Monday morning commute particularly painful this morning? There’s a reason for that. Taxi drivers descended on Melbourne’s CBD this morning in protest over the Victorian government’s taxi deregulation reforms.
According to ABC News, protests began on the Bolte Bridge this morning with taxi drivers purposely slowing down over the bridge – a popular thoroughfare to the airport – in both directions before stopping at the top. Making their way towards Parliament House, the protesters amassed at the steps of Treasury Place in an effort to garner the attention of Premier Daniel Andrews.
Taxi drivers are angry at the Government’s move to legalise Uber and introduce a $2 surcharge on all trips made by hire cars and taxis, effectively abolishing the current model of taxi licences. The plan will compensate licence holders by paying $100,000 for the first licence, and $50,000 for up to three more.
These reforms have since been called “unfair and unjust compensation” by the Victorian Taxi and Hire Car Families, as many drivers have had to pay up to $500,000 per licence in the past.
This morning, protesters at Treasury Place called for Premier Daniel Andrews to “Buy back, buy fair”.
Drivers are threatening to block freeways again next week.
No confirmation has been made at this point, but watch this space for updates as they come.