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Queensland Taxi Drivers Should Speak English And Have Knowledge Of Common Destinations

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My name is Jade Kelly, And I am one of the many people who use taxis in Queensland on a regular basis. Being legally blind, I utilize taxis when public transport, or assistance from family members or friends is not an option.

 

According to recent changes made to personal transport reforms, Taxi drivers are no longer required to speak English or have knowledge of common destinations. The quote below from an article published in The Queensland Times states the following: "Taxi applicants also no longer need to have held an "Australian open, provisional or probationary licence of the appropriate class for at least 1 year during the 3 year period" immediately before applying after Section 20C(1)(a)  was also removed."

 

Being one of many people with a disability that utilize taxis as a form of transport, my concern is that the requirements that were removed from the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994 put passengers at risk of not reaching their desired destination. In addition to the previous concern mentioned, lack of knowledge of the English language prevents passengers from communicating with drivers in an efficient and understandable manner.

 

According to an opinion poll published in the same article as the previously quoted changes, a staggering 98 percent state that they would not get in a taxi with a driver who did not speak English. This clearly shows that there is a lack of confidence in the removal of the previously  stated requirements, therefore proving that the requirements should be reinstated. Failure to reinstate the removed requirements may cause a potential drop in use of taxis by citizens of Queensland.

 

Below is the previously mensioned article in it's entirety and a direct link to the Queensland Times Website.

 

Qld taxi drivers no longer required to speak English

Alexia Purcell

11th Oct 2016 8:00 AM

TAXI drivers in Queensland will no longer have to speak English or have knowledge of common destinations.

As part of the changes being made by the Queensland Parliament under Stage 1 of the personalised transport reforms, the English language and destination knowledge requirements have been removed.

Section 20C(1)(b) - "be able to speak and understand English" and Section 20C(1)(c) - "have a knowledge of common destinations and major connecting roads within the taxi service area where the applicant intends to drive the taxi" are just two of several requirements that have been removed from the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994.
Taxi applicants also no longer need to have held an "Australian open, provisional or probationary licence of the appropriate class for at least 1 year during the 3 year period" immediately before applying after Section 20C(1)(a) was also removed.

The Queensland Government announced the changes to the regulatory amendments that commenced on September 5, late last week.

In September, personalised transport reforms were rolled out across the state when ride-booking services such as Uber were made legal in Queensland.

 

See Direct article link below

http://­www.qt.com.au/news/­qld-taxi-drivers-no-l­onger-required-speak­-english/3099058/



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