The Queensland Government has appointed Jim Varghese AM to head up an independent Taskforce to review taxi, limousine and rideshare services across the state from today.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Transport, Jackie Trad said the comprehensive review would consider the existing regulatory framework by examining community and industry needs and expectations, public safety and disability access and affordability and competition.
“With new players, the expiry of the taxi strategic plan and no major legislative changes for many years — it is an opportunity for us industry and regulatory review,” Ms Trad said.
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“We are committed to ensuring Queenslanders have safe, reliable and affordable personalised transport services and want a sustainable and competitive industry that delivers these services.
“We need to outline a pathway for this industry that considers current and new players and ensures a level playing field for all taxi, limousine and rideshare services.”
Mr Varghese AM will chair the Taskforce, made up of two other expert members yet to be appointed, which will deliver a final report and recommendations to the Government in August 2016.
“We have worked hard to ensure a broad range of issues facing this complex industry are incorporated in our Terms of
Reference for the Taskforce’s consideration,” Ms Trad said.
“More than 3,200 taxis and 580 limousines operate legally across the state.
“This will be a consultative process where community and industry across the state will have regular opportunities to have their say and views considered to help inform the Taskforce.”
Ms Trad said Mr Varghese and the other members of the Taskforce would have complementary experience that would ensure a thorough review.
“Mr Varghese brings a wealth of legal, regulatory, policy and customer service knowledge to this review. With more than 30 years’ experience which includes leading several State Government departments like Main Roads, his commitment to innovation will be of great benefit in looking holistically at the industry and its future in Queensland,” she said.
Ms Trad said Queensland would be considering taxi reviews from other states to help inform Queensland’s review.
“I would encourage industry and the Queensland community to support the Taskforce and have their say during this vital review,” Ms Trad said.
“In particular at the outset of this review I would encourage key stakeholders, when engaged, to work with the Taskforce in developing guiding principles to shape the review.”