Taxi Talk July 2014


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TAXI TALK JULY 2014 ISSUE NO 555 TAXI VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY MAGAZINE Official journal of the Victorian Taxi Association Print Post Approved number 100004912 VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY Atherton Gardens Housing Estate – Artists: Nick Azidis, Amanda Morgan and Ian De Gruchy – Photo: Bernie Phelan PROJECTION FESTIVAL GERTRUDE STREET The 2014 Gertrude Street Projection Festival is celebrating its seventh year of staging inner Melbourne’s most visible and accessible free large scale arts festival. For 10 evenings from 18 - 27 July, 6pm - midnight, the length of Gertrude Street in Fitzroy will be illuminated by the visions of talented projections artists for the Gertrude Street Projection Festival. Buildings, laneways, footpaths and tree trunks light up with site-specific, curated projections. Reforms P P P P P 30 June 2014 Driver Agreement Knowledge Test Zone Boundaries New Taxi Licences Price Notification see pages 22-23


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INSIDE... 4 8 14 16 18 28 Victorian Taxi Association editorial Implementation of Government industry reform initiatives. TAXI VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY MAGAZINE OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE VICTORIAN TAXI ASSOCIATION MAGAZINE EDITOR ........................ Toni F. Peters VTA EDITOR ....................................David Samuel FOUNDER ....................................Stanley F. White PUBLISHER ..................Trade Promotions Pty Ltd Driver Dinner VTA’s first metro taxi driver dinner a success. ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES Trade Promotions Pty Ltd 42 Grenfell Road, Mt Waverley VIC 3149 PO Box 2345, Mt Waverley VIC 3149 Phone: ............................................. 03 9807 0237 Email: ................................... Website: ................................ Licence statistics Taxi and hire car licence and assignment statistics for last month Hello Yellow An exhibition showcasing a collection of Victorian taxi industry old and new items and stories. DISPLAY ADVERTISEMENTS All copy, editorial and artwork must be in by the 15th of the month prior to publication date. Advertisement sizes and rates can be viewed at Taxi Services Commission Updates on issues affecting the Victorian Taxi Industry SUBSCRIPTION DETAILS 1 year = $35 CLASSIFIED ADVERTISEMENTS $25 for 30 words, $50 for 60 words, etc. Email or Mail your classified advertisement by the 15th of the month prior to publication date, together with your payment. Events calendar Dates and locations of various Melbourne major events PAYMENT OPTIONS • • • Via PAYPAL to Direct Deposit to BSB 033065 A/c 312786 Mail Cheque to Trade Promotions Pty Ltd PO Box 2345, Mt Waverley VIC 3149 Want to know as soon as Taxi Talk is uploaded to our website? Become a member of, and you will get an email immediately the next edition has been uploaded. Register at Phone: 03 9676 2635................ Fax: 03 9676 2643 PRESIDENT .................................... Kevin Gange VICE PRESIDENT ................. Stephen Armstrong CHIEF EXECUTIVE ....................... David Samuel Taxi Talk magazine, a monthly publication for the Victorian taxi industry, is published by Trade Promotions Pty Ltd in collaboration with the Victorian Taxi Association Inc (VTA). The VTA is the peak industry body in Victoria, fostering the interests and wellbeing of taxi-cab drivers, taxi-cab operators and taxi-cab Network Service Providers across the state. Taxi Talk magazine is wholly owned by Trade Promotions Pty Ltd. COPYRIGHT © Trade Promotions Pty Ltd 2014. 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. Views expressed in any article in Taxi Talk 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 - Voice of the Taxi Industry July 2014 |3


