Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully, was gagged by the NSW Government yesterday afternoon from contributing to a debate on a 10,000 signatory petition on the state’s taxi industry.
Mr Scully was intending to speak during the debate in support of NSW Labor’s call for the Government to bring forward a statutory review into the Point to Point Transport (Taxi and Hire Vehicles) Act that would otherwise occur after July 2021.
However, when Mr Scully sought leave to speak in the debate in the Legislative Assembly, the Minister for Transport and Roads denied leave effectively gagging any contribution.
Mr Scully has made representations to the Minister on behalf of over one hundred Wollongong taxi drivers, owners and lessees over recent months after complaints from the industry and individual plate owners about inadequate compensation for devalued taxi licenses.
“The current legal framework around industry assistance for taxi and hire vehicles in NSW is clearly not working.
“The Berejiklian Government cannot continue to put its head in the sand. It is allowing an unsatisfactory situation to stand that is hurting so many hard-working Australians, including in Wollongong and the Illawarra.
“I’m very disappointed that I was denied the opportunity to express the views of hundreds of taxi drivers, owners and lessees in Wollongong in the Parliament during the debate on the petition”, he said.
Mr Scully said starting the statutory review by the end of the year would allow fairer compensation arrangements for holders of taxi licenses to be implemented as soon as possible.
“The taxi industry is at breaking point and fairer compensation arrangements must be determined as a matter of priority”, he said.