Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan today welcomed the Greens’ support for the proposed voluntary buy back of Multi Purpose Taxi (MPT) plates.
Under the $6.2million plan, each of the State’s 56 MPT plate holders will be offered at least $108,000 to relinquish ownership of their plate, benefiting both MPT drivers and their customers.
“I welcome the Greens’ support today for these important changes, which will ease the financial burden on the MPT drivers and will improve the quality of service for people with disabilities,” Ms MacTiernan said.
However, the Minister criticised the Liberal and National parties for delaying implementation of the changes by referring them to a standing committee.
“Not approving this legislation means MPT operators will be left with the continued high costs of operating taxis in an environment of soaring fuel prices and increased demand over the Christmas holiday period,” she said.
“The Nationals claim that that there has been a lack of consultation with the industry on this issue by the Government is complete humbug - they know this proposal was in fact initiated by the MPT owners in 2004 and has been the subject of extensive dialogue.
“The MPT owners asked the Government to consider a buy back proposal, given the high cost of operating MPTs. I agreed to the voluntary buyback of the plates, given the support from the MPT sector.
“We have been having discussions with the MPT sector for the last 18 months and the Taxi Council of WA has also been kept informed.”
Ms MacTiernan said the proposed legislation was just one plank of the Government's ‘big picture’ investment in improving MPT services.
“The State Government is serious about improving MPT services to the disabled community, including the number of MPTs on the road and the number of qualified drivers available to operate MPTs,” she said.
“This shows the Government’s commitment to improving services for all Western Australians.”
Minister's office: 9213 6400