Tuesday, October 13, 2009

An Open Letter to NSW Premier Nathan Rees

An Open Letter to NSW Premier Nathan Rees

Taxi plates are the property of the State and public. Taxi plates must be used for the benefit of the State and the public.

The Safety and comfort of the public and drivers ought to be the top priority of the taxi industry. No one should be kowtowing to the taxi mafia because the taxi industry is a service industry and totally different from a casino or the stock exchange.

Like the old days, taxi plates should be issued to only working taxi drivers with a provision of temporary relief in case of death and disablement. In the recent past, the authorities started to hand over taxi plates to the taxi mafia and many people who should not have been allowed into the taxi industry in the first place! They also made it very difficult, if not impossible, to ensure accountability and transparency by keeping the taxi owners register secret.
The practice of handing over many types of taxi plates to a selective few appears to be a very corrupt process and contrary to public and state interest. Too many politically expedient “quick-fixes” have created a maze of convoluted structures, largely devoid of stakeholder participation. Silencing and sabotaging many reports and inquiries regarding this issue is blatant proof of the deception and fraud.
Furthermore, suffocating and hoodwinking the public in its genuine efforts to win some accountability and transparency within the NSW Department of Transport, Ministry of Transport and other bodies were in the past and still are at the present very devious and intimidatory.
Time is right to come clean.
The NSW Government must:
1. Recall all Nexus Taxi Plates and other types of taxi plates given to taxi networks and companies.
2. Demand that taxi networks and companies holding "free" plates hand back the plates and the income generated by all Nexus Taxi Plates and other plates given to them by the government.
3. Open up the Taxi Register like Company Registers.
4. Issue taxi plates to working taxi drivers only. (Instead of empowering networks to intimidate taxi drivers the Government must empower taxi drivers & operators to pressure networks into providing the booking services that the traveling public wants and is entitled to).
5. Gradually remove speculative investors from owning taxi plates. Remember, they brought corruption rather than creativity.
6. Stop issuing false and misleading Media Releases like the one below. Stop past and future unnecessary harassment of taxi drivers in order to divert attention from the corruption and incompetence within the government and bureaucracy.
7. Re-establish the Taxi Advisory Council and Taxi Drivers' Safety Task Force as per the principles laid down by Justice Edwards and Beattie as well as Sir Asher Joel’s recommendation.
8. Allow and nurture the Taxi Advisory Council and Taxi Drivers' Safety Task Force without them being infiltrated by taxi mafia, stooges and Labor Party thugs.
9. Have a Taxi Royal Commission with widest possible Terms of Reference.

Faruque Ahmed
Sydney Taxi Corruption, Mobile: 041 091 4118
Monday, October 12, 2009