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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 1183 asked in the Legislative Council on 17 October 2019 by Hon Robin Scott

Minister responding: Hon R. Saffioti
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 17 October 2019


1183. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the minister representing the Minister for Transport:

The minister is aware of a situation in Kalgoorlie–Boulder in which wheelchair users relying on taxi services could be left stranded, with the city's last three multipurpose operators threatening to walk out for good.

(1) Does the minister concede that legislative changes ushered in by the state government on 1 July 2019 led to this unfortunate situation?

(2) Is the minister investigating a spokesperson in her department who used bullying and intimidating behaviour against one of the drivers of the multipurpose taxis in Kalgoorlie?

(3) Will the minister commit to a moratorium for a period of three months, and give the MPT drivers a grace period from the penalties of the new legislation while the issue is resolved?

(4) If no to (3), what is the minister's plan to fix this problem?


I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. The following answer has been provided by the Minister for Transport.

(1)–(4) There has always been a requirement, pre and post–on-demand transport reforms, for wheelchair accessible vehicles to comply with certain Australian standards and relevant sections of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport. Drivers have always been required to operate their vehicles competently to ensure safe loading, restraint and unloading of passengers. The new on-demand transport legislation has not changed this. Kalgoorlie operators have been offered an introductory audit meeting to further assist them with understanding their responsibilities as a booking service and the Department of Transport has been working closely with operators and their drivers in Kalgoorlie to ensure a continuation of the service to vulnerable passengers who rely on wheelchair transport services. Any application of legislated penalties will be considered only in the case of wilful and repeated ignorance of cautions. DoT has assured operators that their compliance regime focuses on education, engagement and investigation before any penalties.