Photography by: Simon Birch www.simonbirch.com.au
EDITION 5, FEbrUArY 2010
CEO’s Welcome VtD Notices
Welcome to a new year and decade, it seems like only It is important to understand that notices, such as Infringement
yesterday that we welcomed in a new millennium. Notices and Defect Notices, issued by VTD Transport Safety
Officers (TSO) should not been seen as a referral to get
2010 will be a watershed year for the Victorian taxi industry, something checked by a higher authority.
with the taxi industry accreditation regime well entrenched
in the way the taxi business is conducted. Attention must For example, a licensed taxi tester is not necessarily seen
now turn to the core issues of licence assignment, servicing to be any more qualified to make judgments about the
people in wheelchairs, growing taxi business, and the roadworthiness of a taxi than a VTD TSO. The reason we
potential of a shortage of drivers. have licensed taxi testers is to ensure the issue(s) identified by
the VTD TSO has been rectified.
There will be operational issues such as updating taxi
VTD TSOs are trained in-line with strict Victorian Government
meters in many urban and country taxis and new taxi safety
standards as part of their training before becoming active
cameras for all taxis except small country areas. Compliance
TSOs and inspecting taxis. However, this is not to say they
procedures, pursuing additional taxi ranks in the CbD,
don’t make mistakes.
additional licences and taxi operations at Melbourne Airport
will also feature prominently. As an operator or driver you can contest judgments made by
a TSO(s). To do this you should either follow the instructions
Whilst the issue of licence assignments and the means by set out on the notice or contact the VTD and inquire as to the
which they are conducted will primarily be addressed at the appropriate process.
policy/strategy level, growing your taxi business is very much
an issue for all industry stakeholders to work on. Over the
year, you will hear a lot about growing your taxi business.
The potential of a shortage of drivers is concerning and
requires a re-think of how taxi driving is marketed.
In the meantime, I wish everyone a happy and successful 2010.
Neil Sach | VTA CEO not yet available
Last year the Taxi Directorate advised that from
RSI COMES HOME
1 February 2010 only cameras meeting the new
camera standards are to be fitted to replacement or
new taxi vehicles.
On 1 February, road Safety Inspections Pty Ltd (rSI)
returned home to its brand new facilities at 433 Williamstown The VTD have now advised that the 1 February date
road, Port Melbourne. (9646 3362) has been deferred. A new date will be determined in
As well as its taxi inspection service, rSI’s services include the second quarter of 2010.
on-site vehicle registration, clearance of unroadworthy and
defect notices, and spare parts for minor repairs at cost.
A new nightclub named Neverland
Entertainment Complex opened in
the South Melbourne area in
We would like to advise all taxi
companies and drivers that Neverland
Entertainment Complex located at
32-48 Johnson St South Melbourne
(Melway reference Map 2 E, G 11)
is now open for trade.
Neverland has a secure taxi rank which
is onsite and will offer refreshments to
drivers free of charge.
A taxi holding area is available. For
any enquires please call Neverland
on 9646 5544.
U turns across Hybrid Camry,
tram tracks a taxi option
On 11 December last year the first hybrid vehicle built in
In the December edition of the VTA’s newsletter there is a
Australia - the 2010 Toyota Camry sedan – rolled off the
small explanatory note on the legality of doing a U-turn across
production line in Altona.
Toyota Australia presently builds the 4-cylinder Camry and
After discussions with Vicroads, the VTA is now in a better
6-cylinder Aurion in Australia at its Altona plant.
position to explain the rules surrounding u-turns and tram
lanes. Full scale volume production of the Camry hybrid commenced
in December, with the launch expected this month (February).
In simple terms, a vehicle is not permitted at any time to
complete a u-turn across permanent tramways or separated The new Toyota Camry hybrid will consume 30 percent less
tram lanes (as indicated by road markings and signage). For petrol than the current model Camry, which uses around 8.8
example, as of 9 November 2009 it is no longer permissible to litres per 100km travelled.
complete a u-turn across Collins St.
In the case of part-time tram lanes where there are no solid
dividing lines between the two tram tracks, a vehicle is
VtD COVERt StINgS
permitted to complete a u-turn across the part-time tram lane
outside tram lane operating hours (as indicated by signage).
