Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Beyond the NSW Taxi Royal Commission

Beyond the NSW Taxi Royal Commission

It appears Ted is not really interested in taxi drivers' welfare as much as his own importance. Similarly, Jools has been exploiting taxi drivers' misfortune and misery for his own advantage. These two individual's are huffing and puffing re "Bailee Drivers' Insurance Indemnity", "Mass Prosecution of 75 drivers based on Telelcrap Sensationalism" and "Taxi Networks/Companies exploitation of public assets i.e. free taxi plates" contrary to the state and public interest.

Will you support a NSW Taxi Royal Commission?
(Taxi Industry Scandals), Beyond the NSW Taxi Royal Commission (More Taxi Industry Scandals), Horrendous Risk in Taxis! Ted Version (Insurance Indemnity) and An Open Letter to NSW Premier Nathan Rees (Taxi Plate Scandals) threads were dedicated to canvass many burning issues. Above mentioned two individuals have not shown their serious interest in any of those issues apart from their own and hidden agendas!

Ann's phone call to the T&I regarding Ted and Geoff is a required stand point. However, the T&I can use this against all taxi drivers!! Equally the T&I's recent desperate phone call to Ann should be treated with some degree of skepticism.

The professional fraud and serial bankrupt Michael Jools is running a private company under the guise of "ATDA". The NSW TDA must keep a safe distance from such a Machiavellian misadventure.

The NSW T&I and it's predecessors had a very bad habit of turning around their own misdeeds and incompetence against taxi drivers like recent Media Release below. It becomes must to condemn this media release and ask the Minister to come clean.

From: "Michael Hatrick"
To: "Ted Hirsch"
Cc: "Faruque Ahmed"


In my opinion there should be no negotiation with the Labor govt over the introduction of new plates- there are enough taxi already-
*we should be insisting on a joint meeting between the Min. of Industrial Relations and the Transport Min.
*we should be insisting that the income return to drivers be such that they earn sufficient
*this would lead to those cabs being withheld from the working fleet over times that single owner drivers elect not to engage bailee off-siders- eventually engaging bailees and thus solve the short- of taxis problem because- and this is critical- the fatigue and accident prone drivers will be thus earning sufficient / having fewer accidents/ fewer insurance claims/ greater financial viability for owner drivers to engage bailees = more cabs on the road.
That is what I believe.

"destodesperate" wrote:

Fair Go Jimmy,

Sound ideas but how dare you sign off this post as being from the "TDA". Who are you trying to con? The ATDA is a farce the NSWTDA is the democratically run one. You can't expect to borrow our knife to cut our throat. Carry out your sham impersonations elsewhere! PLEASE!!!


--- In Sydney_TaxiCorruption@yahoogroups.com, "Biplobi Faruque" Re: An Open Letter to NSW Premier Nathan Rees

An Open Letter to NSW Premier Nathan Rees

Taxi plates are the property of the State and public. Taxi plates must be used for the benefit of the State and the public.

The Safety and comfort of the public and drivers ought to be the top priority of the taxi industry. No one should be kowtowing to the taxi mafia because the taxi industry is a service industry and totally different from a casino or the stock exchange.

Like the old days, taxi plates should be issued to only working taxi drivers with a provision of temporary relief in case of death and disablement. In the recent past, the authorities started to hand over taxi plates to the taxi mafia and many people who should not have been allowed into the taxi industry in the first place! They also made it very difficult, if not impossible, to ensure accountability and transparency by keeping the taxi owners register secret.

The practice of handing over many types of taxi plates to a selective few appears to be a very corrupt process and contrary to public and state interest. Too many politically expedient "quick-fixes" have created a maze of convoluted structures, largely devoid of stakeholder participation. Silencing and sabotaging many reports and inquiries regarding this issue is blatant proof of the deception and fraud. Furthermore, suffocating and hoodwinking the public in its genuine efforts to win some accountability and transparency within the NSW Department of Transport, Ministry of Transport and other bodies were in the past and still are at the present very devious and intimidatory.

Time is right to come clean.

