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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Parliament passes legislation to enhance compliance measures for taxi industry

    Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Wednesday, April 20, 2016

    Parliament passes legislation to enhance compliance measures for taxi industry

    The Queensland Parliament tonight passed new legislation to boost compliance measures and enhance the power of inspectors to enforce current regulation in the taxi industry.

    Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the laws strengthened provisions in Queensland’s transport legislation around the operation of an unlicensed taxi service.

    “In response to the Private Member’s Bill from the Katter Australia Party, the Parliament voted to strengthen provisions in our current legislation to ensure transport inspectors have the powers they need to enforce current regulation,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “While the Queensland Government welcomes innovation in transport, passenger safety will always remain our number one priority and our transport inspectors must have the appropriate tools to ensure they can uphold current and any future regulations.”

    The new legislation passed by the Parliament:

    • Clarifies the offence of providing a taxi service without a taxi;
    • Increases the maximum penalty for providing an unlicensed taxi service from $18,848 (160 penalty units) to $23,560 (200 penalty units);
    • Increases the infringement notice fine from $1,413 (12 penalty units) to $2,356 (20 penalty units);
    • Simplifies the elements of the offence and provides for evidentiary aids to enable the Department of Transport and Main Roads to prove evidence of matters in court that are generally not disputed; and
    • Will enable a Transport Inspector to request a person to produce their driver licence if they reasonably suspect that a person is committing or has committed an offence under Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994 relating to the operation of a vehicle.

    Mr Hinchliffe said the Department of Transport and Main Roads has dedicated more than 18,000 hours to compliance activity and issued a total of 1,536 penalty infringement notices since July 2014, but since August 2015 transport inspectors have been unable to undertake covert enforcement activities.

    “The providers of unlicenced taxi services have developed sophisticated ways of evading enforcement efforts and the changes to state legislation passed through the Parliament improves our capacity to ensure the time and resources dedicated to upholding transport laws in our state are not wasted,” he said.

    Mr Hinchliffe said changes to legislation will take effect at assent and would be considered as part of the Opportunities for Personalised Transport Review being undertaken by an Independent Taskforce on behalf of the Government.

    “The Independent Review into taxi services and personalised transport will give Queensland a framework for addressing the impact of the digital economy on all transport services,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “By taking our time and not rushing to a response, Queensland will have the advantage of taking a long-term view of how our personalised transport system will adapt to changes in technology and deliver the best service to Queenslanders.

    “I have spoken with the Chair of the Independent Taskforce and we agree that these changes to the legislation don’t affect the ability of the Review to deliver the best outcome for the people of Queensland.”

    The Transport Legislation (Taxi Services) Bill 2015 passed by the Queensland Parliament amends the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994 (TOPTA), Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Regulation 2005 and State Penalties Enforcement Regulation 2014.