Sack MacTiernan Now

A reporter from The West waits 50 minutes for a taxi and suddenly this issue is on the agenda again.

“Ask any West Australian who gets taxis and people are not just talking about half-hour wait times anymore. People are regularly having to wait 1 1 /2 to two hours,” Mr Woods said.

Deputy chairman of Safer Northbridge Peter Palmer said three-hour wait times for some passengers in the city area were the worst on record.

Fremantle mayor Peter Tagliaferri said deregulation of the industry was the best solution. He said higher night fares would also help attract more night-shift drivers.

Everybody pretty much already knows the way to fix the taxi “problem” in Perth – deregulate the licensing system so that anyone who wants to operate a taxi can get one. The current system of setting a limit on the amount of licensed taxis only helps speculators, at the expense of every other resident of Perth.

The sad thing is that the government apparently believes it has a duty to guarantee these peoples’ investments:

WA Taxi Council chairman Kevin Foley acknowledged there were major problems at some hotspots, but said deregulation would wipe out the value of taxi licences, which cost more than $200,000. “People forget that these drivers have invested in the licences as a business, and they have mortgages to pay and children to feed,” Mr Foley said.

Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said it was the Government’s intention to reduce the ratio, but it had to balance that against the need to protect the value of taxi plates.

Why, Alannah “Worst minister in history” MacTiernan, is there a need to protect the value of taxi plates? Do you also need to protect the value of speculative stocks if some unlucky Western Australian invests in, say, Telstra 2?

Every investment carries an element of risk. Taxi plates have been a license to print money since they were brought in, but that doesn’t mean they have to be forever, especially now when the taxi situation in Perth is becoming a ridiculous, unfunny joke.

The Western Australian government is hurting the entire state for the benefit of a few whining taxi-plate owners. Alannah McTiernan should be sacked for this comment alone, even if you ignore every other idiotic thing she has done in her awful career. This is the same woman who is spending a billion dollars building a railroad down the Kwinana freeway, partly because nobody can get a bloody taxi.

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32 Comments on “Sack MacTiernan Now”

  1. Orpheus Says:

    Couldn’t agree more. New Zealand deregulated its taxis a few years back (99 or 2000, from memory) and virtually overnight waiting for a taxi outside a nightspot became a distant memory. Fares dropped slightly, but they were quite cheap to start with (certainly less than the outright gouging here).

    But, it’ll never happen in Perth, because there’s now a clear path to make sure your regulation stays in place. Step 1, run an advertising campaign with small children saying things like “Daddy, if Minister X changes the law, will we still be able to eat?” and adults replying “Of course dear, but we’ll have to cook up the household pets to survive”. Step 2, tell blatant lies about how much worse life will be if the regulation goes, including but not limited to bubonic plague outbreaks. Step 3, enlist celebrities to repeat and endorse your lies on as many media outlets as you can buy time on.

  2. Andjam Says:

    Out of curiosity, are you able to catch a cab if you’re carrying alcohol in WA?

  3. ozrisk Says:

    If you can find one, yes.

  4. BJAS Says:

    Try getting a taxi is Sydney; then you’ll really have something to complain about.

  5. yobbo Says:

    BJAS: You should really read the links. Perth has the lowest ratio of Taxis-People in Australia.

    So you know how hard it is to get a taxi in Sydney? It’s about 30% harder than that to get one in Perth.

  6. Troy Says:

    BJAS I have causght taxis in Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth and Perth is hands down, no argument, the worst by far.

    I have waited 3 hours to get a taxi out of Northbridge on about 3 occasions and have been in Subiaco when the supposed ‘taxi rank’ just didnt have any taxis coming. The Ironic thing is that I could have probably walked home in about 2 hours.

  7. yobbo Says:

    It is absolutely impossible to get a taxi in Northbridge, Subiaco or Fremantle any time it is busy. They are our 3 most popular entertainment districts and it’s bloody ridiculous.

  8. hc Says:

    I noticed on my recent visit it was very hard. On one occasion we waited an hour and the company eventually said it couldn’t find a driver willing to accept the fare. Sounds like the number of taxis could increase without reducing license values much.

  9. AD Says:

    Its a mistake to describe taxi owners as investors, the word I would use is speculator. their investment is dependent on restrictions imposed on the free market and they risked their money on that basis. The same argument applies to the property rental landlords who are relying on negative gearing allowed under the tax act.

    Its time for a change!!!!!!

  10. yobbo Says:

    Speculator is the word I used too.

  11. AD Says:

    Sorry, re read your article and conceed you did use the word speculator.

  12. Troy Says:

    There is more in this than just protecting the plate owners.

    It’s the nanny state/fun police attitude of “well what were you doing out at 3 in the morning anyway?”. More taxis means encouraging mor night life which means more drinking and more fun. Some of you might not understand this, why a government would give a shit about something like this. That’s becasue you havent ever lived in WA.

  13. Patrick Says:

    The mayor of Brisbane came right out and said that once. I think it was Sally-Anne Atkinson, and someone complained there was no transport home after midnight.