The NSW Government must:
1. Recall all Nexus Taxi Plates and other types of taxi plates given to taxi networks and companies.
2. Demand that taxi networks and companies holding "free" plates hand back the plates and the income generated by all Nexus Taxi Plates and other plates given to them by the government.
3. Open up the Taxi Register like Company Registers.
4. Issue taxi plates to working taxi drivers only. (Instead of empowering networks to intimidate taxi drivers the Government must empower taxi drivers & operators to pressure networks into providing the booking services that the traveling public wants and is entitled to).
5. Gradually remove speculative investors from owning taxi plates. Remember, they brought corruption rather than creativity.
6. Stop issuing false and misleading Media Releases like the one below. Stop past and future unnecessary harassment of taxi drivers in order to divert attention from the corruption and incompetence within the government and bureaucracy.
7. Re-establish the Taxi Advisory Council and Taxi Drivers' Safety Task Force as per the principles laid down by Justice Edwards and Beattie as well as Sir Asher Joel's recommendation.
8. Allow and nurture the Taxi Advisory Council and Taxi Drivers' Safety Task Force without them being infiltrated by taxi mafia, stooges and Labor Party thugs.
9. Have a Taxi Royal Commission with widest possible Terms of Reference.

Faruque Ahmed

Moderator, Sydney Taxi Corruption
, Mobile: 041 091 4118

--- In Sydney_TaxiCorruption@yahoogroups.com, "Biplobi Faruque" wrote: Beyond the NSW Taxi Royal Commission


David Campbell MP Minister for Transport Minister for the Illawarra
Wednesday 7 October 2009

Minister for Transport David Campbell today announced reforms to the taxi industry which aim to get more taxis on the road for passengers.

Mr Campbell said the Government was changing the way taxi licenses were issued by introducing a new licence which can be renewed each year and would allow more people to get into the taxi market.

"Taxis play an important role in complementing other forms of public transport and keeping the city and our communities moving," Mr Campbell said.

Mr Campbell said those who want to run a taxi business would have the option to either lease an existing licence on the open market or obtain a new non-transferable licence for an annual fee from NSW Transport and Infrastructure.

He said existing transferable licences would still be able to be bought and sold on the open market, but the Government would not be issuing any further tradeable licences.

"The high cost of long term taxi licences are a hindrance for many people wanting to enter the market and the new renewable licences, will make it easier and more affordable for people to get into the industry," Mr Campbell said.

"These reforms are about getting more cabs on the road and improving customer services, with shorter waiting times, better reliability and, in the longer term, smaller fare increases.

"I expect many of the state's 20,000 taxi drivers will take the opportunity to become their own boss by purchasing a renewable licence.

"At the same time, the Government's reforms will ensure that any impacts on existing licence holders are properly managed.

"In setting and reviewing fees for the new licences, the Government will consider a range of factors including passenger demand for services and current lease rates.

"We need to strike the balance between continuing existing services, as well as encouraging sustainable growth in taxi numbers."

Mr Campbell said the new arrangements would also resolve outstanding issues surrounding the Nexus licences and provide certainty for the future. The Nexus Scheme refers to licences issued between 1982 and 1990 which are linked to the operation of wheelchair accessible taxis.

The Government will standardise Nexus licences to continue supporting the operation of wheelchair accessible taxis. The Government has confirmed:
• the Nexus licence can only operate while the accessible taxi is operating
• Nexus licences can continue to be traded but only with their accessible taxi licence pair
• the Nexus licence pairs can only be transferred to a taxi network that is an accredited operator, so that their performance can be monitored.

Mr Campbell said in recognition of the other measures now available to support the operation of accessible taxis across NSW, no further Nexus licences would be issued.

"Today I am also releasing the Deloitte Report into the Nexus Scheme, which found there was no basis for payment of any back fees or compensation, and that transfer taxes had been paid," Mr Campbell said.

"The Government's reforms provide a realistic approach which balances the needs of passengers and the taxi industry, including drivers and existing licence owners," Mr Campbell said.

The reforms are the result of the work carried out by the Department of Transport and Infrastructure and The Better Regulation Office. The Government will take the required legislative amendments to Parliament at the next sitting.

The Deloitte Report can be found on the NSW Transport and Infrastructure website at: http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/

MEDIA CONTACT: Suzie Brady 0411 104 339

Faruque Ahmed
was chasing nexus plates for years! The taxi mafia and corrupt officials suffocated him. Why?

