Questions raised in Parliament 31st May 2017

31 MAY 2017

TAXI INDUSTRY ASSISTANCE PACKAGE

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY ( 15:10 ):

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Police, representing the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, a question regarding the taxi industry assistance package.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY:

The taxi industry assistance package was established by the government in response to the introduction and regulation of Uber into South Australia. On 1 May, a $1 point-to-point transport service transaction levy commenced for all taxi, ride sharing and chauffeur-driven car trips in the Adelaide metropolitan area. These moneys will be used to fund the industry assistance payment, which would see taxi licence holders eligible for payments of up to $30,000, and taxi licence lessees for up to $50 per week.

The fact sheet on the DPTI website outlines that applications for payment can be made from 22 May until 30 November. I have been contacted by a constituent whose investment into a taxi licence has plummeted from approximately $450,000 to $140,000 as a result of the introduction of Uber. This constituent has been advised by his bank that they will soon be moving to foreclose borrowings on his taxi licence. If this does occur, my constituent fears that they will become homeless. Can the minister advise:

1.What are the tax implications for licensees and lessees who receive this payment?

2.How long will it take to assess an application?

3.Are there any plans to reduce taxi licence or registration fees?

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety) ( 15:11 ):

Of course, I will take that question on notice to the responsible minister in another place, to ensure that the honourable member gets an answer to his important question. I also will reiterate the point that this government is one that is committed to working with the taxi industry to try to make sure that it is compensated in some format for the substantial changes that are going on with what has been a regulated industry in the past.

Naturally, the ride sharing technologies that are now coming online globally are causing significant disruption to the taxi industry. That is something that this government is concerned about, which is why we have put together a package to help address that. Again, that stands in stark contrast to the opposition, which has shown little regard, commitment or consideration to the hardworking men and women who are in the taxi industry.

Many migrant communities have come to South Australia and used the taxi industry as a platform to make a contribution to this state and to provide for many families. It is something that this government is conscious of and has hence developed the package that exists. We think it stands as a clear example of the sort of government that this one is, a Labor government committed to compensating working people, committed to considering working people, versus those opposite to have little regard or consideration for the ordinary people, and instead leave them to the wolves of mass disruption.