Change ahead for WA

Wide-ranging reform of licensing and fees for WA transport providers on the cards

West Australia’s transport minister wants to have one single regulation for buses, taxis and Uber and seeks feedback from bus operators about the plan.

The scope of the new legislation is broader than expected as it includes bus services and may have big implications in regards to licensing and fees.

WA transport minister Dean Nalder says he hopes the On-demand Transport Discussion Paper for Future Innovation will attract submissions from those in the bus industry.

"Perth taxis, country taxi-cars, small charter vehicles, tour and charter vehicles and regular public transport vehicles are governed by different laws and rules," he says.

"We want to simplify this with a single piece of legislation."

The reform will include a review of current industry fees and charges.

WA bus operators have until October 16 this year to have their say on the plan, which Nalder sees as an important step forward, especially as new players enter the market – to deliver a safe, flexible and innovative environment for transport.

Three reports calling for reform of the transport industry in Western Australia were delivered over the past two years.

"It's long overdue and there has been a lot of debate in recent months," Nalder says.

"I look forward to a level playing field where we have quality services to meet our growing population and provide greater choice."

The paper, drafted with input from industry stakeholders, seeks a more flexible licensing environment.

"We're proposing a simplified licensing model with more flexible licence types that focus on safety standards, rather than operating locations or times," Nalder says.

"We're seeking to deliver an equal playing field that provides a safe and reliable service for passengers and drivers, with increased competition and responsibility for the delivery of a quality service at a fair price.

"West Australians have been asking for greater choice, more competition and better customer services.

"The green paper proposes a future where customers are free to make their own choices on the services they use and provide industry with a greater role in self-regulation."

The reforms aim to transition the industry from a highly-regulated environment to one that has greater self-regulation.

The hope is this will improve services, reduce the cost of regulation and give industry the power to assess and address its own risks.

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