka Uber. In November 2017, less than one month after officially launching in Tel Aviv, Israel, Uber has been banned from operating their latest venture - UberDAY. UberDAY employed ordinary drivers to ferry passengers around, in the face of stiff opposition from Gett, a rival taxi-booking app, and the Israeli taxi union. Uber has apparently violated an Israeli law which does not permit unlicensed taxi drivers to accept fares from passengers. Uber is arguing that instead of charging a fare its drivers were being “reimbursed” by passengers for fuel and maintenance. It also claims that the rules and regulations for transportation of paying customers in Israel are old and outdated and that they need to be revamped to keep up with technological advancements. This is the exact same argument that they employed when breaking into Victoria’s taxi and hire car scene. Well done Tel Aviv District Court for seeing that Uber is contravening your laws and stopping them from doing so! 4 DRIVE A2B magazine · December 2017 / January 2018

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our friends, supporters, contributors, associates in the Australian point-to-point transport industry. from the Drive A2B Team It’s a huge pity that our own government wasn’t strong enough to stand up to Uber and other ride-sourcing players who have infiltrated the Victorian taxi and hire car market. Late November 2017 it was announced that Japanese investment firm, SoftBank, was preparing to buy shares in Uber at a price that valued Uber at only AU$63 billion. The company was previously valued around AU$92 billion - that’s a loss of AU$29 billion. SoftBank said, “SoftBank and Dragoneer have received indications from Benchmark, Menlo Ventures, and other early investors of their intent to sell shares in the tender offer. Any sales by these shareholders will be pursuant to the same terms and conditions as will be offered to all other eligible holders that participate in the tender offer.” It looks like many of the original big investors have seen the light and they appear to be abandoning ship. Over in Western Australia the cost of Uber and taxi trips will be increased as operators will have to pay a 10 per cent levy to the state Government to fund further compensation to taxi licence owners. The levy will fund a voluntary buyback of taxi plates. The government is stating that owners of conventional metropolitan taxi plates will be entitled to at least $100,000 in compensation, for every plate they hand back to the government. This figure will rise as high as $250,000. All payments will be based on when the purchase was made. This seems like a much fairer equation to calculate the money owed to licence owners upon revocation of licence plates. Well done WA government! If WA can see that it is imperative that all plates be compensated fairly and equally (dependant upon purchase date) - then our government should have seen it too. We can but hope that our Victorian government is watching what WA is doing and perhaps they could mend their errors, revisit the Transition Assistance package and use a similar method of payment to fix up the unfair amounts they have currently paid. 2017 has certainly had its ups and downs - and unfortunately for the Victorian commercial passenger vehicle industry more downs than ups. Take time to reflect on what has passed and look forward to what the future holds. May your Christmas and New Year festivities be celebrated with family and friends around you. 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 · December 2017 / January 2018 5

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UBER IS UNDER THE MICROSCOPE Taxi and hire car drivers and operators are preparing a class action against Uber for operating unlawfully in Victoria. The Victorian Hire Car Association (VHCA), has instructed Maurice Blackburn, to investigate allegations that from 2013 until midway through 2017 when new legislation came into effect, Uber was operating unlawfully, which caused extensive loss and damage to law-abiding taxi and hire car operators and licence holders. It is the first proposed case of its type in Australia, with Canada the only other jurisdiction to pursue similar action. The move will be the latest headache for the taxi industry disrupter, which has seen its founder and CEO Travis Kalanick quit this year and recently lost its licence to operate in London. Maurice Blackburn’s class action Principal Ben Slade presented the idea of a class action to the annual general meeting of the Victorian Hire Car Association last month, saying Uber’s operation before it was officially regulated had caused extensive loss and damage to law-abiding taxi and hire car operators and licence holders. Mr Slade said, “Uber knew it was coming into the Victorian market deliberately to disrupt it”. “While we don’t complain about that, what we do complain about is that if you are going to break the law and you conspire with others to break the law and it causes people financial losses, then you should compensate them.” At the centre of the possible class action is the allegation that there was an Uber “conspiracy to injure” drivers. 6 DRIVE A2B magazine · December 2017 / January 2018

