Parliament green lights expanded assistance package for taxis and limousines
Published Thursday, 01 December, 2016 at 09:19 PM
Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe
Queensland’s taxi and limousine licence holders and operators will be able to apply for financial assistance this month, after the Parliament passed legislation to green light the roll out of the Palaszczuk Government’s $100 million industry adjustment package.
Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the package - funded without a tax on taxis – will deliver financial assistance to help licence owners and now taxi operators adjust to the new regulatory framework.
“The Palaszczuk Government has expanded the powers to create an adjustment package that covers taxi operators as well as licence holders,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“This means the hardship scheme currently being discussed with industry can cover small operator businesses that may not hold a licence in their own right – but still are in the taxi and limousine business.
“Further, in line with committee recommendations, transitional payments will now be opened up to cover all individuals and business structures for holders of a taxi service licence.
“This means people who have structured their taxi service licence in trusts, superannuation funds or companies will be eligible to receive the transitional assistance payments.
“I know from speaking to taxi holders that many small operators have company arrangements and this will be a big benefit for them.”
In September the Palaszczuk Government reformed the state’s personalised transport industry, slashing 76 pieces of red tape to level the playing for taxis, ride-booking services and limousines to operate.
“While the reforms ensure the future sustainability of the personalised transport industry for all players, the $100 million industry adjustment package is a critical measure to ensure taxi and limousine operators are not left behind,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“The assistance package is about ensure taxi and limousine licensees have equitable assistance as their industry adjusts to changes in our economy.”
Mr Hinchliffe said eligible taxi licence holders will get an invitation this month to apply for a one-off payment of $20,000 for a maximum of two licences, while limousine service licence holder will be able to apply for a $10,000 payment.
“Now the Parliament has passed amendments to the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act, the Queensland Government will write to more than 2,500 licence holders inviting them to apply for the payment,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“The Government will now finalise arrangements to administer the payments and ensure that each application is processed as quickly as possible in the New Year.”
Mr Hinchliffe said the assistance package will be funded responsibly through consolidated revenue.
“Unlike other jurisdictions, the Government did not announce a levy because we were determined not to slug passengers or industry with a new tax,” he said.
Under the Palaszczuk Government’s reforms costs for taxis and limousines have been reduced with waived license fees and other cost heavy regulations removed, equivalent to $4.3 million in red tape savings for the industry
The $100 million industry adjustment package includes $86.7 million for transitional assistance and hardship payments, $3.75 million for business advisory help, $4.3 million in waived fees and $5.6 million to incentivise wheelchair accessible taxis.
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