Sep 26, 2022


Sep 26, 2022

The NSW Government has announced it will provide an extra $500 million to help the State’s devastated taxi industry adapt to deregulation, spurring Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Leader Robbie Katter to call on Queensland to follow suit.

Taxi licence holders in the southern state will be provided compensation of $100,000-$130,000 per licence, meanwhile, Queensland cabbies remained totally uncompensated.

Last week, NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said the additional funding would be provided as part of a total $645 million package to fully deregulate the ride service industry and benefit customers long-term.[1]

He said $145 million had already been paid out and additional payments would be made early next year once legislation to remove taxi licence supply restrictions was passed in the NSW Parliament.

“This will create a level playing field across the sector, freeing the taxi industry to better compete, while driving improved and more innovative services for customers,” Mr Kean said.

“To help existing taxi licence holders adapt to these changes, the package will provide $100,000 for each eligible Sydney metro taxi licence up to six licences per owner.

“It will provide up to $130,000 for each taxi licence outside of Sydney with no cap on the number of licences per owner.”

Mr Katter said despite the progress in NSW, Queensland taxi licence holders whose livelihoods were devastated in 2016 when the Palaszczuk Labor Government gave the green light to Uber remained out in the cold.

The Traeger MP said, to date, the Palaszczuk Labor Government had shown no genuine interest in providing the local taxi industry compensation or a fair level playing field moving forward, and it was now incumbent on Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey to show some compassion. 

He said the KAP had never given up the fight on behalf of the 3,000-plus taxi licence holders in Queensland whose livelihoods and futures were essentially wiped out with the stroke of a pen by the State Government in 2016.


“Unfortunately, Queensland cabbies remain forgotten and there is a moral onus on the State Government to make things right – at the end of the day, it was their decision that led to our taxi drivers losing everything,” he said.


“These drivers invested in good faith, with the comfort of knowing the State Government had regulated the industry for decades and encouraged the system – encouraged people to take up licences – and overnight, they had the rug ripped out from underneath them.”


Mr Katter suggested compensation be gathered by introducing a levy for new participants in the market who entered illegally.


“The price should be paid by new participants who tried to sneak their way into the marketplace by bypassing regulations – the cost would very easily be covered,” he said.


Federal MP Bob Katter also praised the New South Wales Government for its decision to award compensation to taxi owners and said he was in support of Queensland license holders taking legal action. 

“If you think you can just deregulate the taxi industry and walk away from the table, I’m sorry, but you will pay a political price,” Mr Katter said. 

“Now it’s my opinion that we will win this in the political arena, but it is also my opinion that we’ll win it in the courts of law as well.

“I am having discussions with the taxi industry, that they personally prosecute the people that made this decision of deregulating the taxi industry.” 

While a nation-wide issue, Queensland’s taxi industry has been among the worst-affected by semi-deregulation and the introduction of Uber and other rideshare services.


The value of taxi licences in Queensland plummeted from a peak of $500,000 in 2014, down to as low as $10,000 as the standard price for Brisbane licence in late 2021.[2]


Semi-deregulation of the industry fundamentally destroyed the livelihoods and investments of thousands of Queenslanders, many who were mum-and-day investors and battlers who had invested their lives’ savings into the licences. 

[1] $645 million assistance package for taxi industry | NSW Government