‘Desperate times’: Taxi convoy heads to Bendigo for more protests


FEBRUARY 20 2017 – 1:02PM

A convoy of taxis and hire car owners drove Airport West to Victorian transport minister Jacinta Allan’s Bendigo office on Monday in their latest protest against changes to the industry.

It comes one week after taxi drivers protested a lack of government compensation for their licenses, creating traffic chaos on the Bolte Bridge, and then calling for Ms Allan’s resignation at Parliament House.

Taxi owners claim they will lose everything as a result of the Victorian government’s deregulation of the taxi industry.

Protesters, led by the Taxi Action Group, met at Airport West shopping centre at 9.30am Monday, before driving their taxis to Bendigo, in an effort to “make some noise” at Ms Allan’s office.

“We’re not calling for everyone to come, we know it’s Bendigo, and it’s a working day, we’ve just asked people to come and support it if they can, so we might get 50 to 100 people,” Taxi Action Group committee member, and license holder, Anthony Parisi​ said.

“We want to be heard, we want to be treated fairly, by Jacinta Allan and the Labor Government. We want to make sure the people of Bendigo know what she’s (Ms Allan) doing, she is destroying a lot of Melbourne families and hard working Australian families.”

Mr Parisi said the group would try and avoid disrupting traffic on Melbourne’s roads, and causing problems for people trying to get a taxi on Monday.

But he said it was “desperate times” for the industry.

“We are trying to cause less disruption to the public, but it’s just desperate times now and we want to create a bit of noise,” he said.

“We will go to her office, we will deliver another message, to meet with us, listen to us, we want to try and negotiate a fair outcome for everyone.”

Once in Bendigo, Mr Parisi said the protesters would take to the streets and speak to the people in Ms Allan’s electorate.

“We’re sticking up for our rights, now it’s come to be the point where we have to stand up for the Australian people, our families and our rights as Australian citizens,” he said.

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