Legislative Council: Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Taxi Industry

The Hon. F. PANGALLO (15:19): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking a question of the Hon. Clare Scriven, the minister representing the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, a question about the transport point to point industry.

Leave granted.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: The taxi industry has been struggling since the Weatherill government gave the green light to ridesharing disruptors. Many taxi plate owners lost their entire life savings and their superannuation because the move destroyed the value of plates, some bought for more than $340,000 from the government while the government was moving in this direction. It continues to cause hardship and stress on many plate owners, while drivers are struggling to earn a decent income for the hours they work.

I received a letter this week from one distressed plate owner I met at the recent annual general meeting of the South Australian Taxi Council. He writes that he is battling to pay the mortgages he took out on his plates, believing the government that they were good investments. He has already lost properties, and now the bank wants to take his home, a modest unit. He told me he is seeing a psychiatrist for his mental health, as he has twice attempted to take his life because of the financial stress, which has also caused him marital problems. He is hoping for the government to provide more assistance to plate owners because the compensation they received at the time was minuscule compared to what they lost in value.

I seek to table that letter. It is quite a harrowing account of what has happened to this taxidriver.

Leave granted.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: I have omitted names and addresses, as well, for the sake of privacy. My question to the minister is:

1. When will he finally release his review of the point to point rideshare industry?

2. Will the government consider a buyback of taxi plates as has happened in other states, or is it contemplating other compensation for taxi plate owners?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (15:21): I thank the honourable member for his question. I will refer it to the Minister for Transport in the other place and bring back a response.