Super Rats, Taxi Council Limited, NSW IPART and Nexus Plates
The nebulous "taxi council" the guys with the fat cheque book (remember $3000.00 a plate dinner etc, that the bash that Big Bob threw), the NSW Transport Workers Union leadership (SUPER RATS) who got the king shilling ransome; but the poor taxi drivers ain't got any of the above. As a result the NSW IPART (nick_hague@...) even refused to accept a late submission from taxi drivers- whilst they have accepted late submissions from the other two (dubious stake holders)!
NSW Cabbie Welfare Association
P O Box - 6647
Blacktown Business Centre, Blacktown, NSW - 2148
Mobile: 0421 875 995, Email: nswcwa@...
5 June 2002
Mr. Thomas G Parry
Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of New South
Fax - (02) 9290 2061
Dear Mr. Parry,
Given the history of IPART and the seriously questionable behaviour of some IPART officials- in the past, this association is not enthused enough to make a detailed submission.
For details of our displeasure please refer to The Sydney City Hub (25 March 1999 and 5 September 1998, Sydney Morning Herald/Wainwrignt which addresses our serious misgivings at the procedure involved in the fair airing of our concerns by your organisation, particularly relating to the most numerous stake holders, the bailee drivers, i.e. those individuals, who not wishing to be represented by the TWU, nevertheless are seeking to be heard- we refer you also to- http://www.geocities.com/kangaroo_tribunal/ and the Sydney Morning Herald. To establish our presence, we are making a late submission lest the forces of labour exploitation, those forces within the industry that under the Carr Labor Government, have prospered beyond even the expectations of wildest prognostication-take our silence as a concession on our part that all is as it should be, and we have finally learned our place under the Aussie sun. Further, that with the industry being as it is-and the inevitability of further wrongs being perpetrated, we wish to register our objections to the direction that IPART and the government instrumentalities holding control over the industry- and the industry itself, are taking.
The extravagant "taxi council" costing exercise, quoted in that organisation's submission should be substantially reduced, to be anywhere near reality- for details please examine: http://www.geocities.com/taxi_council/ and annexure (A).
Many independent organisations (including IPART reports) say that bailee taxi drivers’ earnings are around $ 5.00 per hour- which is obscenely below the national minimum wage guideline.
That also reflects on the NSW Industrial Relations Commission, IPART itself, Transport
Could this be merely reflective of an Australia straddling, the eighteenth century Rum Colony mentality of New South Wales- with attitudes to non white Australians, of which there is numerous representation among Sydney non owner taxi drivers, a point not missed by those in power- that, gaining substance in the twentieth century White Australia Policy, was kissed, none too subtly by the incubus of an intoxicated bigotry, carte blanche, in the age of Hansonism and those that have usurped her mantle- in the Twenty first Century?
Despite the good intentions of the TWU when it began in 1983, the process to achieve what became the The Taxi Industry (Contract Drivers) Contract Determination 1984- those intentions founded. The efforts of those taxi driver delegates to the TWU- at the time- hit a proverbial sand bar when in late 1983 Mr. Ted McBeatty, the Secretary -Treasurer of the Transport Workers Union, a man of high moral standing according to those that we have spoken to, a man in whose interests the bailee taxi driver was foremost, tragically drowned in a boating accident.
Mr. McBeatty was opposed to fixed pay ins - the multi million dollar scam that has, more than any other factor, driven the capital value of Sydney taxi plates through the quarter million dollar mark - the scam that has resulted in many thousands non owners living in conditions of working poverty, broken families, shattered and shortened lives through over - work and the creation of a class of people who, by virtue of the impossibility to live properly on what is left over from fixed pay ins, can not live-and pay tax, often living in government assisted housing and frequently collecting the dole. In effect, resulting in the bailors being shielded from a large quantum of their routine tax evasion practices by the dictates of bailee necessity- and the subsequent lunacy of the Australian tax payer subsidising the
Ted McBeatty could not have foreseen all that but he was perceptive enough to notice and try and stop the evil before it took root.
We can not finish the submission without questioning the freebees given to the taxi network/companies/co-ops in the form of nexus taxi plates, compensatory plates ... to subsidise or assist those said organisations. Undoubtedly those public assets should be brought into the scrutiny of the IPART before even contemplating any "taxi council" costing.
This Association would also wish to put on record our surprise at lack of public hearings in the IPART proceedings- with regard to it's assessment of the taxi industry. We pose the question: is this because some taxi industry stake holders and the NSW Labor Government itself are afraid of open discussion?