Economy and Infrastructure Committee Inquiry Report

Jun 09 2017

Yesterday, the Economy and Infrastructure Committee delivered the report from their inquiry into the CPV Bill 2017.

You can find a copy of the full report online here.

The report makes 7 recommendations for amendments to the current Bill. The recommendations are:

RECOMMENDATION 1: That the Victorian Government amend the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Bill 2017 to:

  • recognise that the primary purpose of the levy is to provide support to existing taxi cab licence holders through the Fairness Fund and transitional financial assistance payments
  • qualify the status of payments to ensure recipients are not financially disadvantaged
  • provide for a reduced rate of levy in rural and regional areas
  • specify a sunset clause for the levy’s operation.

RECOMMENDATION 2: That the Victorian Government remove the $50 million cap on the Fairness Fund to ensure that all legitimate claims for compensation can be honoured through revenue raised by the commercial passenger vehicle levy.

RECOMMENDATION 3: That the Victorian Government consider increasing compensation to primary and subsequent licence holders in an independent and clearly articulated, transparent, equitable and non arbitrary model for the valuation of perpetual licences and that this model be based on market value valuation methodology.

RECOMMENDATION 4: That the Victorian Government provide compensation as lump sum payments at the outset of revocation of taxi licences.

RECOMMENDATION 5: That the Victorian Government ensure that:

  • existing Multi-Purpose Taxi Program concessions for passengers are extended to all commercial passenger vehicle trips
  • these trips are exempt from the levy.

RECOMMENDATION 6: That the Victorian Government provide a response to the Committee in time for the Parliament of Victoria to finalise debate and pass the Bill, with amendments as suggested through this report’s recommendations, by 22 June 2017.

RECOMMENDATION 7: That the Victorian Government consider reducing the levy applied to commercial passenger vehicle service transactions.

Overall, the recommendations reflect a genuine attempt to address all the major issues presented in the testimony and submissions of the industry to the Committee.

We are strongly in support of the recognition that the transition assistance does not reflect a fair outcome for taxi licence holders. However, the recommendation (3) does not map out a clear recommended way forward for the Government.

We are also very pleased to see acnowledgement of the undue impost of a $2 trip levy, particularly the disproprtionate impact on country and regional passengers. Again, we hope this will translate into relief on the trip levy across the industry. A two-tiered levy system which results in geographic differences across the state is far from desireable for customers or the industry.

Our focus now will be on using this report as a basis for discussions with MLCs in the hope that a common sense consensus can be reached to reflect the recommendations in amendments to the legislation and its reintroduction to Parliament and safe passage before the winter break.

The VTA will again take every opportunity to echo the call of the Commmittee (reco 6) to see this impasse resolved by 22 June.

This positive outcome reflects the hard work of so many - special thanks to those that have dedicated their time to speak out on behalf of our industry, their businesses and their families. I know many VTA members, and others besides, have spent countless hours trying to articulate the implications of the proposed reforms. Hopefully you feel vindicated by the comments from the Committee yesterday.

Taxi licences: Angry callers take on Tom Elliott
3AW, 08/06/2017

Taxi owner compo deal needs to 'reflect the reality', parliamentary inquiry says
The Age, 08/06/2017

Call for lower $2 Uber levy in country Vic
news.com.au, 08/06/2017

$2 fare levy too rich for Bendigo: Uber
Bendigo Advertiser, 08/06/2017

Call for lower $2 Uber levy in country Vic
9 News.com.au, 08/06/2017

The VTA also recorded a response for ABC an 3AW news bulletins 8 June 2017 (audio not available online).

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