Queensland Senator Matt Canavan has criticised the NSW Government’s treatment of taxi owners as “shabby” and warned the same thing must not happen in his State.
“In approving ride-sharing services like Uber yesterday, the NSW Government has offered taxi owners just a pittance for loss of value of their licences: $20,000 per licence. It is completely unfair.
“Approving the Uber service, and at a stroke devaluing traditional taxi licences, will ruin the lives of many people who had every right to believe they owned a secure investment.
“State Governments issue taxi licences and profit from their sale. The NSW Government has devalued its taxi licences in that State but denied owners the fair compensation they deserve. This is not how governments should treat people.
“The NSW Government should compensate taxi owners by buying back licences for a reasonable market value.”
Senator Canavan said any changes in Queensland in future must provide fair compensation for current licence owners.
“Unlike Uber, we are not talking about multi-national conglomerates owning these taxi licences. They are often ‘mum and dad’ investors who have viewed taxi licences as a secure superannuation-equivalent investment for their retirement.
“Media reports say the value of a taxi licence in NSW has plunged from more than $300,000 to less than $230,000 in the last month, when this Uber decision was looming.
“That’s far more than owners have been offered. The same thing must not happen in Queensland.”
Senator Canavan said the State Government was examining taxi services in Queensland and a green paper was expected early in 2016.
“For the sake of thousands of taxi owners in Queensland, this is something the State Government must get right, and I will be taking a very keen interest in developments to make sure the mistakes in NSW are not repeated if ride-sharing is approved here,” Senator Canavan said.
He added that in the event of any change to regulations in Queensland, the LNP State Council had passed a resolution last month to support a taxi licence buyback scheme.