- Biggest reform of on-demand transport and taxi industry in WA history
- Transport (Road Passenger Services) Bill 2018 and Associated Amendment Bill to be introduced to State Parliament tomorrow
- Deregulation of industry to create level playing field and more competition
- Voluntary taxi plate buyback scheme to be funded by temporary levy on operator's fare revenue
- Delivers an election commitment to end industry uncertainty following inaction by the previous Liberal National Government
Critical legislation that will reform Western Australia's on-demand transport industry and foster more competition and innovation will be introduced to State Parliament tomorrow (August 22).
The Transport (Road Passenger Services) Bill 2018 represents the biggest reform to the industry in WA history, and will bring the sector into the 21st century.
In the lead-up to the election, the McGowan Government made an election commitment to reform the industry and implement an industry-funded taxi plate buyback scheme.
Once passed, the legislation will end restrictions that have made it difficult for taxis to compete and give the industry greater certainty.
It provides for the voluntary buyback of owned taxi plates, which will be industry funded over four years through a temporary levy on the total fare revenue of booking services. This approach will allow for the temporary levy to be incorporated into the business models of authorised booking services.
Since coming to government, the McGowan Government has consulted widely with industry stakeholders to draft a Bill that:
- Creates a fairer and modernised system for all operators;
- Removes restrictions on when, where and how taxis can operate;
- Introduces a strengthened duty of care for passenger safety;
- Creates one annual authorisation for all types of on-demand drivers; and
- Promotes competition and innovation across the industry, removing regulation and costs.
Further in-depth consultation with industry stakeholders since the initial reform announcement in November last year has resulted in refinements to the original proposal, including:
- Exempting regional operators from paying the temporary levy;
- Excluding vehicles with 12 seats or more from the levy;
- Applying a maximum levy of $10 to all metropolitan taxi or charter fares;
- Waiving booking service fees during the first 12 months of the reform;
- Removing the cap on the number of authorised taxis; and
- Exemption from the levy available to operators who solely provide special event services, such as weddings or school balls.
The reform will encourage greater competition and innovation in on-demand transport throughout WA, providing customers with greater choice and easier access to safe and smart services.
Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
"This legislation has been prepared to create a level playing field for all on-demand transport operators.
"It is long overdue reform and creates consistent regulations for the on-demand transport sector as a whole to prosper into the future.
"Under the new Act, all those involved in the delivery of the service will be accountable for driver and customer safety.
"Customers should expect that when they get in an on-demand vehicle they are travelling with a driver who is authorised and in a vehicle that is roadworthy.
"This is our one chance to move the industry into the 21st century and it is vital for the Upper House to support the legislation. It is also the one and only chance for plate owners to receive a buyback offer."
Minister's office - 6552 5500