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“Uber just ignored the law and proceeded regardless, encouraged drivers of Uber cars to ignore the law and proceed regardless,” continued Mr Slade. Maurice Blackburn will argue that Uber was subject to the same regulations that taxi drivers and hire car drivers were. If their investigation reveals that Uber’s entry to the market involved unlawful conduct, there may be grounds for a Class Action to recover losses on the part of those affected. Maurice Blackburn is investigating a number of issues regarding how Uber entered the market and the impact it had on existing operators. This includes potential breaches of the Transport Act, and conspiracy by unlawful means, which resulted in loss and damage. ”We expect the losses to be significant, but we will get a better idea of that once we’ve had some time for people to register and we are able to assess that in more detail,” Mr Slade said. There are at least 6000 taxi and hire car licence holders in Victoria impacted by the entry of Uber in allegedly unlawful circumstances. ”We anticipate the volume of participation to be strong, but the losses of those participants will be a large determinant of the commercial viability of the case.” All VHCA, VTHF, VTA members, non-members and other affected taxi and hire car owners and drivers need to register for the potential Class Action at www. mauriceblackburn.com.au/ uberclassaction. IT COSTS NOTHING TO REGISTER! GO ONLINE AND REGISTER TODAY. Tell everyone you know in the Victorian taxi and hire car industry, and ask them to register too. Investigation of potential Uber class action Did you suffer losses as a result of Uber’s operations from 1 January 2013 to 31 July 2017? We’re investigating a potential class action against Uber on behalf of all taxi and hire car drivers, licence holders and operators in Victoria between 1 January 2013 and 31 July 2017, and whether they can recover compensation for losses suffered as a result of Uber’s allegedly unlawful conduct in that period. The investigation is still ongoing. The class action will only proceed if enough claimants register and on the satisfactory completion of investigations carried out by Maurice Blackburn. If you would like to register your interest or find out more information, contact us on: 1800 291 047 mauriceblackburn.com.au/uberclassaction DRIVE A2B magazine · December 2017 / January 2018 7

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VHCA WFareEwLellCVHOCAME CPVAA Commercial Passenger Vehicle Association of Australia Rod Barton President, VHCA The VHCA Board is very excited to announce our new name change - moving forward we will now be known as, “Commercial Passenger Vehicle Association of Australia” (CPVAA). We have decided to do this to reflect our membership base made up of Taxi and Hire Car drivers, owners and operators. This will aid us in our dealings with the Victorian Government, Taxi Services Commission, suppliers and sponsors. We have instructed Maurice Blackburn to investigate a potential class action against Uber. into effect, Uber was operating unlawfully in Victoria, which caused extensive loss and damage to law-abiding taxi and hire car operators and licence holders. This includes potential breaches of the Transport Act, and conspiracy by unlawful means which resulted in loss and damage to our members and the taxi and hire car industries. We felt this was in the best interests of our members because of the extensive loss and damage that has been caused to the law-abiding taxi and hire car operators and licence holders. Maurice Blackburn is currently investigating allegations that from 2013 until midway through 2017 when new legislation came Not only do we believe it is in the best interest of our members, but also in the best interest of the Taxi and Hire Car industries. 8 DRIVE A2B magazine · December 2017 / January 2018

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The class action will only proceed if there are enough registrants! Take a stand against Uber today by registering your interest with Maurice Blackburn at https:// www.mauriceblackburn.com. au/current-class-actions/uberclass-action/. Closes 22nd December. Members have asked, what about the actions of the Andrews Labor Government? The CPVAA will continue to fight the political battle against the government and will continue to lobby, chase, harass and leave no stone unturned. This battle will come to a head on the 24 November 2018! Merry Chrainsdtmas Happy New Year Wishing all of our friends, colleagues and associates in the Victorian commercial passenger vehicle industry a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year. from the Board of the Victorian Hire Car Association DRIVE A2B magazine · December 2017 / January 2018 9

