A strange and disturbing year was 2016. The elevation of Trump to leader of ‘the free world’ although it can be rationalised is still unbelievable, the resurrection of Pauline Hanson and her One Nation Party too can be rationalised yet it’s hard to believe and the blanket cave-in by the Australian political elite to a foreign ethically and morally degenerate juggernaut like Uber can be rationalised, yet it is unbelievable. So too with paedophilia, domestic violence and terrorism if we try really hard. That’s why we have laws that set the parameters for how we must behave. Most of us truly believe that if we are caught breaking the law we will be punished in some way. However, there are glaring exceptions. Uber is a case in point.

For two years this corporate terrorist took the piss on the authorities while feting journalists, politicians and political advisers. With unlimited access to funds it bought GenY with free rides and special discounts and drivers with a guaranteed income of $30 an hour and the promise to pay their fines should they get caught driving and operating illegally as hire cars. Showing absolutely no respect for the law and authority became a game, the rule rather than the exception. We even had Prime Minister Turnbull, while the company and its drivers were breaking state laws and cheating the ATO out of millions in GST and income tax, holding Uber up as a shining example of the “agility, entrepreneurship and creativity” that Australians should aspire to. It was sickening, morally corrupt and is an indication of how he was doing business before he entered politics and probably still does.

However, that now history, ridesharing has been legalised across the country and the taxi industry mafia is already jumping on the bandwagon whilst the ‘rank and file’ appears to have accepted the drop in turnover and income. Plate owners, except for in Victoria, as far as we know, have given up fighting for fair compensation and are waiting for their $20,000 “Industry Adjustment Fund” cheque.

Victoria is the odd man out. Many plate owners still have fire in their bellies and are not willingly going to accept the compulsory acquisition by the government of their plates, as the buy-back offer is totally inadequate. Click here for full story

13CABS is expanding it’s ride-share (Private Hire) fleet, fixed fares are catching on with Uber and Yellow Cabs in Brisbane planning to introduce them next year, Cabcharge is selling its bus business for $186 million to concentrate on its core businesses – transactions, taxis and private hire, and Pauline Hanson declares she will fight for Queensland taxi owners in parliament after the state election in March. That and much more in National News Roundup.

And in case you have missed the news, a company calling itself London Rides allegedly launched 90 black London cabs in Sydney on 8 December as private hire cars. They are piggybacking on the goCatch app and plan to add another 110 in the next few months. I’ll be nice. I give them 12 month. There is a limit to how many cocky entrepreneurs the P2P market can keep alive.

And in case I have depressed you with all my negativity let me lift your spirits in time for the New Year

Thanks for reading OZ Cabbie this year and may 2017 be everything you wish for

Peer Lindholdt

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OZ Cabbie February 2017

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