10i. Taxi Plates Supply & Demand
One of the key factors that has prompted this submission to ICAC isthe total corruption involved whenever the government decides torelease new taxi plate licences onto the market [AA1-3]. The numberof taxis in operation affects the owners return or sale price of hisplate. It also affects the capacity of drivers to attract sufficientcustomers to earn a living. It affects the general community in termsof frequency of service and utilisation.
Despite repeated requests the Minister for Transport and hisdepartment continually deny that they keep any statistics [Ml to N6]on the issue of multi-cab ownership. [T1-6] It is widely rumouredthroughout the industry that certain politicians, ex-politicians,their wives and families, media personalities and "high societypeople" including overseas investors are silent partners in multi-cabownership and thereby exert a hidden influence over the industry. Thecurrent proposal to introduce 500 new taxi plates onto the market,supplied free of charge to the Taxi Co-ops/Companies is in urgentneed of ICAC investigation. [AG1-4]. No consultation has occurredwith bailee drivers or single cab owner-operators although thesepeople are considered as the industry and are the actual serviceproviders.
The Minister for Transport Brian Langton argued in January 1997 [V-11] that "Taxi cab licence values are determined entirely by themarket." This argument is flawed as the press article indicated "theprice of taxi plates is dependent on both market demand and thedegree of state government regulations in place.
Source: Sydney Taxi Corruption