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reform initiatives implementation 1 July 2014 marks the most seminal day the Victorian taxi industry has seen for some time. It is of course the implementation deadline for many of the Government’s reform initiatives. It will mark the start of a very challenging time for the industry on a number of levels. The VTA has been working on mitigating the negative impact on the industry, however it is impossible to insulate against all of them, seen and unforeseen. Importantly, from this point forward the theories of the Victorian Taxi Industry Inquiry, Professor Allan Fels and others will face the type of scrutiny that only reality can provide. Government will also be required to politically absorb any externalities that occur as the result of the recommendations they accepted and implemented. The VTA has been very firm in this respect - the industry is in no mood to be held accountable for negative externalities generated by the decisions of others. At the time of writing this article the new zone boundaries have just been released and the new driver agreement implied conditions gazetted. We were pleased that a number of the changes we proposed were accepted in relation to the new licence zones. Notable exceptions, however, include Shepparton and inner parts of the inner North Western region. We are still waiting to hear back from the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) in relation to our application for Authorisation in relation to multi-operator co-op country networks and the price notification system. In relation to this matter we were pleased to receive the support of the Department for Veterans’ Affairs, the Taxi Services Commission and others. There were very few objections to our application raised - those that did come were from the usual suspects and made little sense. David Samuel VTA CEO 4 | July 2014 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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The outstanding issues that concern the VTA have changed little in the last few years. In particular, we remain concerned about the impact on taxi businesses of the shift to a 45/55 fare box split. We know many, particularly in the country, have continued to work hard on this issue. We commend you for it and urge you to continue your hard work. The impact of this change will be felt the hardest in urban and metropolitan areas due to the inability for these businesses to set their own price. I urge you to keep a good record of the impact this has on your business. Nothing is more important than evidence in debates like these. Of course we all also wait to see what will happen with regard to applications for new taxi licences post 1 July. Many were understandably concerned by the 300 odd applications for one of the 60 new licences announced a month or so ago. The VTA will urge the TSC to take a very pragmatic approach in this respect. As I write this article, we are none the wiser as to what the TSC’s excessive entry and customer interests test will look like or how they will be run. We have also not been told if the second batch of 30 metropolitan licences will be released. One hopes the silence on the matter is a good sign. Changes to insurance arrangements also continue to pose real headaches with confusion about what arrangements will satisfy the new TSC conditions and what won’t. As soon as we know more we will share it with you all. At this point in time we believe there will be new products in this market in the near future so keep an eye out. Please be sure that any arrangement you enter into complies with the TSC requirement before signing. If you are in any doubt contact the TSC or the VTA. In more positive news, the VTA has also begun a number of projects that reflect what we believe will be shift in our approach over the second half of this year. We will be working to try and enhance the public’s attitude toward our industry and their understanding of it. We have already begun to roll out a new communications package to assist our regional members and other similar projects are not far off. This has, in part, been necessary due to the emergence of “ride share” products that have little regard to adhering to the most basic conventions of civil society, like following the law and applying a business model that fits within it. We recognise the efforts of the TSC in this regard and appreciate their strong stance on the matter. The industry cannot, however, leave it up to the regulator to solve this problem for us. Finally, I would like to again remind everyone about our upcoming conference in September (September 23/24). It will celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the Association and of course be comprised of full of important and relevant business sessions. If you can’t make the business program I encourage you to register for the gala dinner to be held on the night of the 23rd. It will be a great night with good speakers and we would love to see you there. If you need any assistance or have concerns or queries in the coming days and months please do not hesitate to contact us. D 2014 VTA CONFERENCE & GALA DINNER CELEBRATING 50 YEARS 23 -24 SEPTEMBER 2014 CONFERENCE - LANGHAM HOTEL, SOUTHBANK / GALA - ZINC, FEDERATION SQUARE SAVE THE DATE MORE DETAILS COMING SOON Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry July 2014 |5


