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                                                                                                                                                         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.
                                                                                                                        New cameras
                                                    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
  December 2009.

  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.
tram lanes.
                                                                      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
                                                                         638 802.
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 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
                                                            Transpor t
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.

        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 (
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
  communications medium.
• 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: or (03) 9676 2635.

E-Record withdrawal
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                                     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             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 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: |