Taxi drivers deliver message to steps of Parliament

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times
Bunbury Taxi Co-op drivers joined other regional taxi drivers on the steps of State parliament on Wednesday as they continued their fight for improved compensation.
Camera IconBunbury Taxi Co-op drivers joined other regional taxi drivers on the steps of State parliament on Wednesday as they continued their fight for improved compensation.

Bunbury taxi drivers joined other regional drivers from across the State at Parliament House on Wednesday as they continued their campaign for better compensation.

Drivers from the Bunbury co-op have been vocal about the losses they face as the Government deregulates the on-demand transport industry.

Doug Slater was one of the handful of Bunbury Taxi Co-op drivers who joined a group of 30 in Perth last week.

He said there were Kalgoorlie, Albany and Esperance drivers as well as those from Bunbury.

“We still weren’t able to speak to the Minister for Transport (Rita Saffioti) but we were able to speak to some prominent people who answer directly to her,” he said.

“I think they were fairly responsive to where we are at with it all.

“Everyone from the different areas all raised the same concerns that we’ve made clear in the past.”

While he said everyone the group spoke to from Parliament had been responsive to what was being said, he was unsure how much of an impact it would have.

“My honest opinion is that they were at least prepared to listen, which is something that they haven’t done in the past,” he said.

“The concerns of country taxi drivers had really been second to the buy-back brought in for city taxi drivers up until this point.

“There seemed to be plenty of support from different politicians representing different areas, but whether it will do any good, I wouldn’t be able to say.”

South West taxi operators have previously said industry changes set to come into effect this month would threaten their livelihoods as well as investments worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In May the State Government announced additional assistance for regional drivers as part of a transition package which led to drivers striking as they claimed it was not enough.

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