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.
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.
"There are quite a number of Victorian taxi and ride share drivers who are feeling frightened/put in danger, by transporting passengers in the front seat of the vehicle and also those who are going to a COVID testing station.
I think that Victorian passengers should not be allowed to travel in the front seat of a taxi or rideshare - just like it is in many other Australian states.
Also if there are more than 2 passengers travelling in the taxi - then they should travel in a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) or High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV). This way social distancing can be maintained...
The overhaul of the taxi and on-demand transport industry in Western Australia has entered its third and final stage.
The transition to passenger transport driver (PTD) authorisations completes the reform package that has been implemented over the last two years under the Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018.
The reform has seen on-demand booking services, vehicles and now Passenger Transport Drivers require authorisation and to accept new safety obligations and responsibilities.
WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti says, "The historic on-demand transport reforms we have implemented have delivered a safer and more accountable industry for passengers, drivers and other road users."
Despite less road traffic, you must remember to be careful and drive safely.
Motorists should not treat the noticeable reduction in traffic because of COVID-19 restrictions as a green light to speed, drive under the influence or flout other important road safety laws, a leading personal injuries lawyer has warned.
Canda Glanville, a Principal at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, said too many lives were still being lost on Victorian roads despite fewer people getting behind the wheel since restrictions were brought in to help slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
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.
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.
Wodonga Taxis is taking precaution, as regional Australia braces itself for the Coronavirus, urging citizens to take a common sense approach and offering extra care for its passengers.
Scott Cowie, Chair of Wodonga Taxis, has announced that from Monday 16th March, the company will provide anti-bacterial wipes and tissues in all its vehicles.
Cowie expressed they are conscious of the genuine concern and fear in the community, and are responding accordingly. “We have always prided ourselves on clean, reliable cabs, but we understand now, more than ever, the public needs to know that hygiene and safety is paramount. It’s about being alert, taking sensible precautions and getting back to basics.”