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VHCA continued Toni Peters VHCA Board member | DRIVE A2B Editor What about the Taxi Services Commission? We have instructed Mann Lawyers to continue to pursue the Victorian State Ombudsman, Miss Glass, for a ruling regarding the TSCs failure to enforce legislation against Uber and their harassment of the Taxi and Hire Car industry. We have also instructed Mann Lawyers to pursue other matters with the Australian Competition Consumer Commission (ACCC). These are all on going. The VHCA held its 2017 Annual General Meeting on 21 November, 2017. The previous year’s Minutes of Meeting and Financial Report for 2016/17 were moved and accepted. The Board elected for the 2017/18 year as follows:- President Rod Barton Vice President Andre Baruch Secretary Brian Cunningham Treasurer Toni Peters General Committee Kim Guest & Michael Eren I would like to take this opportunity to thank retiring board members Paul Kariotis and Adam Lust for their assistance and contribution to the Victorian Hire Car Association. Our political lobbying arm is the Transport Matters Party. If you haven’t joined yet, please make sure you do! Encourage family members, and colleagues to also join. The WA Government has backflipped and changed the compensation model in that State, and it is much fairer (not perfect) for the Taxi industry and is a country mile better than Victoria’s. This should be a starting point for negotiations for Victoria. We will continue to try and engage with Transport Minister Jacinta Allan and the Andrews Labor Government, we will continue to lobby the Opposition and Independents. As the newest member to the Board of the Victorian Hire Car Association, I am delighted to be a part of this exciting chapter of the Victorian commercial passenger vehicle industry, as the VHCA (soon to be the CPVAA) moves forward. As Editor of DRIVE A2B (and previously TAXI TALK) I have watched the taxi and hire car industry, reported on it, lived and breathed it for over 27 years. This industry is on the brink of a new era and I am pleased to be associated with it in many areas. TRANSPORT AFFECTS THE QUALITY OF OUR LIVES, IT SHAPES OUR CITIES AND OUR COMMUNITIES. TRANSPORT MATTERS. YOU HAVE A RIGHT, AND YOU DESERVE, TO BE HEARD. JOIN TODAY Rod Barton and Andre Baruch, the President and Vice President of the Victorian Hire Car Association, have started the process of forming a new political party – the Transport Matters Party (TMP). The TMP will participate in the 2018 Victorian State Election with one clear objective to give back a voice to local communities. JOIN ONLINE AT OUR WEBSITE transportmatters.party 10 DRIVE A2B magazine · December 2017 / January 2018

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JOIN CPVAA TODAY A member association looking after the interests of all within the commercial passenger vehicle industries around Australia ONLY $120 per person per year Commercial Passenger Vehicle Association of Australia for Taxi and Hire Car Drivers and Owners www.vhca.com.au WDPRROAFIENVSSTIEOENRADSL Is your taxi always breaking down? Are you driving an old bomb? CHEAP is EXPENSIVE! WE HAVE THE ANSWER FOR YOU! TAXI We are expanding our fleet • Full time hungry cars • Part time shifts - Flexible hours • Modern fleet - Quality cars • Hybrid Taxis on LPG - Save fuel $$$ • 35+ years industry experience WE KNOW TAXIS & WHAT DRIVERS WANT Join our team today! BAYSIDE TAXI SERVICES 313 Bay Road, Cheltenham P: 9555 1155 M: 0414 566 779 11DRIVE A2B magazine · December 2017 / January 2018

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS UBER Investigation What is the investigation about? Maurice Blackburn is investigating a potential class action against Uber on behalf of all taxi drivers, hire car drivers, licence holders and operators who were licensed to operate in the State of Victoria between 1 January 2013 and 31 July 2017. The allegation is that from 2013 until midway through 2017, when new legislation came into effect, Uber was operating unlawfully and that unlawful conduct caused extensive loss and damage to taxi driver and hire car operators and licence holders, who were operating according to Victorian laws. We are investigating whether compensation for damages as a result of Uber’s conduct can be recovered. Who would the class action be against? The claim being investigated is against Uber and various Uber entities in relation to how they entered the market and the impact it has had on existing operators. How do class actions work? Where seven or more people have claims that arise out of similar circumstances (such as in this case), a class action can be brought by one claimant on their own behalf and as a representative of others. The class action process saves time and expense and avoids the need for the courts to determine common issues of fact or law more than once, enabling disputes and claims involving large numbers of people to be resolved via a single case. A class action is the most efficient and risk-free method for many smaller claims to be brought against a large and powerful organisation, enabling you to participate in a court proceeding without the ongoing personal exposure to costs and liability. How much does it cost to be part of the class action? Registration in the potential Uber class action will not expose you to any out of pocket costs. Unless and until there is a successful outcome, all costs will be borne either by Maurice Blackburn or the litigation funder, Harbour. In the event of a MORE INFORMATION If you would like more information regarding the potential class action, please visit website www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/uberclassaction. Contact Maurice Blackburn via email Uber@mauriceblackburn.com.au or phone 1800 291 047. 12 DRIVE A2B magazine · December 2017 / January 2018