Wheelchair taxis sidelined by industry

October 7, 2009

SYDNEY'S powerful taxi networks have received financial benefits to which they may not have been entitled, a top-secret Government audit that was finally published yesterday found.

A review undertaken in 2007 discovered that the networks were breaching the conditions of a special class of taxi licence, which the Government had issued for free, allowing them to profit from revenues that were meant to subsidise wheelchair-accessible taxi services.

The publication of the report from that review follows a story in the Herald two weeks ago that exposed the extent of the scheme and revealed that its chief beneficiaries were companies run by Sydney's taxi tsar, Reg Kermode, executive chairman and chief executive of Cabcharge.

The report was made public by the Transport Minister, David Campbell, after cabinet bowed to pressure yesterday and approved a major reform package for Sydney's troubled taxi industry.

Under the changes, no more tradeable taxi licences will be issued by the Government but renewable plates will be available to lease from the Transport Department for an annual fee.

If the fee is low enough, the reform may substantially undercut the ballooning value of perpetual and 50-year tradeable licences, which have climbed in value to almost $400,000 each. It would also promote greater competition in the industry.
''These reforms are about getting more cabs on the road and improving customer services,'' Mr Campbell said.

But last night the minister could not say what the fee would be, and he had no projections on the number of new taxis he expected to see on the road as a result of the reforms.

He said independent advice was being sought on how to determine the fee.

''The annual licence fees will be set at a level which finds the right balance between encouraging fleet growth to meet passenger demand and minimising impacts on existing licence holders,'' Mr Campbell said.

Meanwhile, networks owned by Cabcharge had the vast majority of the special ''Nexus'' licences that were the subject of the top-level audit, the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu report found.
Even though the taxi networks are required to operate these licences themselves, the review found that every one of the 49 Nexus licences owned by Combined Communications Network (CCN), a Cabcharge subsidiary, were leased out to other operators for a fee.

It also confirmed that the taxi networks, including CCN, had kept off the road a number of wheelchair taxis that were meant to be paired with these free licences. The report noted: ''The networks involved may not have been entitled to the income generated by the Nexus licence.''

But the State Government has lost and destroyed multiple files relating to these mysterious licences, and because ''there is no clear audit trail'' it was ''not possible to quantify financial gains in this regard''.

''While this absence of documentation reflects the previous poor administration of the 'Nexus Scheme', we did not find any evidence of deliberate misconduct or corrupt activities requiring referral to the Independent Commission Against Corruption,'' the report says.

The Herald has been fighting for access to this audit for over a year under freedom of information laws.

The NSW Ombudsman began a formal investigation of the department over its handling of these requests in August.
The ''final report'' from 2007 urged the Government to undertake ''a case-by-case assessment'' to determine what level of compensation or back fees the state is owed by the networks, which would also need to be ''informed by legal advice''.

Several months ago, the Government asked Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu to ''update'' the conclusions it came to in the 2007 document, after commissioning advice from the Crown Solicitor's Office.

Last night the Government refused to make public this legal advice.

''The initial report advised we could not reliably estimate the scope of compensation that may be owed to the department. Having reviewed the Crown Solicitor's advice, we can conclude that no compensation or back fees are owed to the department,'' this year's version of the report found.

--- In Sydney_TaxiCorruption@yahoogroups.com, "Biplobi Faruque" wrote: Beyond the NSW Taxi Royal Commission

Further to Will you support a NSW Taxi Royal Commission?, whatever the reason the NSW TDA Forum is dead!

My own forums like Sydney Taxi Corruption, Free America Now, Free Australia Now are bigger and successful than the NSW TDA Forum. I am also member of many more robust forums.

I am free to write anything I want and I am doing so for a long time. I am also regular contributor of many Australian and international radio programs including the Australia Talk and BBC Talking Point.

Therefore; I am happy with my preference and practices. I have defeated the then White House Chief of Staff Ms. Victoria Clerk two weeks after 9/11. Ultimately, I can't find any reason to change my style and operation.

--- "teebrad54" wrote:

Faruque, this is way, way, too provocative for us to use. If you want to use this, change your name and put it on another website, even then, your style is very obvious, and they would know who it was. My advice, don't use this at all, and certainly not the NSWTDA site.

