MP revs up in fight for taxi drivers

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Liberal South West MLC Steve Thomas.
Camera IconLiberal South West MLC Steve Thomas. Credit: Stuart McGuckin

South West Region MP Steve Thomas says he is fighting for an even playing field for regional taxi drivers and has submitted a disallowance motion notice against the State Government’s on-demand transport reforms.

Mr Thomas submitted the notice on Tuesday after hearing about several regional taxi drivers who say they shut down their taxi operations due to upcoming reforms.

The Liberal MP said he would happily withdraw the motion if the State was willing to engage in an open discussion with regional taxi drivers.

“The Government needs to recognise regional taxi drivers’ struggles and smooth out the way they can deliver their services,” he said.

“Certainly some of the things that the Government needs to talk about are the way regional taxis are forced to provide services which are uneconomic.

“People shouldn’t be losing money in business when they are providing services that government regulates.”

The flagged changes to taxi regulations are part of the State Government’s 2017 response to the growth of services such as Uber and Ola. But many regional taxi drivers have claimed the changes were designed to suit metropolitan taxis only.

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