In order to legally complete this u-turn the driver must ensure
they comply with all other relevant road rules - i.e. do not Drivers need to be aware that the Victorian Taxi
cross solid yellow or white lines to enter a tram lane before Directorate is undertaking on-going convert
executing maneuver. operations targeted at drivers refusing short trips and
drivers not being logged onto EFTPOS.
If you require a full explanation of this new road rule go to
New driver Future taximeter
accreditation conditions requirements in country
From1 January, the following conditions were added to the and urban zones
existing set of driver accreditation requirements:
• Drivers of wheelchair accessible taxis (WATs) must give The VTD has announced that all Country and Urban Zone taxis
priority to the carriage of wheelchair passengers at all must have meters which will automatically calculate the “Public
times, including bookings for the carriage of wheelchairs Holiday Surcharge” and disable the late night fee operational by
offered to the driver by the Network Service Provider October 2010.
(NSP) the taxi is affiliated with.
To facilitate this requirement the VTD has stipulated to taximeter
• Drivers of a taxi must be logged on to the electronic suppliers that they will need to demonstrate that their product
transaction terminal at all times, except in the event of a can separate the “Public Holiday Surcharge” for the purpose
failure or malfunction of the system. of end of shift settlements with drivers. The date for this
• Drivers must logon to the electronic transaction terminal requirement to be met is 1 June 2010.
by using the Victorian Taxi Directorate issued ‘smartcard’
that bears the driver’s name, driver licence number, and The VTD will revoke the approval of any taximeters that do not
the card number incorporating the driver accreditation meet the specified requirements from 1 August 2010.
number. This smartcard is not to be used by any other
For any additional information please contact the VTD on 1800
The above is a simplified version of that shown of the DOT
National police checks
As we all know, the VTD no longer issues
“probationary” driver accreditation pending the
receipt of a national police check.
for Public Taxi driver accreditation can only be completed
transport successfully when the necessary processes,
including the national police check have been
provided to the VTD.
On 20 January, Premier
John brumby announced Log on to www.police.vic.gov.au. Under “Our
the appointment of The Hon. Services” click “Police record Check: to down load
Martin Pakula to the portfolio of the application form.
Minister for Public Transport. The Hon. Mar tin
He also announced brian Tee Minister for Public Pakula
as the new Parliamentary
Secretary for Public Transport
Colour of and
Mr Pakula’s family migrated to Australia in the 1930’s and
1940’s from Poland and the USSr. Martin was born in
advertising on taxis
Melbourne in 1969, the eldest of 3 children.
At Monash University, Martin completed an Economics
Degree (1989), and an Honours Degree in Law (1991) Despite several approaches over the years (particularly
winning the Industrial relations Law prize in his final year. from country operators), Government has made it clear
In 1993, Martin joined the National Union of Workers, where that:
he served as an Industrial Officer (1993 - 2000), Assistant 1. There is absolutely no chance that any taxis will be
State Secretary (2000 - 2004) and State Secretary and other than Victorian Taxi Yellow (except the green
National Vice President (2004 - 2006). He was elected to the top for peak service taxis); and
Legislative Council as the member for Western Metropolitan
2. Advertising (other than that associated with the
region in 2006.
brand and services of that taxi) will not be permitted
A keen football and racing fan, Martin has been a member of on the exterior of the taxi.
the Carlton Football Club for more than 25 years and is also
a member of the VRC.
taxi driver shortage looms
2010 is shaping up to be a challenging year for attracting The introduction of an additional 530 taxi-cab licences
new taxi drivers into the Victorian taxi industry. (which represents an increase of about 1600 drivers) will
put additional strain on the increasingly tight supply of
We currently have 3,873 taxis (inclusive of 237 wheelchair- potential drivers for our industry.
accessible taxis) in the Metropolitan area, and on average
there are approximately three drivers per taxi-cab. So on Just like trams, trains and buses unless you have the labour
any given week we have approximately 11600 taxi driver’s to drive the vehicles they sit idle and leave commuters
actively servicing the community. waiting and frustrated. Taxis will perhaps face a fate
whereby we have more taxis in the market to service the
The Victorian taxi industry has drawn its taxi drivers from needs of the community, but insufficient drivers to achieve
many different markets over the years. These markets are it.