--- In Sydney_TaxiCorruption@yahoogroups.com, "Biplobi Faruque" wrote: Will you support a NSW Taxi Royal Commission?

Taxi mafia used to wash taxis at Bayswater Road, KX. Taxi drivers wanted to sack him because he was not washing taxis properly. But, mafia survived due to racism and sectarianism. However, he became owner of two taxis and a few more earthly possessions by shagging a widower. Eventually, he became the taxi mafia by adding misery and misfortune on taxi drivers, owners and passengers. Ironically, successive NSW Premiers and Ministers of Transport started to lick his balls and they threw bag full of money at him. As a result, he gained the power to sue any one, silence anyone and even destroy someone!

What a mighty man the taxi mafia is?! One must wonder what happened to other man and woman of the state of NSW?!!? Are they mouse and mice?

Faruque Ahmed

Free Australia Now

Mobile: 041 091 4118, Email: union_faruque@...
Monday, October 05, 2009

Main players had most to lose from reform plan

September 21, 2009

Annual expenditure of the committee. Photo: Sydney Morning Herald

OVER three years, a big reform package for Sydney's dysfunctional taxi industry bubbled away inside the State Government. By rationalising taxi licences and restructuring the industry, the changes would ''improve service quality and value for money to the community'', according to cabinet documents.
But the reforms also would have diluted the power and influence of Sydney's taxi networks, including those owned by Cabcharge, and by last year the top-secret project was buried inside the Transport Department, where it remains today.

In May, the top official overseeing the department during that period, Jim Glasson, was appointed chief executive officer of a Cabcharge joint venture company. He followed a string of other department officials who had been appointed to jobs within Cabcharge, which is headed by executive chairman Reg Kermode.

Mr Kermode's companies received the largest share of $35 million worth of taxi licences first loaned free by the Wran government, and then handed over by the Carr government, the Herald revealed on Saturday. Neville Wran is now a Cabcharge director with a share package worth $1.5 million.

Tracey Cain, a spokeswoman for Mr Kermode, Cabcharge and the NSW Taxi Council, described the Herald's coverage as ''badly researched innuendo'' and declined to comment further. Offered an opportunity to identify any errors of fact in the reporting, Ms Cain declined: ''That would be offering commentary.''

During Mr Glasson's three-year tenure at the top of the ministry, a planned move to restructure the taxi industry came to a head after a string of official inquiries recommended sweeping changes.

These coalesced in a review of taxi licences in 2007 as well as a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers - a highly sensitive project kept hidden from the public. Cabinet documents show in May that year the review warned current policies were not well defined or communicated, that they suffered from ''poor transparency'', and that the ''growth in licence values [is] pushing up costs to industry and consumers''. The result, the documents say, is ''poor reliability and response times''.

If implemented, the reforms could have significantly improved the state's much-criticised taxi service but would have also slashed the value of the taxi plate market - worth up to $2.2 billion - and made a considerable dent in the assets of big taxi players, including Cabcharge, which at the time owned $44.9 million worth of taxi plates.

The review underwent several drafts and included detailed analysis of the costs and benefits of the reforms, while the policy statements were circulated to officials from the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Treasury and to the office of the then minister, John Watkins.

The modelling showed demand for taxi licences from new players would soar as the price of those licences was reduced, that Treasury coffers would benefit from an increase in the stamp duty payable on the licences, and ultimately, that consumers would benefit with improved response times.

The planning went so far as to include discussion over the vexed issue of compensation to existing taxi plate owners, which was to form the core of an ''adjustment assistance'' program.

The NSW Taxi Council, which represents taxi plate owners and powerful networks, was asked for its input. It wanted a cap on the number of new licences, and suggested that all time-restricted licences should be made perpetual.

The Transport Minister, David Campbell, said taxi licensing was under consideration.

Mr Glasson, who was director-general between 2006 and 2009, left his $342,186 position with the Government to take up an appointment as the chief executive officer of ComfortDelGro Cabcharge.

The joint venture's principal interest in Sydney is in the private bus industry, which Mr Glasson also regulated in his former position. Cabcharge owns 49 per cent of the company.


No comments:

Post a Comment