The Maurice Blackburn class action against Uber Technologies (Uber) was instigated by Rod Barton MP and Transport Alliance Director, André Baruch on behalf of Melbourne, Sydney and Perth taxi and hire car licence owners.
There is also a lawsuit filed against Uber by the Sydney based company behind ride-booking platform GoCatch, Taxi Apps.
Both the class action and lawsuit have accused Uber of conspiring to illegally operate UberX in NSW, Queensland and Western Australia since April 2014, and in Victoria since it was regulated in 2017.
Currently, a few major challenges in the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) in Australia is the lack of Government driven incentives and emissions regulations, as well as the high cost of these vehicles for businesses and individuals.
The federal Government will be introducing incentives for businesses to invest in new electric car fleets, in the aim towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The incentives are then in turn envisioned to bring down the costs of EVs and make them more accessible to Australians. A $74.5 million Government package will assist businesses in trialing new technology for fleets, such as hydrogen, electric and biofuelled vehicles, and fund the installation of charging infrastructure in workplaces across Australia.
In order to receive financial assistance from the COVID-19 CPV Industry Assistance Support Grants, Booking Service Providers (BSPs) are required to complete and submit paperwork to the Department of Transport (DoT).
Victorian medium and small BSPs must complete a Survey Application, and large BSPs (eg 13cabs, Silver Top Taxis and Uber) are required to complete a Funding Agreement. The grants are to cover financial hardship due to COVID-19 for the quarter July - October. --> SURVEY LINK <-- Yet, the DoT is dragging the chain in paying entities which have completed the required Funding Agreement. It has been over 10 weeks since the grants were announced, with only two weeks remaining before the period of assistance has expired.
The final report for the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Act 2017 reforms was tabled on 26th November 2019. The government initially had 6 months to respond to each of 13 recommendations arising from the inquiry. However, due to COVID, this deadline has been extended to at least the end of 2020.
Rod Barton MP has now been appointed to an advisory panel charged with advising Ben Carroll MP, Minister for Public Transport, to develop the government’s response to the inquiry recommendations. It is a rarity and a privilege to have a non-government member invited to such a position.
Melbourne's "little" streets will have their speed limits lowered from 40km to 20km per hour, in a move to make them more pedestrian friendly.
Melbourne City Council has announced the speed limits will be lowered in Flinders Lane, Little Collins Street, Little Bourke Street and Little Lonsdale Street in the coming weeks, to allow pedestrians to safely socially distance as more people return to the CBD.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said, "Many of our footpaths are less than two metres wide, so there’s not enough space for people to pass each other safely while maintaining physical distance. The changes will ease footpath congestion as people safely return to the city."
Victoria's Department of Transport has announced the details of this subsidy which will provide grants to support regional BSPs in ensuring vulnerable regional Victorians, including the elderly or those with a disability, retain access to CPV services.
This funding will provide grants to support SMALL BSPs that primarily service regional areas.
Grants on offer will be between $3,000 to $12,000.
Payments will be scaled according to the size of the BSP and the circumstances in the regional area.
Victoria's Department of Transport has announced the details of this subsidy. All BSPs that have at least one WAV in their fleet will receive this subsidy. In turn the BSPs must share this subsidy with all owners and drivers who are associated with them for the months of August, September and October. This is to be done through reduced depot/association fees.
BSPs will receive a $250 subsidy for the number of active vehicles that they had active during June 2020. This money will be paid for 3 months, representing August, September and October.
BSPs will be required to divide the total subsidy received equally amongst all active and connected drivers and vehicle owners who paid (or are due to pay) depot or association fees in August, September and October.
Transport Alliance Australia (TAA) held a free Operators' Forum last month and its keynote speaker was Bill Faeth. Bill teaches entrepreneurs, business owners and high performance leaders how to build and scale profitable businesses without sacrificing family.
At the TAA Operator's Forum, Bill highlighted the fact that we need to keep in touch with our clients. He even suggested that we should call our top 20 clients this week and ask them how they are doing. How they are coping and offer to help them in any way possible. It is this phone call that will be remembered post COVID-19, and it just might be for your betterment.