now being increasingly affected by external factors, such
as employment participation rates, driver licence eligibility As an industry we have many challenges to face to indentify
restrictions and the education market. new markets in which to find new taxi drivers. The VTA
will be working hard to identify solutions, but any solution
In more recent years the market drawn on most heavily by will need to be developed in a cooperative fashion by all
the taxi industry has been oversees students. However, industry stakeholders, including the State Government.
in recent times it has been reported that the volume of
international student enrolments for courses in Victoria and Whatever the outcome, it must be sustainable in the long
other states and territories have decreased significantly. term to try and ensure that our industry is insulated against
This trend appears likely to continue into 2010, and in large external shocks like the decline in the number of
affect, means the supply of labour from this market will international students.
become less elastic.
Vta & VtD BaILMENt agREEMENtS REMINDER
both VTA and VTD model agreements can be obtained free of charge from the VTA office 2/85 Salmon Street,
Port Melbourne. The VTD model agreement can also be obtained from the Taxi Directorate in person, by
requesting copies be mailed or downloaded from the VTD website.
Vta launches new website
The VTA launched its new website (www.victaxi.com.au)
just prior to Christmas. After months of tweaking and often
reconfiguring the site we were proud to display our hard
It is a vast improvement on the old site in a number of ways:
• It has a look and feel consistent with other VTA
• It allows the user to navigate easily to areas of interest.
• Any changes or updates can be loaded quickly.
• It has added areas such as news and photo galleries.
We are very keen to involve our members in providing
information for our new site. So if you are aware of, or
perhaps involved in, providing taxi services in non traditional
taxi markets we would welcome your story.
We also have members who are very skilled in other areas,
or may have won local awards. These are all positive points
that can easily be communicated via the site.
To provide input or feedback please contact Paul Theobald
at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (03) 9676 2635.
E-Record will not be available Frequently asked questions
from July 2010 Can I continue to use e-Record after 30 June 2010?
Since March 2000, we have provided e-Record, a free
You may continue to use e-Record after 30 June 2010 but
electronic record-keeping system, to small businesses. We
only to complete your 2010 or prior income year records. You
designed e-Record as an interim product that would help
should not use e-Record for your 2011 income year records.
small businesses move from paper-based record keeping to
commercial electronic record-keeping systems. What do I need to do by 30 September 2010?
We recently conducted a review of e-Record and found it to be You will need to complete any outstanding record keeping
no longer compatible with current commercial record keeping entries for the year ending 30 June 2010 and prior years. As
systems. It would also need to be redeveloped to keep up there will be no support after 30 September 2010, you should
with technology and new business directions. Therefore, we consider printing any e-Record information that you want to
have decided that, from July 2010, e-Record will no longer be retain.
What happens after 30 September 2010?
What you can do All support for e-Record will cease after 30 September 2010. If
We encourage you to move from e-Record to a suitable you continue to use e-Record after this date, we won’t be able
alternative record-keeping system and to consider to help with any problems or questions you may have.
commercially available software. To help you find
commercially available record-keeping software, you can go to Can the ATO recommend which commercially available
softwaredevelopers.ato.gov.au software to use?
No, we cannot recommend which commercial software to use.
Key dates for you
For information about commercially available software
Here are some important dates to remember:
products that may suit your business needs, you can visit
1 July 2010 - e-Record no longer available softwaredevelopers.ato.gov.au to view a list of software which
has similar functionality to e-Record. This will help you decide
30 September 2010 - e-Record no longer supported.
which software you may want to use.
You will be able to download the latest version, e-Record v6.2,
from our website at www.ato.gov.au/erecord until 30 June Do I need to upgrade to e-Record version 6.2?
2010. User support for matters relating to the 2009–10 income
If you intend to use the worker records functionality in
year will continue until 30 September 2010.
e-Record and lodge your annual report electronically for the
We recommend that you have your new record keeping 2010 financial year, you will need to download version 6.2. If
arrangements in place by 30 June 2010. you do not have a pay as you go withholding obligation, you
will not need to download v6.2.
Victorian Taxi Association Inc.
Suite 2/85 Salmon Street, Port Melbourne
Phone: 9676 2635 | Fax: 9676 2643
Email: email@example.com | www.victaxi.com.au