Taxi licencing and disability accreditation delays are impacting upon the viability of some taxi services in the Ovens Valley.
Nationals Member for Ovens Valley, Tim McCurdy, said that he had been approached by a local taxi company, who were struggling to fill shifts due to the massive delays and red tape.
“It is really disappointing to see that once again regional Victorians have been left off the Government’s radar,” Mr McCurdy said.
“The taxi industry often the only viable form of public transport in the regions, and these delays are causing driver shortages – why isn’t the Government acting on this now?”
Raising the matter in Parliament, Mr McCurdy said that the Government needs to implement measures to expedite the licencing and disability accreditation process.
“When it is taking two to three months to get a licence to drive a taxi, and then another month or more to drive a wheelchair equipped taxi, it makes it difficult for businesses to keep up with demand.
“Unfortunately, we may be in a position where some services, including wheelchair services, could be cut due to a lack of trained drivers.”
Mr McCurdy also noted that the lack of competition with licenced trainers was not driving down costs or improving the time it takes to become accredited to drive a wheelchair equipped taxi.
“There are only two licenced providers in Victoria. There is no incentive or competition to push each provider to deliver a better and more efficient training process.
“Once again, I urge the Minister to give regional Victorians the guarantee they will have access to public transport that works for them.”