    She opens her food-hole and out comes the words “Well you should be going home before midnight shouldn’t you?”

    She lost the next election, but to the Labor party, so things didn’t get much better if at all.

  14. Orpheus Says:

    Some politicians want to outlaw having fun. Other politicians just make sure you can’t afford to have fun. Sometimes it seems like there’s noone to vote for who isn’t in one of those groups.

  15. carneagles Says:

    If they deregulated taxis here in Perth, we’ll be overrun with serial killers, presumably.

  16. yobbo Says:

    And Beau Waters would be a quadriplegic.

  17. Camoranesi Says:

    So they’re going to liberalise licensing so we can be pissed in more places with, err, less chance of getting home. Anyway, what does MacTiernan care – don’t all taxi drivers listen to Sattler / Bartlett / Murray and vote One Nation?

  18. yobbo Says:

    Most taxi drivers speak English as a second language.

  19. gaz Says:

    Just another brick in the wall.

    Just another example of how fucked W.A is.

  20. DD Says:

    Having lived 24 years of my life in Perth, leaving about 7 years ago and going back for a visit just recently, I don’t know how I ever put up with it. I’ll second your comment about it being much worse than Sydney to get a cab in – I’ve caught taxis in every State capital and Perth takes the cake by a long way. There must be a lot of people like me who leave Perth and would love to live there again if only the place would treat us like adults.

  21. os Says:

    Orpheus, you missed one … Step 4, contact the Liberal Party and persuade them to keep doing what they’ve been doing for years, support the producer conspiracy against the consumer and oppose deregulation in the name of free enterprise.

  22. Orpheus Says:

    Good point, os – one of the weirdest thing about the last referendum was the Liberal-Green alliance against capitalism.

  23. Dylan Says:

    Unfortunately, taxi drivers seem to be the least of the worries in Perth. See for the really scary truth about my home town…

  24. Andrew Leigh Says:

    Canberra has the twin distinction of too few taxi plates, and a monopoly taxi company, so if they muck up your booking, you can’t switch to a competitor.

  25. Daniel Says:

    Why doesn’t the government just instruct Swan Taxi’s or who ever to release another 300 or so more taxi’s plates and sell them off at the current market value of $200k to investors ???

  26. Jake Says:

    Deregulation is not the best answer. Take London mini cabs I have many friends who all have horror stories of trips in these deregulated cabs. I think that we need to really increase the number of cabs and have much better training for the drivers as well as at the same time offering more protection from violent passagers that very often come from Places like Northbridge on a friday night. Taxi drivers value there safety more than money and will avoid trouble spots. How many of the people who commented here want to or are willing to become taxi divers? Its a tuff job try doing it. For the record I have never been a taxi driver and would never want to be one as there are to many yobbos in Perth.

  27. Mark Says:

    As a Perth night taxi owner and driver, One of the reasons people are kept waiting for taxi’s to turn up in Northbridge and Fremantle etc. Is the blatant lack of respect for me and my vehicle. On three seperate occasions, whilst trying to get to the taxi rank in Fremantle. I have had my vehicle damaged, each repair bill costing over $250.00. Half my weekend nights taking. So I’ll take my taxi to the Airport. As for more cabs on the road, good luck finding quality people to drive them. Why not try putting the public transport system to use. It’s what most people use to get to their destination. Therefore they could use it to get them home. But will the Unions allow their members to suffer the anti social minority. I THINK NOT.
    So if I stop to pick you up on the weekend please remember. I am prepared to take you home so respect me and my vehicle.

  28. yobbo Says:

    Perth public transport finishes at midnight. There is no option to take it home.

    “As for more cabs on the road, good luck finding quality people to drive them.”

    Quality people? Driving a taxi isn’t brain surgery. That’s a pretty weak attempt at defending quotas really.

  29. Mark Says:

    I know the public transport system finishes at midnight, the issue is, it should run all night on those peak period nights.
    Quality people means people that care about their passengers safety, and their own business. Young women travelling on their own still refuse to get in some cabs late at night.
    Recently the Office of the taxi unit, attended a diasbility awareness exhibition at Perths Convention centre. To recruit people that work with people with disabilities, to become Wheelchair access taxi drivers. The Ministers latest ad for drivers is “If you have a vehicle that is less than five years old we can assist you in becoming a taxi operator”. I welcome more plates on the road, but they must be owned by a single person NOT LEASED OUT BY THE STATE GOVERNMENT, who is required to drive the taxi, more than the 36 hours curretly required in the conditions of the license. Which also states that a taxi must be on the road between the hours of 6pm and 3am on Friday and Saturday nights. WHAT TIME DO THE CLUBS CLOSE!!!!!!!!!.

  30. Ann Says:

    A taxi driver in Perth told me that the drivers avoid night work cos of ICE Until we get ICE under control taki drivers will leave as fast as they join People do not like to be in danger We need to make the drivers safer and make ICE harder to get hold of [methampth.}

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