To: WA Minister for Transport Dean Nalder

DISABLING TAXIS FOR THE DISABLED

DISABLING TAXIS FOR THE DISABLED

TO: THE PREMIER OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA, THE HON. COLIN BARNETT, AND THE WESTERN AUSTRALIA MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT, THE HON. DEAN NALDER

Dear Premier and Minister

MPT TENDER

You decision to allow the Department of Transport to issue a tender for a single operator of the MPT operations is nothing short of cruel.

Cruel to those that operate the service, cruel to the users and potential users.

For many years the MPT service has been held to ransom by several ministers and the DoT. Refusal to issue more MPT plates to meet demand resulted in severe criticism from the public which the service was blamed for whilst the department keep releasing regular taxi plates by the truckload.
Despite the fact that the fleet could not meet demand was due to the lack of vehicles, not because of the inefficiencies of the operators or the taxi companies.
When Black & White Taxis were the sole co-ordinator of the MPT fleet the criticism from the disabled community was loud and clear. They wanted a choice of cab companies like the rest of the population enjoyed. For drivers too, this was important for obvious reasons. The company with the best service got the vehicles and the clients. Competition works. You have both made this clear by allowing illegal ride sharing companies to operate in Perth.
The proposal for single operation of MPTs by one entity is a throwback to the dark ages and a slap in the face for the disabled community.
Advice from HREOC is that the move to single operator contravenes the Australian Disability Act. Advice from the ACCC suggests this is a move that is anti-competitive and also contravenes the Competition and Consumer Act.
Whilst the community welcomes the proposal to place another 41 MPT licences on the road, where in this current climate, this time of uncertainty, will 41 people apply and invest huge amounts of money (around $2.6 million) in infrastructure when a minister with such a cavalier attitude towards business is holding the reigns? Why would someone invest in a business where they have no control of their career path, and no guarantee of earning a living? Why would we trust a minister who also owns a transport company?
Whilst you are allowing foreign ride share companies into the market to compete without any regulations or protection for the community, you seek to restrict the commercial viability and competition of an incumbent service. A service operated by people with a passion to serve those with disabilities.

Minister, allow the MPT’s and the clients to CHOOSE the service which is best for them like a true democracy.

It seems WA is now the place not to invest in as the incumbent ministers can’t be trusted with upholding the rules. It certainly won’t be seen as the state that respects its disabled community.

Why is this important?

This is a vital service to the Perth disabled community. Drivers are dedicated and strive to deliver positive outcomes for the community in relation to their transport needs. The Minister wants to revert to a single service which will dictate to both client and driver and diminish the rights and choices of both. He proposes to literally blackmail all of the people involved by denying subsidies to those who don't use his preferred service. We must preserve our freedom to choose which taxi company or driver suits our needs based on the quality of service they provide.


Reasons for signing

  • I agree V (below)
  • I like rice and peanuts and people and peanuts and rice
  • I am permantly disabled, with wheel chair. Under the governments idea I would loose my wheelchair taxi service, and have to take pot luck on a list. I can confirm pick up ad return home .. only time I tried to get a wheelchair taxi from my Doctors I waited 2 hours...

Updates

2016-03-19 22:54:00 +1100

100 signatures reached

2016-03-07 20:41:51 +1100

CURTIN FM INTERVIEW

Jeanny Seaton interviewed me today on Curtin FM. It was nice to get a "non shock jock" question and answer session going. I hope it reached out to the listeners and got home the message that freedom of choice is good for everyone! Many of the 100.1 FM listeners rely on taxis daily, and for them the freedom to choose the company or driver they like best is important.

2016-03-02 00:09:13 +1100

The story on Channel 9 on Sunday night seems to have prompted a raft of reaction from both MPT operators and from clients. John Tawhai's impassioned plea was wonderful, as was Prue's statement about giving the disabled community no right to choose like the other citizens of our city have. Rita Saffioti stated that she would be asking questions in the house, and today the DoT met with 3 of our most trusted and dedicated drivers to address some major inconsistencies with their now famous tender. It seems that there is the makings of a groundswell of support, not just from the drivers and their clients, but others across the community, from families and carers to allied health organisations. Thanks to all of you who are on board and fighting the fight.

2016-02-25 22:30:51 +1100

So the media are getting involved. Two radio stations and a national network are onto this and will be running stories on how unfair the DoT and Nalder have been in regard to human rights. spread the word and get people signing. Out industry as a whole has taken a beating and the services to the disabled are even worse off. We need all the support we can get.

2016-02-23 11:09:06 +1100

Last week I confronted the Premier on this subject. He denied any knowledge of the plan and promised to look into it. I also met with Shadow Transport Minister Rita Safiotti and Shadow Disabilities Secretary Alanna Clohesy at Parliament House and both showed keen interest. I have now started to contact national disability advocacy groups as what is happening here may be emulated by other states. Please share this petition with as many people as you can. We can beat this and retain our freedom to choose. As one disability advocate said to me this week "Why do governments lump us all into one box? We are people too" Sign and share please.

2016-02-14 11:21:37 +1100

50 signatures reached

2016-02-12 22:11:29 +1100

So we are taking this petition to paper and carrying around in the taxi for clients to sign and support. Slow progress but hopefully the message is getting out there that CHOICE is something we cannot afford to lose and right wing governments need to know they cannot deny people basic human rights.

2016-02-11 14:42:11 +1100

25 signatures reached

2016-02-11 07:36:31 +1100

10 signatures reached