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REGION News The VTA held a round of region meetings during June. The meetings took place in Hamilton, Bairnsdale, Echuca and Shepparton. The meetings provided an opportunity for the VTA to bring members up-to-date with the Government reform implementation, many of which coming into being on 1 July. There was lively discussion on matters of regional significance. The main issues discussed revolved around the country price notification system, 45/55 driver-operator split, licence zones, driver agreement, MPTP and excessive entry and consumer tests. The VTA thanks all those who attended, contributed to the conversation and shared their experiences and insights. D 50 faces, 50 years To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Victorian Taxi Association (VTA), the VTA will launch its 50 faces, 50 years project to profile a range of individuals who have been involved in the industry in various ways throughout the years. From owners and operators, passengers and drivers, to regulators and suppliers to the industry, the VTA will put together a story that spans the years and looks to the future. The characters who make up this industry are what keep it unique and exciting. The anniversary will also be marked with a gala dinner, driver specific events and the launch of a publication documenting the history of the association. The VTA welcomes contributions to this publication or recommendations and volunteers for the 50 Faces, 50 Years project. Please contact Alana Condon, VTA Membership Services Co-ordinator on 03 9676 2635 or email for further information and to express your interest in becoming involved.D 6 | July 2014 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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VTA DINNER for drivers The VTA’s first metro taxi driver dinner for 2014 was a great success. Held at Mr Burger, opposite the Queen Victoria Market, over 70 drivers joined the VTA staff for dinner and a chat. Despite being a rainy night, many drivers dropped in for a meal during their shift. It was a great opportunity for the VTA to catch up with drivers and discuss issues - taxi related and otherwise! Some of the subjects the drivers were keen to talk about included the new fare structure, the 55/45 fare box split and the impact on set pay-ins and the release of new licences. Ongoing issues at Melbourne Airport and other operational queries were also discussed. The VTA was keen to hold an event in the evening to engage with night drivers, understanding that they face different issues to day drivers. The VTA were pleased to see a number of familiar faces and to meet many new drivers. The work drivers carry out, every night, not only in the city, but across the State is vital, yet often overlooked. The VTA would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge them and thank them for the work they do. The last few years of the Taxi Industry Inquiry have increased the profile of taxis in the media, but rarely does the discussion focus on what drivers face, every shift. Most of the time they are transporting decent, ordinary people. However, sometimes they are forced to deal with violent, drunk and aggressive passengers, particularly during a nightshift. Regardless, they continue to provide this important service and for this the community should be grateful. The VTA thank all drivers who attended and those who continue to work at night. The VTA is planning more driver events this year, so keep an ear out and join us. D Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry 1300 126 122 8 | July 2014


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DVA UPDATE New look cards Throughout June 2014 all Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) Gold and White Health Cards will be reissued to all eligible veterans, war widows and dependants, which some may already have started receiving. To coincide with the reissue, the DVA Health Cards have been revamped to give a more contemporary look. In addition to existing features, changes to the new DVA Health Cards include: • • the title on all of the cards is now, ‘DVA Health Card’; the front of the card has the 100 years centenary of the ANZAC logo on a background of a field of poppies; the DVA security hologram has moved to the front of the card providing greater visibility of this security feature; • the signature stripe on the back of the card is longer, allowing more room for a signature; the magnetic stripe for a Gold Card is now gold, on the White Card this is now blue; and the cards are valid for six years now, instead of the previous four years. D • • • The VTA, along with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), hosted the Victorian Roundtable on Veterans’ Transport on Wednesday 28 May. 10 | July 2014 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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Driver of the Month Our Driver of the Month for July 2014 is Mark Foster Mark is renowned for his sense of humour and excellent customer service. He keeps his taxi spotless and doesn’t hesitate to assist passengers and other drivers at any time. He has his W endorsement, so can move from a sedan to a maxi when needed and never refuses a job. Mark is a great example of an excellent taxi driver and a wonderful team member at Crown Cabs. D ROUNDTABLE on veterans transport The agenda focussed on informing attendees of the work that goes on behind the scene to deliver high quality transport services to eligible Veterans and war widows. Over one million trips are arranged annually by the DVA, transporting DVA cardholders to treatment, with the number of complaints for completed trips an extraordinarily low 0.02%. The DVA team presented on the day-to-day logistics of coordinating time critical veterans’ transport and VTA CEO David Samuel gave an update on the ongoing reforms to the taxi industry. Stuart Overell, 13CABS, presented on the training taxi drivers undergo before they are dispatched DVA work. A robust Roundtable discussion followed, where the reaction to the taxi industry was positive, and the outcomes centred on consolidated, consistent communication, enabling all parties to be well informed and understand the intricacies of providing the type of transport. The forum instilled a high degree of confidence to the ex-service organisations of the commitment by the Victorian taxi industry to veterans. At the conclusion of the day, it was agreed that the group should meet again in six months time, to confirm progress and ensure the relationship between all parties continues to be highly functioning and working as smoothly as it is currently. D July 2014 | 11


