The NSW Taxi Council is disappointed that NSW Liberal MP Matt Kean has not respected Government process and has instead decided to prematurely speak out on point to point transport through an inaccurate, biased and offensive opinion piece in the Daily Telegraph today.
Whilst the NSW Taxi Council respects the rights of all Parliamentarians to express their views on this matter, making these comments in advance of the NSW Government’s own Taskforce Report indicates that Mr Kean has little regard for the fair and balanced Taskforce review process that was established by his own political party.
This is considered all the more irresponsible given that Mr Kean is the Parliamentary Secretary for Treasury and should know the importance of Cabinet solidarity and the proper development of Government policy.
Trying to influence policy decision making through media comment is not considered an appropriate course of action for someone in Mr Kean’s position.
Furthermore, labelling the NSW Taxi Industry as a ‘protection racket’ and stating that we have steadfastly refused to engage with modern technology is not only wrong, it demonstrates Mr Kean’s ignorance on this issue.
The NSW Taxi Industry, which provides over $1 billion in economic benefit to NSW each year, has been at the forefront of technological innovation in this sector for many decades. The taxi industry was the first with computer aided dispatch, cashless technology, security cameras and more recently, taxi booking apps.
The NSW Taxi Industry had smartphone booking apps available to customers well before Uber and other app providers emerged on the market and we continue to invest in providing additional booking options for customers.
If Mr Kean looked at this issue more closely and engaged with the NSW Taxi Industry as much as he has engaged with Uber, then he would realise that there is much more involved in this issue than that he has articulated in today’s article.
He would also recognise that the greatest innovation Uber has brought to this debate is their commitment to ignoring the NSW Government’s laws on the point to point transport sector and facilitating members of the public breaking these important regulations by paying the fines of drivers who have been caught providing illegal ridesharing services.
The NSW Taxi Council therefore calls on Mr Kean to respect the process that has been established by the NSW Government in relation to the Point to Point Taskforce and to also engage with the NSW Taxi Industry more closely to help get a more balanced view on this matter.
To this end we invite Mr Kean to visit us at one of our authorised taxi networks, just as he has visited Uber, so he can better appreciate the extent of innovation and hard work that goes into providing a safe and reliable taxi service.