Representatives from Transport Alliance Australia were once again in attendance at Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV) industry stakeholders’ video meeting on Wednesday 15 April 2020. Here are the highlights of the meeting.
1. CPVV didn’t have any major updates to be reported. There is still nothing about financial assistance for people in the CPV industry, but apparently there is much talk happening and hopefully we will receive more news next week.
2. BSPs are now able to complete an online form at the CPVV website (https://cpv.vic.gov.au/booking-service-providers/coronavirus-covid-19), requesting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), however the only PPE available at this stage is hand sanitiser. These goods are not free and will be invoiced to the BSP. BSPs may choose to implement a cost recovery model themselves, but no margins are to be placed on the forward sale of the product.
Michelle Kay, Administration & Executive Assistant, NSW Taxi Council
"Hello, my name is Michelle Kay and I work within Administration for the NSW Taxi Council and am also the Executive Assistant for the CEO and Deputy CEO. I have now been working within the Taxi Industry for twelve months. I previously worked in The Human Resources, Workplace Health and Safety and Training area."
Who is someone you admire, and why? My Mum, for her guidance, strength and sense of purpose. Recently she was a Finalist for Volunteer of the Year (VIC) 2020 and the Kingston Council Woman of the Year 2020.
A support package to keep taxi drivers working is essential to maintain transport options for Victoria's elderly, disabled and vulnerable, according to Eastern Metro MP and Transport Matters Party leader Rod Barton.
Mr Barton has provided the Andrews Government with a list of solutions that would support drivers and keep essential transport services, such as wheelchair access taxis, on the road.
"Taxis are an essential service that so many people rely on for the most basic trips to supermarkets and medical appointments and we must keep them on the roads," said Mr Barton.
Mr Barton wrote to the Treasurer and Minister for Public Transport in March and has been in talks over measures to assist drivers.
Transport Alliance Australia joined the 3rd video conference meeting with CPVV on 8 April 2020. All parties in attendance were updated on mental health and wellbeing information, CPVV fees, PPE and who has access to it, the BSP & CPV industry, CPVV activities, and the $1 levy.
Many taxi, hire car and limo drivers are sole traders and are therefore eligible to apply for JobKeeper payments.
Sole traders must have had an ABN on or before March 12, 2020, and have been “actively engaged” in their business.
You will need to provide your ABN and then nominate an ’employee’ (that’s you - the sole trader) to receive the payment, together with your Tax File Number (TFN).
Sole traders must also have included assessable income from their business in their 2018- 19 tax return and lodged taxable supplies between July 1, 2018 and March 12, 2020. This is to ensure an applicant has been operating their business.
In the latest video conference meeting hosted by CPVV on 2 April 2020, TAA was informed on updates regarding government assistance, CPV driver safety directions, and CPVV information.
The Australian government now has a ‘Coronavirus Australia’ app for Apple and Android which everyone is encouraged to download and use to stay up to date with official information and advice about the COVID-19 situation.
As we are currently in Stage 3, CPVs are still in the public transport category, and so should be applying safety principles and OH&S rules. This includes wiping down vehicles after every trip and fully cleaning them regularly, and if the driver ever feels uncomfortable about taking passengers, then it’s their choice whether to refuse the service.
This week Transport Alliance Australia received an update from Maurice Blackburn lawyers on the status of the class action and what's been happening in court over the last few months.
Decision of the Court on 31 March 2020
You may recall that Uber made a number of applications that were heard in September last year, including objecting to the claim and even arguing that the court did not have the power to deal with the matter. As previously stated, these are tactics regularly used by defendants to delay cases and came as no surprise to the lawyers running the case. It should be noted that these type of stalling tactics by defendants are also a key reason cases end up taking longer and costing more to run.
Exempt shops are those with 20 or fewer staff members employed in their shop, or 100 or fewer people employed across the entire business. There are certain types of businesses that are also exempt, and can therefore trade, including chemists, petrol shops, restaurants, cafes, takeaway outlets, service providers and hire outlets.
Victoria also observes public holidays on Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, however, there are only trading restrictions in place for Good Friday.