Western Australia Minister for Transport Simon O’ Brien
Unallocated Taxi Plates Rolled Out As WA Enters New Era Of Economic Growth
Victor P Taffa
Western Australians will benefit from the release of 56 unallocated taxi lease plates over the next 12 months and the continuation of peak period operating hours for taxis.
Transport Minister Simon O’Brien said these measures came as the State headed towards a new period of sustained economic growth.
“With a number of major infrastructure projects scheduled to start soon and with economic growth forecast, it is expected there will be an increased demand for taxi services.” Mr. O’Brien said.
“With a significant lead time for taxi plates to be advertised, applications assessed and then new taxis to actually get on the road, it is important we get moving now.”
“We need to be ahead of the curve on this, not in a position where we are playing catch up.”
“The last period of economic growth saw, at its peak, five % of all taxi call-outs not being covered due to shortages.” Mr. O’ Brien said.
“We are working towards ensuring that this situation is not repeated.”
Fifty-six taxi plates will be made available from the Department of Transport on a lease basis through an expression of interest process.
The 56 taxi lease plates comprise 32 that were surrendered by previous lessees and 24 which were approved by the previous Labor Government but never released.
“We currently face the untenable situation whereby the size of Perth’s taxi fleet is actually declining while the city’s population is increasing rapidly.” the Minister said.
“The State Government is mindful of the viability of the taxi industry. As such, these plates will be released on a staggered basis resulting in small monthly release of taxi plates into the market.”
Mr. O’Brien said the Taxi Industry Board was currently considering in what form taxi plates should be released into the future.
Meanwhile the peak period taxi trial which was initiated in 2008 to meet the early morning weekday demand for taxis would remain in place throughout 2010.
The Minister had taken advice from the Taxi Industry Board and resolved that peak period taxis would continue to play an important role in meeting the demand generated from the hotel industry and fly-in/fly-out workers travelling to Perth Airport. This initiative, and demand in the industry, would be monitored on an ongoing basis by the Taxi Industry Board.