Liberal Nationals and crossbench MPs in the Victorian Upper House this morning defeated Labor MPs 19 to 18 to pass a motion calling on the Andrews Labor Government to:
(a) accept a financial proposal to properly compensate the industry for the compulsory asset acquisition of all perpetual Victorian taxi and hire car licences;
(b) make adjustments to the commercial passenger vehicle industry structure to better balance market components and end driver exploitation; and
(c) support a recovery plan to build back and move the commercial passenger vehicle industry forward through COVID-19.
In passing the motion the Upper House acknowledged that:
- in 1998, the High Court of Australia determined that a taxi licence was a valuable item of property;
- since the commencement of the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Act 2017, the revocation of perpetual Victorian taxi and hire car licences amounted to a compulsory government asset acquisition;
- the revocation of perpetual Victorian taxi and hire car licences for a fraction of their worth constitutes a breach of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006;
- arbitrary transition assistance payments in lieu of some, but not all, perpetual Victorian taxi and hire car licences was grossly inadequate and unfair; and
- the deregulation of the industry in 2017 has —
- created a glut of commercial passenger vehicles on our roads;
- reduced driver income to well below minimum wage;
- threatened the economic viability of the industry; and
- caused worsening traffic congestion.
Comments attributable to the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, David Davis:
“Only Labor believes enough has been done to compensate hard done by taxi families and Labor members said so again with their votes in the Legislative Council this morning. Shame, Labor, shame.
“Liberal Nationals and crossbench MPs in the Upper House have today sent a strong message to the Andrews Labor Government that its treatment of hard-working Victorian taxi families has been harsh and unjust and that proper compensation for taxi families is urgently required.”