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successful outcome, any costs amounts would be deducted from You can retain Maurice Blackburn payable to either Maurice Blackburn the settlement amount for legal to represent you in the potential or the funder will be deducted costs and the litigation funding class action by registering your from, and will not exceed, any commission. interest and details at https:// compensation that you are entitled www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/ to receive. How likely is it that the uberclassaction. This portal will class action will go remain open over the coming What will it cost me if any ahead? months. legal proceedings are not successful? Under the terms of the Funding Agreement, if our case proceeds ALEX TAXISand is unsuccessful, any adverse The investigation is still ongoing. The proposed class action will only proceed if enough claimants register and on the satisfactory completion of investigations being The portal will require you to input basic information that enables us to verify some of your personal information such as your costs order which may be made & BROKER P/Lwill be paid by the litigation funder, carried out by Maurice Blackburn. Harbour. How do I register? losses. The information remains confidential and is required in order TAtoXpIrocess a meaningful VclaHimAon behalf of each individual and the To be absolutely clear, there is no circumstance where you will be required to pay any costs out of pocket, with the only contribution MT $ B U Yyou would make being in the event we are successful, in which event Online registrations are open for all taxi drivers, taxi licence holders, hire car drivers, or hire car licence holders and operators in the State of Victoria who suffered a loss in earnings in the period 1 January 2013 to 31 July 2017. group as a whole. If you have any queries about supplying any of the required information, we are happy to talk you through it or answer particular queries via our Uber class action email address. MT SELL METRO CLUB> Taxi leases available VHA $$$ 119 ETrAroXl ISt&NtVh HMeAlb COVER Come along and join us for Call Jimmy 0412 717 616our annual Christmas BBQ 15 December 11am-2pm Everyone’s welcome. R Fastest recovery for loss of income TAXI COVERR Prompt repairs carried out R Genuine parts used VANs - SEDANsR Well equipped workshop in Tottenham > > FParRRsotmG3erpedstttpraerrrwteyeaprpcdraeooidprvefsoertryrn/cpyoau&bfrloinrcoriltie-aadblt-iolfiatosyulucst octvloaeirfm$s3in0Mcome ATB CaFllOCRhAaLnL tYeOl UR TAXI COVER 9348 9507 > Ale tA is mobile eftpos> wQeuliclkeqreupipapxiresd twoo2rp4uk/7stxhHyEooLpuP in tottenham 119 Errol Street, North HbOaTcLIkNEo0n42t5h8e37r7o6a6d ASAP Melbourne > Genuine parts used > Get rewarded for no claimsDRaIVnEdA2Bnmoagtazianet· fDeaceumlbter 2c01l7a/ Jiamnusary 2018 13

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LEGAL UPDATE CLASS ACTION IT’S NOW A REALITY BY NADAV PRAWER, Partner, Mann Lawyers After more than a year of effort, we are most pleased that the Victorian Hire Car’s efforts have come to fruition with the launch of a formal investigation by Maurice Blackburn of a class action against Uber. The proposed action, which would include drivers, licence-holders and operators of both taxis and hire cars, is the culmination of discussions that began in August 2016, many hundreds of hours of work and the commitment of volunteers and professionals. In particular, Ian Upjohn QC, Siobhan Kelly and Gerry Grabau, barristers at the Victorian Bar, have made major contributions to reaching this point. As there has been much discussion about the class action, particularly with regards to firms involved and other litigation, it is worth clarifying the following matters: 1. The class action has no connection with litigation being conducted by Corrs. Whilst Corrs have not informed us of the basis of their litigation, to our knowledge it concerns the Victorian Government and not Uber. 2. The selection of Maurice Blackburn as the partner firm for the Victorian Hire Car Association was a decision arrived at after careful consideration of the terms being offered by different firms and funders, as well as the skills offered. We are confident that Maurice Blackburn is the right choice. 3. Unlike the litigation being led by Corrs, the proposed class action will not require any financial contribution by participants. Rather, in exchange for a percentage of the winnings, a litigation funder, Harbour, will pay all outgoing costs and, crucially, assume the risk of paying costs to the other side. Where to from here? Simply, we need to obtain sufficient registrations to guarantee that the action is economically feasible for the litigation funders. This means ensuring many drivers, licenceholders and operators sign up. Mann Lawyers is proud of what we have achieved to date. Whilst many large firms have sought to find a litigation strategy to seek compensation for the taxi and hire car industry, none have been successful before now. Whilst the future of the transport industry remains uncertain, we are confident that this is the best path towards compensation. We look forward to answering questions from any industry participants. CLASS ACTION Register your interest with Maurice Blackburn at www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/uberclassaction 14 DRIVE A2B magazine · December 2017 / January 2018

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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: nadav@mannlawyers.com.au

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