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NEW RANK Bourke Street, Docklands A new taxi rank in Bourke Street, between Village Street and Aurora Lane, Docklands is now operational. The area is ‘No Stopping’ from 7am to 9.30am Monday to Friday and a Taxi Zone all other times. D supporting the Victorian taxi industry during this time of reform TAXI finance We are accredited with over 30 banks and other lenders Easy car loan approvals... no tax rEturns rEquirEd* * conditions apply cheap finance rates... ALL TAXI LICENCES & VHA CAR FINANCE all taxi vehicles (cars and vans, VHA vehicles, limos and other) cheap rates best service fast approvals Phone yarrafinance experts in commercial finance 96 Garden Road, Clayton (near Ikea) 9561 8876 $ 30,000 AVAILABLE GAP COVER 12| July 2014 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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KNOW SAY something something If you R E T WIN MERS R A W inside e n i d d an he coldt some of s! t f o t Get ou his winter a estaurant t tr DS’ bes N A L K C DO spenc er st IN nds a l k c do ! wur undj eri way E P E D ST R I A N B R I D E Theft at Burnley Train Station A man allegedly stole two security cameras in full view of the surveillance equipment at the Burnley Train Station on 7 March 2014. At about 4.30am the man was captured on security footage entering the train station with two milk crates, which were used to reach the cameras. He was then filmed disconnecting both cameras before removing them and leaving the train station. The man is described as Caucasian in appearance, with a medium build, fair skin and moustache. He was wearing a grey hoodie and light coloured t-shirt. Report information confidentially online at or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. (Please quote reference number CA 7392) D Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry BOURKE ST R Bourk e st SOUTHERN C O l l in s st f l in d e rs st NORTH WHARF Where to DS DOCKLAN ter! THIS win DINE IN For more info, visit See inside for docklands’ best Winter Warmers July 2014 | 13


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$271,500 transfers average metro licence transfer value for the month of May 2014 TAXI VICTORIAN TAXI LICENCE STATISTICS All data on this page is provided by the Taxi Services Commission and is for the month of May 2014 Monthly Compliance outcomes Taxi Inspections Rectification Notices Infringement Notices Notices of Unroadworthiness Official Warnings 554 134 20 8 10 Licences Country including 114 WAT vehicles Urban including 36 WAT vehicles Number of Taxi Metropolitan including 501 WAT vehicles 4,323 511 Outer Suburban including 34 WAT vehicles 161 238 HIRE CAR LICENCE VALUE $38,556 average metro hire car licence transfer value for the month of May 2014 Total including 685 WAT vehicles Number of drivers Active drivers Accredited drivers 5,233 15,971 31,956 Number of Assignments Victorian Hire Vehicle average metro assignment price $2,158 Licences Licence transfers metro taxis outer suburban urban taxis taxi hire car 5 0 0 9 6 country taxis hire car special special vehicles RH vehicles 0 15 6 3 4 Metropolitan Hire Cars Country Hire Cars Special Purpose Vehicles Restricted Hire Cars TOTAL 984 86 971 687 2,728 Licences issued The metro taxi licence average price of $271,500 is based on the 5 genuine market based transactions that occurred in the metropolitan zone during May 2014. The Taxi Services Commission’s standard practice is to only count those licence transfers where a genuine market based transaction has occurred. They do this by applying a number of standard business rules. The aim of these business rules is to identify genuine market based transfers of taxi licences and to base average price calculations on these transactions only. Therefore, where it appears a non-market based licence transfer has occurred, these transactions are excluded in the calculation of licence values. An example is where a licence holder transfers the licence to a new business name but still retains ownership of the licence. D 14| July 2014 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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