Western Australian Transport Minister Pam Beggs has protested strongly to the Federal Government over the entry of the Commonwealth's Comcar service into the private taxi arena.
Mrs Beggs has written to Administrative Services Minister Nick Bolkus requesting that Comcar confine its operations to its traditional areas of carrying Commonwealth Government officials and visiting Heads of State.
"It is totally unacceptable to me and the taxi industry that Comcar should intrude into the private sector in an attempt to reduce its financial losses," Mrs Beggs said.
"I was especially concerned today to receive from a Perth taxi driver a copy of Comcar's schedule of prices and booking arrangements.
"The schedule even goes so far as to offer fixed prices for people making regular journeys and 20 per cent for shared bookings.
"Perth taxi drivers also have informed me Comcar drivers are actually picking up passengers from taxi ranks and yet do not contribute anything towards the costs of the taxi industry in this State."
Mrs Beggs said Comcar provided services for a range of people, including repatriation patients.
"However, general taxi work should not be in Comcar's brief, especially at the expense of owners and drivers who depend on fare-paying passengers for their livelihoods," she said.
"I have asked Senator Bolkus to reassess the Comcar service to ensure it does not place unnecessary burdens on private sector operators."