A comprehensive independent study of Perth's taxi industry has been released for public comment as part of the Ministerial review of the Taxi Car Control Act.
Transport Minister Pam Beggs, who released the report today, said the industry and the public would have two months in which to respond to the study.
The Department of Transport would set up a special telephone service so members of the taxi industry and the public could phone through their comments. Written submissions should be sent to the Minister for Transport, 12th floor, Dumas House, Havelock Street, West Perth.
Mrs Beggs said the document contained more than 40 recommendations and canvassed a broad range of issues confronting the taxi industry.
"I expect there will be a host of views on the recommendations, especially those concerning the future regulations for the industry," she said.
The review was carried out by a consortium of BDO Nelson Parkhill, Arup and Donovan Research. The study team leader was industrial psychologist James Cooney of BDO.
The review attracted 123 written submissions from the industry, special interest groups and the public. The study team also held a number of workshops as well as surveying all registered members of the taxi industry.
The primary finding of the study was that Perth's taxi industry was in decline and action was needed to prevent a further fall in the industry's profitability.
It recommended overhauling the regulatory framework and promoting greater competition within the industry.
It emphasised changes to improve taxi services for people with disabilities and lifting restrictions on the taxi users subsidy scheme.
Mrs Beggs said the independent report provided a valuable base on which to prepare the final Ministerial review of the Act.
"There are a few areas I want to discuss with the Taxi Control Board and the industry as a priority," she said.
"These including providing direct radio contact between drivers and Police Central. This will be referred to the Minister for Policy for his urgent consideration.
"Another area concerns recommendations that may ease the financial imposts on owners and drivers, especially the issue of compulsory comprehensive insurance on taxi vehicles.
"I will ask the TCB to assess this recommendation as quickly as possible."
Mrs Beggs said copies of the executive summary of the report would be available through the Department of Transport, 136 Stirling Highway, Nedlands. Copies of the full report would be sent to taxi industry associations and interest groups who presented submissions to the review.