Queensland taxi licence values drop further amid new ride-sharing laws

Jack McKay, The Courier-Mail
June 11, 2017 11:30pm
Subscriber only
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THE assault on the value of taxi licences in Brisbane brought about by
ride-sharing service Uber has intensified.

Documents released under Right to Information show the price of licences
has dropped significantly.

Sixteen taxi service licences were sold in Brisbane between April 2016
and March this year.

The most expensive licence sold for $275,000 in May 2016, but a licence
changed hands in March for just $110,000.

The last licence sold in Brisbane over the 12-month period went for
$120,000, while the average value of the 16 licences was just over $200,000.

This compares with peak values over $500,000 before the ride-share
disruption of the industry.

Despite the fall in prices, a TransLink spokeswoman said the value of
licences could appreciate after a raft of legislative reforms passed
State Parliament last month.

“The comprehensive reforms passed by State Parliament on 24 May, 2017,
focus on increasing customer safety and providing certainty and
stability to the industry,” she said.

“We believe these legislative changes will provide certainty to the
industry, reinforce taxi licence values, and allow them to appreciate in
value into the future.

Taxis queue in Queen St in the Brisbane CBD.
“Existing taxi service licences have retained their perpetual status and
still provide the opportunity for revenue generation under the reforms.”

The spokeswoman also said there were no plans for further perpetual taxi
licences to be made available.

Opposition transport spokesman Andrew Powell said the Government had
“delayed and dithered” in its response to changes to the taxi industry,
hurting owners, drivers and passengers.

“While the Palaszczuk Labor Government and its revolving door of
transport ministers dragged their feet on getting assistance payments
out the door, the uncertainty and delays caused serious damage to taxi
businesses,” he said.

“We’re confident our plan will restore value in the taxi industry by
providing certainty and stability, respect for owners, operators and
drivers and a level playing field.”

The LNP has committed to appointing an independent personalized
transport commissioner if it wins government at the next election.

Taxi Council Queensland chief executive Benjamin Walsh said the value of
taxi licenses was set by the market.

“The value is set by the market and the Government has had a history of
leading the market by accepting the highest tender, so it has distorted
the market over time,” he said.

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