No end in sight to taxi’s battle on the border
THERE'S no end in sight to cross-border taxi disputes, as the Queensland Government has refused to allow Tweed Coolangatta Taxi Service to operate more freely in Queensland.
Current legislation prevents Tweed Taxis from collecting customers from Queensland, except from specific sites - and only when the destination is in NSW.
A major concern for Tweed Taxis is their inability to both drop off and pick up Tweed residents at John Flynn Hospital.
State member for Tweed Geoff Provest said more flexible cross-border taxi laws would be mutually beneficial for all parties.
"Gold Coast Cabs actually own thirty per cent of the share of Tweed Taxis," Mr Provest said.
"They also own the booking system which handles Tweed services."
Mr Provest said he hoped to avoid a "taxi war", with customer service the main concern.
The south Gold Coast is treated like the poor country cousin, because it's not as high profile as the glitz and glamour...if the matter is not resolved, I will be banning Queensland taxis from servicing the new terminal.
"It's all about the service, and that's being held to ransom by various beaurocrats," Mr Provest said.
"We're not asking that much."
"The south Gold Coast is treated like the poor country cousin, because it's not as high profile as the glitz and glamour," Mr Provest said.
Mr Provest said Gold Coast Cabs would suffer if the cross-border quarrels aren't fixed, as the Gold Coast Airport's new international terminal will be based in NSW.
"If the matter is not resolved, I will be banning Queensland taxis from servicing the new terminal."
Mr Provest said the cross-border commissioner performed extensive surveys on the region, which suggested there was a problem in service on the southern Gold Coast.
"The main sites in Cooly were re-interviewed by the Queensland Government," Mr Provest said.
"They said there wasn't a problem, but that's contrary to what we were told."
"That makes me question the validity of the Queensland Government's information."
State Member for Currumbin Jann Stuckey maintained the survey undertaken through Queensland Transport and Main Roads indicated there was no excessive waiting period for taxis in the region between Coolangatta and Tugun.
"We'll continue to monitor the area, and I'm always available to speak to any residents who have an issue," Ms Stuckey said.
"NSW taxis were acting illegally, as far as legislation in Queensland goes," Ms Stuckey said.
"A blind eye was turned for a number of years."
Ms Stuckey said she hoped Gold Coast Cabs would not be banned from the airport's new international terminal.
"It would be a real shame if it comes to that," Ms Stuckey said.
Tweed Coolangatta Taxi Service boss Murray Spence said he's disappointed by the Queensland Government's refusal to change the laws.
"It's bad for the general public when choices are taken away from them," Mr Spence said.
"It goes back to the Australian constitution on free trade between states."
"That's just not happening."
Mr Spence said the main concern was that while Tweed Taxis can drop customers at John Flynn Hospital, they can't take them home.
"It's a bit frustrating," Mr Spence said.
"We basically want to service Coolangatta, Kirra, Bilinga and Tugun."