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Posted by: In: Blog 16 Jun 2015 0 comments

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April 2014

As reported in The Age newspaper on April 9, Melbourne Airport has been ranked equal-worst for service delivery out of Australia’s major airports, despite increasing passenger numbers and surging revenue over the past decade.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission pointed to a trend of “increasing financial margins and lagging quality of service” at the nations four biggest airports – Melbourne (Tullamarine), Brisbane, Perth and Sydney (Kingsford Smith). The report said Melbourne Airport, which has experienced the sharpest rise in passenger numbers last year to more than 31.2 million, “Moved to a lessening of quality and an increase in prices”.

A number of services at Tullamarine were rated “poor”, including aerobridge standards and check-in services at the T3 domestic terminal. Passenger ratings for land side services — access to and from the airport, pick-up and drop-off facilities — have also continued on a downwards trend in recent years. Ratings for the time it takes passengers to enter the airport improved slightly.

December 11 2014

VHCA President Tony Sheridan wrote to Mathew Carney, Melbourne Airport Ground Transport Manager, requesting the VHCA participate on the Stakeholders Airport Forum. Tony did so after several attendees contacted him because they felt there was a lack of genuine engagement. Mr Carney responded declining the offer from the VHCA because he felt there was good progress being made, and Melbourne Airport was satisfied with the results. We will ask Mr Carney to reconsider Melbourne Airports position.

December 9 2014

There has been some misinformation being spread which has caused some confusion. The matter between a number of hire car drivers in dispute with Melbourne airport is ongoing. It is not true, that it has gone to court and those operators have lost their case. The matters relating to Tony Sheridan’s complaints against Melbourne airport will be presented on their own.

All other matters we will put to one side and we will get back to those at a later stage. The team has been very fortunate to have had the services of Mr Stephen Howells, Barrister. Mr Howells has chambers here in Melbourne and in London. He has been a great supporter of the hire car industry, and because of his extensive travel he has seen firsthand the difficulties that hire car operators have had at Melbourne Airport. He has been very generous with his time and has been working for the last 12 months pro bono. We are extremely grateful for his time and experience. As we move forward, funding for the case re Sheridan will be funded privately, not by the VHCA.

Much of the delays to bring these matters forward has been caused by the difficulty of gaining Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from the TSC. Three requests have been made, and as at the time of writing we still have not received a satisfactory response. First request was February 2014. FOI requests were also made with Federal Police who have responded to in a timely manner. A complaint to the Victoria FOI Commissioner for these delays will be lodged.

October 18 2014

We know there is some angst over a number of issues that have occurred at Melbourne Airport. What we can say is, the matters that concern you are ongoing, however, we ask you to be patient, as we attempt to work with the airport in a much more cohesive relationship in the future.

Currently Melbourne airport is selective who they will talk to. Unfortunately, on the surface this diminishes the credibility of their claim of engaging with their broader stakeholders including hire car industry. The VHCA is the only body that represents the interests of all owners and drivers.

Posted by: In: Blog 16 Jun 2015 0 comments

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April 2015

The Victorian Taxi Association (VTA) and the Victorian Hire Car Association (VHCA) are happy to announce a formal working cooperation.

The taxi and hire car industries have proudly provided complementary services to Victorian passengers for many decades, and both industries boast extensive experience of participants in the operation of both successful hire car and taxi businesses.

Following the recent reinvigoration of the Victorian Hire Car Association, including the appointment of a new President and Board and the formation of valuable sponsorship deals with Holden and Interlease, the VTA and VHCA look forward to being able to keep the spirit of collaboration alive in the face of emerging threats to both industries.

As illegal service providers threaten the very definition of taxis and hire cars, both organisations eagerly anticipate the opportunity to engage in the Transport Minister Jacinta Allan’s new Ministerial Forum set to meet for the first time on Monday 27 April.

“We look forward to the forum as an opportunity to discuss the very pressing issues facing the hire car and taxi industries with the new Minister and hope the forum will result in the formation of a clear position from the Government on the future of illegal ride sharing services” said VHCA President Tony Sheridan.

The VHCA and VTA maintain that regulation of commercial passenger vehicles is vital not only for the safety of the travelling public, but to guard against the serious degradation of service quality we have seen play out in other deregulated taxi markets.

“It comes down to safety, accessibility and equality – this is what the taxi and hire car industries provide to our customers” explained VTA CEO David Samuel.

“A new app should not legitimise a product that risks consumer safety from a company that proudly breaks local laws throughout Australia. If the law is to be changed it should be done to accommodate the needs of the community, not the flawed business models of large multinational companies.”

February 2015

The VHCA Board are proud to have General Motors Holden on board as our founding Partner. We ask that members support their product if considering a vehicle upgrade.

February 2015
It is the policy of the VHCA not to support the illegal operation of Uberx. Our members believe it is inappropriate for the Taxi Services Commission (TSC) to negotiate with a foreign company that is deliberately and consistently breaking the law. As operators who not only meet all our own statuary obligations but importantly, meets the communities expectations of a quality hire car service, our industry has an absolute right to be protected by law from illegal operators.

We should also remember that a Taxi and Hire car service is an essential service to the Victorian community. Uberx is an American multi-national company that is going round the world ignoring the statuary obligations in each of those jurisdictions. Uberx makes no investment in the quality or training of drivers, they encourage drivers to break the law and operate without a hire car licence, they make no investments or contribute to the cost of vehicles, they make no investments in the licences to operate hire cars.

The TSC has caused some confusion when promoting the competition benefit aspect of Uberx which has led the public to confuse the illegal operation of Uberx. We call on the State Government and TSC to protect the community and our industry from illegitimate transport options.

October 2014
Over the last few years there has been many changes happening in our industry, some good, some bad. What we do know is that after consultation with many colleagues we found there was a need for the hire car industry to have a voice. A group of likeminded colleagues have now reformed the VHCA. The association has been dormant for more than ten years, but now you have a peak body that will work for you. We are pleased to announce we are back in business.

Posted by: In: Blog 26 May 2015 0 comments

Blog1aWhen somebody mentions or hears the word ‘Chauffeur’ the majority of people may have images popping up in their heads of well known Celebrities and exclusive multi millionaire moguls driving around town discreetly, or being swiftly ushered from adorning fans into the back seat of a shimmering, window tinted, Black sedans, similar to a James Bond movie scene vigorously speeding away from the bad guys.

However, the Chauffeur hire industry is becoming less about glitz and glamour and more to do about service and cost effectiveness. It has become an increasingly popular profession to be apart of as evidenced by the increase in the number of Chauffeur hire services available today. Read more…