Four months on from a Question on Notice to the Minister for Public Transport (Ben Carroll), Nationals Member for Ovens Valley, Tim McCurdy, and local taxi providers are still waiting for answers.
Mr McCurdy submitted the Question on the 23rd of March and is disappointed that such a pressing issue is taking so long for the Government to address.
“The pressure on local taxi providers, particularly around training and licensing drivers, is immense.
“The process is getting wrapped up in red tape and causing driver shortages, and in some cases, a lack of drivers for wheelchair accessible taxis.
“In regional Victoria, taxis form the basis of easily accessible transport, particularly for those who are elderly or do not have family nearby.
“It is really disappointing that the Government is not interested in getting more taxi drivers on the road quicker, and assisting regional communities by ensuring there is enough supply.
“I urge the Minster to answer the questions I have put to him and get into action on addressing the issue.”
Question on Notice
Tim McCurdy to ask the Minister for Public Transport — The taxi industry plays an important role in regional communities. Unfortunately, the ongoing delays and red tape in the licence and accreditation process is causing driver shortages, impacting upon locals. According to a local taxi company, the licence process takes up to two months before a driver receives their taxi licence, and another month to receive wheelchair/disability taxi accreditation, with only two licenced trainers in Victoria. This business is suffering from the delays and may be forced to no longer offer wheelchair services on weekends, as they simply do not have enough trained drivers.
(1) Will the Government investigate and implement measures that will make it easier and quicker for the taxi industry to get drivers licenced and accredited.
(2) Will the Government support more licenced trainers for wheelchair accreditation.
(3) Will the Government provide greater support to the taxi industry in order to give regional Victorians the guarantee they will have access to public transport that works for them.