June 11th 2018
This letter is addressed to you and to you only. We do not expect it to be forwarded to the appropriate minister but we expect you to act with your conscience.
During the 2017 state election, the Micro Business Party (MBP) ran 61 candidates. In each and every seat the preferences were allocated to the Labor party (including yours) ahead of the LNP, based on the promise of FAIR AND EQUITABLE buy-back of the taxi plates.
The buy-back of the taxi plates has been of a great concern to the MBP since there are other highly regulated small businesses in this state; such as bottle shops, Lotto agencies and pharmacies, just to name a few, which could find themselves in a similar situation; where multinationals with great financial influence unlawfully take over their industry and politicians are too afraid to do anything to stop them. Your role as a representative of a Government is to either protect those regulated businesses or if you decide to surrender (as you have with the taxi industry) provide compensation to them in FULL.
It is worth to mention that many developed countries clearly put the interest of their country first (just to name a few: France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, England and most recently Greece), and decided to regulate this so called ride-sharing ponzi scheme; consequently Uber immediately WITHDRAWN its services there. It is time to follow their lead and show that your Party really stands for small business in Western Australia.
We were very concerned when the Transport Minister, Hon. Rita Saffioti appointed a duo, an office worker who used to work at her office in Malaga, and a backbencher from Armadale, people with no previous knowledge or experience of the Taxi Industry, to conduct a review of the 300 HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS taxi industry in WA. Our worries were proven right when we saw the final report which was totally flawed. The livelihood of hundreds of people and their families can be shattered with a stroke of a pen unless a way back to the original promise is found. This inadequate buy-back proposal has to be carefully re-examined; the only way to create a truly level playing field is to buy the privately owned taxi plates for their value before the unlawful entry of Uber was allowed.
Let me be clear, this issue is not going to go away anytime soon, as it is clearly demonstrated by the legal action, taken by Irish taxi plate owners, which commenced 15 years after their deregulation in 2000. In Western Australia many of your constituents stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars as a result of your actions. Remember taxi plate owners are Mums and Dads that live in your community with families who live, work and go to schools in your area, who will grow up knowing that you and the state stole a considerable amount of their future. This could change irrevocably the fabric of your community, community which always believed in a fair go. The MBP is not willing to let those families down and will continue the fight until an equitable solution is found.
Recently, the Micro Business Party ran a candidate in Cottesloe by-election. In this strongest of Liberal seats in WA we attracted 3.3% of primary votes (a huge rise from 0.8 % only a year ago). Based only on this result we are much more confident going forward. We also believe that marginal seat MPs will need to depend on minor parties preferences to retain (or win) the seats at the next state election. The MBP executive decided that at the next election our preferences will be given to the MPs with proven record of support to the small business which we endeavour to represent. Yes, your seat does fit within our margin. Yes, this is your moment to trigger strong action in order to help small business.
Robert Ellis MBP, Secretary