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Qld Taxi Council rejects govt changes

AAP logoAAP 11/10/2016 Darren Cartwright

Taxi Council Queensland has blasted the state government for removing the need for drivers to pass English and geography tests.

Chief executive Benjamin Wash says the government should be looking to raise standards for taxi and ride-sharing services and not lowering them and their latest move is a "race to the bottom".

He said the changes are a poorly thought out response to last month's legalisation of ride-sharing services.

"The taxi industry did not ask for and does not want lowering of standards," Mr Wash said.

"The government has a choice when they want to create a level playing field, they can bring people up to an existing standard or remove them all together and in this case it's a race to the bottom."

He said taxi companies may not agree with the the removal of drivers being proficient in English but they may be powerless to stop it.

Mr Wash said English tests were an additional cost for new drivers and if they did not have to pay for an English test then there was the likelihood they wouldn't.

He said it should apply to both taxis and ride-sharing services

"The English test is something that the government and Taxi Council urged taxi companies to bring in, in early 2000s, and if you remove it then a new driver is going to take the lowest cost option to them," he said.

Mr Walsh said he first knew of the latest changes through the media and the government was wrong to think competition alone, and cutting costs for taxi drivers, would improve the standard of service for passengers.

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