As you know, this year I accepted the role as Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Taxi Association as previous VTA CEO of many years, David Samuel moved on to new challenges.
Recent Government announcements have not favoured our industry this year. It has been an extremely challenging period, and worsened by uncertainty and confusion.
The VTA believes, and I believe, that this pain can only be mitigated by implementation of fair and sensible reform in a single piece of legislation which makes just provision for those that have invested in our industry in good faith whilst also offering certainty and equality for everyone involved in delivering taxi services.
Let me leave you with no doubt as to our dedication to vigorously representing the interests of all taxi industry participants. We will continue liaising with Government, stakeholders and industry. It’s only with solidarity, persistence and coordination that we can hope to compel change.
On a lighter note, I’d like to express my congratulations to Stephen Armstrong for taking on the role as VTA President in November this year. His multi-generational family history and his work on the Executive Council in the role as Vice President during recent years of great change equip him well for the role. I’m confident his forward thinking attitude and commitment to the industry will be extremely valuable in the coming year.
By the same token, I want to thank outgoing VTA President Kevin Gange for his service over the last 10 years. Kevin has presided over the organisation at some of the most challenging and confronting times we have seen as an industry and has done an extraordinary job in keeping the VTA and the industry together through such a turbulent period. For that, we are grateful.
I also have to thank the hardworking staff of the VTA for their hard work, support and commitment over the past 12 months. We were sad to farewell Georgia Halliday and Alana Condon but have been very pleased to since welcome Sarah Chand to the team. No doubt 2017 will be another year full of challenges and change for the industry which VTA staff will work hard to help our members and the industry navigate.
I strongly believe that if we work together and maintain a focus on the future, together we can find a path through the difficult months ahead.
To everyone in the taxi industry – drivers, operators, networks, industry suppliers and friends and family – I wish you a safe and Merry Christmas and offer our warmest wishes for the New Year. I look forward to seeing you all in 2017.
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