The Nationals WA have secured an additional payment for regional taxi operators – worth $500 per vehicle – to assist them with meeting the costs imposed by the State Government’s new taxi reforms.
The Transport (Road Passenger Services) Bill 2018 passed through State Parliament’s Legislative Assembly this week. The Bill will bring all on-demand passenger transport operators, including taxi drivers, ride-sharing services such as Uber, private charter vehicles and tourism operators under one piece of legislation.
Under the Bill, all taxi operators in Western Australia will be required to install a security camera and appropriate signage to continue operating as a rank-and-hail vehicle.
Spokesperson for transport Vince Catania said The Nationals had secured the additional payment of $500 to help support the 340 taxis operating in regional WA as they adjust to the new security safeguards required by Labor’s legislation.
“This $500 payment will cover the lion’s share of costs associated with Labor’s new taxi requirements, including the full cost of the type of internal security camera required by the Department of Transport,” he said.
In addition to the $500 payment, Mr Catania said The Nationals had won a number of exemptions to the legislation to support regional taxi operators and the communities they service.
“The Nationals have negotiated to ring-fence regional WA taxi drivers, private charters and tourism operators from Labor’s new 10 per cent tax on passenger transport,” Mr Catania said.
“This exemption was critical to ensuring regional operators and customers are not forced to hike their prices in order to pay for the buy-back of taxi plates in Perth.”
Mr Catania said an additional exemption had also been secured for journeys between the metropolitan area and regional WA.
“This exemption will apply to taxis, Ubers, private charter vehicles or tourism operators with trips originating in the regions and terminating in the city, or vice versa,” Mr Catania said.
“This means that journeys from regional WA to Perth Airport or other metropolitan areas will be exempt from Labor’s new tax on passenger transport.”
Mr Catania said The Nationals had received a guarantee from the Government that the Country Age Pension Fuel Card would continue to operate in its current form and would not be impacted by changes to the industry.
“These regional taxi exemptions are further proof of The Nationals’ ability to deliver the best outcomes for regional families, businesses and communities,” Mr Catania said.