On 30 November 2016 the Government announced changes to the commercial passenger vehicle reform package. At the same time, they announced that applications to the Fairness Fund have now opened. Applications will close on 30 April 2017.
Information on eligibility and how to make applications is available here.
The VTA are pleased to see that eligibility criteria encompass the various types of financial hardship likely to be experienced by licence holders. Again, we appreciate the Government being open to feedback on the experience of industry participants in the existing hardship fund.
We also made very clear that the process needed to cater for those who found themselves in severe financial distress in the short term. The information online states that early payments will be made available to eligible applicants in priority cases, before the Fund closes.
As a process designed to allocate public funds, it requires a certain level of rigor and will require applicants to collate financial information.
To assist licence holders who may require help with the Fairness Fund application process, the Government has engaged WEstjustice. You can find WEstjustice’s contact details here.
The Chair of the Fairness Fund and the appointed auditing team will conduct information sessions about the Fairness Fund and application process in the Melbourne CBD in late-January 2017. Applicants can register their interest in attending a session through the Fairness Fund email address. Details about the information sessions will be available online here by mid-December 2016.