Sep 14, 2015

The Victorian Taxi Association was not involved in the rally organised last Thursday and feel it is important for us to clarify our position on this kind of activity.  

We understand the level of frustration which is spurring industry participants at all levels to search for ways to have their voices heard by the community.  We feel it every day. The prevailing conditions in the taxi industry are grossly unfair and the response to the regulatory challenge presented by the entry of Uber to the Victorian commercial passenger vehicle industry has been far too slow.

We do not believe that rallying, strike action or any other public demonstration is an effective way to progress the cause of the taxi and hire car industries in our current struggle against illegal competitors.

Media coverage of the launch reflect the perceptions of the community about our industry and we think prove this point. So often stories pay little attention to the illegality of our competitors in favour of a focus on the reasons they feel Uber have found a market in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and beyond. They take the opportunity to ridicule people who demonstrate genuine passion for the industry after a lifetime spent servicing the people of Melbourne.

It is for these reasons that we must focus on providing the highest quality service to the traveling public as well as finding ways to better describe the vital role that Victorian taxis play in the fabric of our community.

We will continue to impress on Government the need to act urgently to stop the damage to the thousands of legitimate small businesses currently being expected to compete with a new provider which makes a mockery of taxi regulation and will make every effort to maintain a constructive working relationship as they work through the complex policy issues it throws up.

We are investing to promote our industry and we want to hear your stories, particularly about your long term relationships with loyal passengers. Public rallies and microphones don't advance this cause, they confirm the worst of what people think about our industry. We must go forward with professionalism with a focus on servicing the people of Melbourne and Victoria.