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Vic taxi owners contemplate legal action

AAP logoAAP 27/08/2016 Helen Velissaris

More than 500 concerned Victorian taxi owners and drivers are contemplating legal action as the government moves to legalise ride sharing and dump taxi licence fees.

The Victorian government on Tuesday announced taxi licences will be scrapped and owners compensated at a fraction of what licences were once valued.

The government expects to buy back licences and will provide for a maximum of two licences with $100,000 for the first licence and $50,000 for the second.

Back in 2010-11, licences were selling for above $500,000.

The Victorian Taxi and Hire Car Families group on Sunday told owners and drivers they will meet with lawyers next week as they contemplate beginning legal action against the government.

Rob Barton, of Hire Cars, spoke to the restless crowd, saying the industry has collectively been "sucker punched".

"I felt we had a sympathetic ear with the minister, that's what I thought, but clearly there was a dispute within cabinet, and this is why it's taken so long, and I think the minister got rolled, she has just folded," he said.

He said the government had an obligation to compensate a privately owned asset if they want to acquire it, but not necessarily at market value, only at a 'fair value'.

Daniel White, an advisor to Federal MP Anthony Byrne, gave a sympathetic ear.

"We've heard many stories of not only stress but also of people potentially wanting to take their own lives which has been extremely hurtful,"

He promised to continue discussions with the Victorian government to communicate the pressures of taxi owners.

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