Payment to help taxi drivers adjust to new laws

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Regional taxi drivers will likely get an extra $500 payment per vehicle from the State Government to assist them in meeting requirements set out under new passenger transport reforms.

The Transport (Road Passenger Services) Bill 2018, aimed at levelling the playing field between taxis, charter services and ride-sharing services, passed through the Legislative Assembly this week.

WA Nationals transport spokesman Vince Catania said the payment would cover most of the costs associated with requirements of the bill, such as installation of security cameras and signage.

“I think that is a really good step in the right direction to try to assist regional taxi drivers, who are doing it tough,” he said.

Mr Catania said the WA Nationals had also negotiated exemptions for regional drivers from a 10 per cent tax on passenger transport.

“This exemption was critical to ensuring regional operators and customers are not forced to hike their prices in order to pay for the buy-back of taxi plates in Perth,” he said.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the assistance package would be ready in time for the bill’s passage to the Upper House.

“It is subject to the legislation going through, but we believe we can do that by administration and not by creating another funding pool,” she said.

Ms Saffioti said taxis would not be required to carry external cameras under the legislation.

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