CEO of the NSW Taxi Council Roy Wakelin-King said that legislation announced today in the ACT will do little to level the playing field for taxi drivers and owners.
Most significantly this announcement does not appear to provide for compensation for owners who may be adversely affected by these changes.
“The measures announced today seek to allow ridesharing services to compete with taxis by lowering the standards for everyone.
“The taxi industry’s regulatory framework represents hard-fought protections for customers and should not be thoughtlessly swept aside,” he said.
“There are numerous international examples including New Zealand, Sweden, Japan and the UK where the deregulation of services has failed.
“Governments in these countries have been forced to re-regulate services in the public interest, at considerable cost to taxpayers.
“Attempts at deregulation of transport services invariably result in lower safety standards, less reliable services and higher prices for customers.
“History shows us there is a need for stringent regulatory frameworks to avoid a ‘race to the bottom’ for transport standards.
“Governments should be looking long and hard at how deregulating a functioning transport system will maintain safety standards, reliability and price of travel.
“Furthermore, it is essential that policymakers ensure any changes take into account the issues of jobs, state revenue and fair compensation to owners.
“To deregulate an industry and not provide any assistance for structural adjustment is unconscionable and unacceptable,” Mr Wakelin-King said.