VICTORIA’S NEWEST POLITICAL PARTY ANNOUNCED – THE TRANSPORT MATTERS PARTY
Australia Wide Chauffeur Cars is proud to support the formation of the Transport Matters Party; a new entrant into the political landscape in Victoria. The Transport Matters Party is an initiative of Rod Barton (President of the Victorian Hire Car Association and Owner of Barton Chauffeurs) and André Baruch (Vice President of the Victorian Hire Car Association and Owner of Australia Wide Chauffeur Cars.
Rod has been involved in the taxi and hire car industry for over 30 years; André has run Australia Wide Chauffeur Cars for the last 11 years.
André explains his rationale for being involved thus:
Over the last 13 years I have been very involved in the transportation industry in Victoria, driving taxis; owning taxi and hire car licences and running my hire car business. Both the taxi and hire car licence industries have historically (and for good reason) been regulated – the Taxi industry more so. The Government dictated to the Taxi Industry what prices they could charge; what services they had to offer; what their cars had to look like (including type of car) and (recently) how much money they have to pay their bailee drivers (those people that drive a cab but are not an owner operator). As well as this, the Government enabled the purchase / sale / assignment (lease) of Taxi Licences via the Bendigo Stock Exchange to open the industry up and make it more transparent.
Hire cars have had an easier run – when I started in the business I had to prove to the Government that there was a business case for me to go into business and purchase new licences from the Government. At the time, each Hire Car Licence that I purchased cost me $55,000 plus for the cars that I operated. Similarly to the taxi industry the Government specified what type of cars I could and couldn’t run as hire cars. As a totally private business, the Government has not been a price-setting regulator for the Hire Car Industry.
Like many many others over the years I saw value and potential in the Hire Car industry, and I invested as my business grew – growing from 2 licences on purchase of my initial business 11 years ago to 6 now.
In the last two plus years with the upsurge of Uber and other Ride Sharing (Ride Sourcing really) providers, the Government has decided that they wished to “level the playing field” to enable more operators to come in and out of the Gig Economy. As a part of doing this, the Government has announced and introduced legislation to repeal all current Taxi and Hire Car licences. Instead of doing the right thing and paying out the existing holders of these assets, the Government has decided to offer an incredibly low “transition assistance payment” for some of the licences held. It is worth pointing out here that the Government is offering these payments which (in all likelihood) will be treated as INCOME against assets held – thus giving the holders of existing licences a double whammy – additional income that will be taxed to offset a CAPITAL loss!
In my role as Vice President of the Victorian Hire Car Industry, I have been very involved in presenting to, liaising with, and arguing against the current Government throughout this period. I have got to the stage where I am so incredibly frustrated by what the Government is doing, that I have come to the conclusion that the only way I will be able to have any influence (no matter how tiny) is by actually participating in the political process here in Victoria.
Australia Wide Chauffeur Cars notes that the process of registering a political party is quite simple – we need to get 500 people to sign up and be prepared to confirm back to the Victorian Electoral Commission that they have actually joined the party. Australia Wide Chauffeur Cars strongly recommends to all our clients that they should get involved with the party.
As frequent travellers; and as users of our services, you all know that TRANSPORT MATTERS!!
How do I join?
- Simply download and complete the membership form: Microsoft Word or PDF
- Send the form back to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org