‘Enough is enough’: NSW government under pressure to compensate taxi licence owners

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The NSW Government is facing increased pressure by thousands of taxi licence owners as they demand fair compensation for financial losses incurred since the introduction of rideshare services to the transport industry.

The NSW Transport Minister, David Elliot, has presented a new proposed compensation package to the state Premier, Dominic Perrottet, and Treasurer, Matt Kean, this week.

“I want to make something that’s going to be fair to the consumers, fair to the taxi drivers and of course, see the transition as swift and as painless as possible for those that have lost money,” Mr Elliot told 10 News First on Tuesday.

This news comes after a proposed $1 billion compensation package by Mr Elliott was left out of the state budget handed down on Tuesday, June 21.

NSW Transport Minister David Elliott. Photo: AAP.

Under the proposal, compensation payments for NSW taxi licence owners who were impacted by the introduction of ride-share services like Uber to the transport industry, were set to increase from $20,000 to $200,000.

These increased payments would be funded by an extension to the $1 passenger service levy, currently applied to every trip in a taxi or ride-sharing car.

The proposal was seen as a step in the right direction towards fair compensation for taxi licence owners, but its exclusion from the state budget angered the taxi industry, its members and supporters.

‘This can’t go on’:

Roula Angelopoulos is one taxi licence owner and operator who has been waiting years for fair and proper compensation.

Speaking to 7 News, Roula said she never thought the government would “betray them” by introducing rideshare services into the market and de-regulating the booked market.

And she’s not alone.

Sydney taxi driver, Peter Sorras, borrowed against his home to buy a $370,000 taxi plate seven years ago. Today, it’s basically worthless. He told 10 News First he now has a huge debt.

“If I knew it was coming, I wouldn’t have bought it,” Mr Sorras said.

“Every day I get disappointed. Every day I get stressed out. It affects my family and my kids and my wife.”

One person who has been campaigning for these taxi licence owners for over seven years is the NSW Shadow Minister for Small Business, Property and Multiculturalism, Steve Kamper MP.

Steve Kamper MP.

He told The Greek Herald today that it’s time for the NSW Government to act.

“Enough is enough. This can’t go on,” Mr Kamper said.

“The government has already had thousands of taxi licence owners waiting for over seven-and-a-half years. They can’t continue torturing people like this.”

READ MORE: Greek community supports NSW Taxi Industry Pledge for fair compensation.

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