Dec 18, 2015

An end of year message

I would just like to start by thanking the Victorian taxi industry and my staff for their support and hard work over the last 12 months. It’s been another tough year. I don’t need to tell you all what the challenges are but I will say we face a few and they are systemic. They are not going to go away easily.

In my view, it has become apparent that there is a fundamental problem with the way industry is operating and it is exacerbating our current situation.  We are too reliant on external parties like regulators to secure our future. We must take responsibility and control of our service back.

Regulation is effectively failing to deliver the outcomes our passengers want, and in part, this is why they are looking for alternatives.  Significant parts of the regulatory framework our industry operates within is prescriptive and only adds to cost while producing little benefit for the consumer or our industry.

Fundamentally, I keep coming back to one issue here. The reason for regulatory intervention is to address a market failure. Service standards are no longer a result of a market failure. As an industry we must take responsibility for ensuring levels of service that meet consumer expectations. The existing regulatory framework is clearly not allowing or achieving this. 

I have the utmost confidence in the brands and companies I represent that if they are given the responsibility for service standards they will do a better job than a regulator at managing them, for the simple reason that they stand to lose more if they don’t.

This is basically the approach I want us to take into 2016. I believe the only regulation required is to address a market failure. Regulation to try and secure service standards should be removed and responsibility returned to the industry.

Our challenge is to argue for the right regulatory settings and build consumer confidence and service excellence. This has to be more than just words. Service levels have to continue to increase and bad practices eradicated. Never has it been more important to listen to what our customers are telling us and ensure our service aligns with reasonable expectations.

On that note, let me again thank you all for your support during this tough period, I can assure you we feel it too. Have a safe and merry Christmas and I look forward to seeing you all in 2016.

David Samuel