Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — I rise briefly to speak on the amendments that have come from the other place in regard to the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Bill 2017. We will be supporting these amendments because we believe that the reduction to a $1 levy is much fairer. We thought the initial estimates from the government in terms of revenue that would be raised from this levy were very conservative and we believe that the $1 levy will still meet the government's needs in terms of the compensation they will be paying.
We also had concerns about the effect the levy would have on taxi fares. The government seemed to indicate that they did not think the levy would be passed on or have an impact on passengers. Taxi operators and rideshare operators seemed to have a different view and we were certainly concerned that the cost impact of the levy would be passed onto passengers. Our concern was particularly around those who rely on taxis day-to-day. People who live in rural and regional areas, the elderly, people with a disability — all of the people who rely on taxis to get around on a day-to-day basis — would be negatively impacted by the prices they now need to pay for their fares, so we support the reduction to a $1 levy. As outlined by the minister in the letter that she read into Hansard, we are really pleased to see that we got confirmation from the government that the levy will be reduced in certain regional and rural areas through a rebate scheme, which we were very keen to see. In terms of what the previous member indicated, it is a really simple equation. We will be looking to that second bit of legislation being implemented. I do not think it is really a case of being hoodwinked; I think it is a pretty clear process from what we have gone through and there is obviously further legislation to come.
In regard to the amendment put forward by the opposition that essentially seeks to abolish the levy, we felt that $2 was too high but when it got to $1 we thought that was a reasonable compromise so we will not be supporting that amendment but we will be supporting the amendments that have come through from the other place.