Queensland Taxi Council set to wage ‘election offensive’

Shae McDonald AAP, Trenton Akers, The Courier-Mail

February 7, 2017 2:06pm

QUEENSLAND taxi drivers will campaign from their vehicles as part of their fight against the Palaszczuk government’s decision to legalise ride-sharing.

Taxi Council Queensland has launched an election offensive” that will involve campaigning in every electorate across the state before the next poll, which is expected to be held in the second half of 2018.

Queensland Taxi Council CEO Benjamin Wash said the taxi council would throw its support behind any individual candidate and political party that supported good policies and its calls for a Personalised Transport Commission. Chief executive Benjamin Wash said it was “entirely possible” customers would see political stickers and find themselves handed other campaign material. “It is difficult to hand out collateral (flyers) in cabs, but we wouldn’t discourage our drivers from doing so if they thought that’s what they could do to help influence,” he said on Tuesday.

The Palaszczuk government legalised ride-sharing services such as Uber in 2016, against strong opposition from the taxi industry.

Mr Wash said the taxi council would throw its support behind any individual candidate and political party that supported good policies and its calls for a Personalised Transport Commission.

“Anyone who signs up to that we will happily support,” he said.

Mr Wash declared reports last week that Taxi Council Queensland donated a significant sum of money to One Nation “fake news” saying they will not donate any money to political parties this election.

He said cabbies will be trained on how to best spread the message to “ensure consistency” across the board.

Cabbies will be trained on how to best spread the message to “ensure consistency” across the board. Picture: Marc Robertson

They will not restrict the use of stickers and other political paraphernalia in taxis.

“There are a number of people (passengers) who are uncertain or just want more information – they’re the people we will have that further conversation with.”

Mr Wash said the Taxi Council was not against ride sharing, instead he was advocating for a “level playing field.”

Mr Wash said he had sent TCQ’s list of demands to every political party and would give them until April to respond, before they were shared publicly. Mr Wash also called on business owners in other sectors to get behind the campaign.

“We’re saying enough is enough,” he said.

“If it can happen to taxis it can happen to every small business.”