Taxi owner’s letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

26 June 2016

Dear Prime Minister Turnbull,

It was with great interest that I noted your remarks on ABC’s 7:30 program, on the British public’s decision to leave the EU; “They felt they’d lost their sovereignty, or many Briton’s did”.

Not surprisingly, as a taxi industry participant, I felt the same way as the British about the invasion of Australia by American multinational corporation Uber. It is appalling to watch governments all over our country (except the NT) falling over themselves to aid and abet this Silicon Valley upstart to hijack an established industry, losing thousands of full time jobs and small businesses, to be replaced by part-time jobs at slave labour rates of earnings. All the while, sending 25% of every fare to Uber’s Amsterdam tax haven bank account. No tax paid in Australia and out of our economy forever. Another nail in Australia’s economic coffin.

Unsurprisingly, Uber didn’t ask anyone’s permission to commence operations in Australia. They started, broke state laws with great enthusiasm and said ‘stop us if you can’. One after another, states are throwing up the white flag to this burn and churn, pyramid scheme business model as they fail to enforce their own laws, and in Queensland’s case, a cease and desist order (obviously meaningless, if you are an American corporation). New South Wales is now finding out that once legalised, Uber having set a precedent from day one, will not comply with any form of regulation, no matter how minimal and New South Wales are not capable of enforcement in any case. State governments, apparently, have no problem with being treated like fools. A simple sell, we will break your laws until we are legalised.

Anarchy at its finest and an attack on Australia’s sovereignty. You would have to ask yourself what industry will be attacked next, whose job will be lost next and how will Australia’s governments react? Roll over and cop it sweet as they have done in Uber’s case?

Many proud and patriotic Australians have died and suffered protecting our country, our way of life, our democracy. Are we now going to give these ideals away for any corporation that arrives on our shores, facilitates the breaking of our laws, has little investment here and demands to be legalised on their terms? All in the name of tax-free Australian dollars for American companies like Goldman Sachs, Uber’s largest investor behind Saudi Arabia’s sovereign investment fund. Why not support Australian tax paying small businesses and workers?

I ask you Prime Minister, is this the country you want to lead? A country run by spineless governments that cannot even repel a law breaking, tax avoiding, American corporation whose only claim to fame is the destruction of the taxi industry and creating a new class of working poor, worldwide. Other countries, like Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden etc. where governments actually have some ticker, enforce their sovereignty.

Prime Minister, where do you and the Liberal party stand on this issue? It is obvious the Liberal candidate for Longman, Wyatt Roy, is a rusted on Uber supporter. As the assistant Minister for Innovation he obviously, as far as Uber is concerned, has difficulty separating innovation from exploitation, tax avoidance and respect for the law. Surely, a candidate out of his depth and not a supporter of Australian small business, our largest employer and the backbone of the country.

The thousands involved in the regulated taxi industry, either directly or indirectly across the country, have a vested interest in your response, and so do you in where they place their votes.

I await your early reply with anticipation,

Kind Regards,
John Rahilly

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