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Uber faces legal challenge from Victorian taxi drivers

About 500 concerned taxi owners want increased compensation to offset the legalisation of ride-sharing services. Photo: Getty
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The Victorian government faces a possible lawsuit over its plans to legalise ride sharing and dump taxi licence fees.

The Victorian Taxi and Hire Car Families group is meeting with lawyers this week as they contemplate legal action against the government.

The group, representing more than 500 concerned taxi owners, is also meeting with the government on Thursday.

They want the government to increase the compensation offer included in a proposed transition package worth $450 million that was announced last week.

The government wants to create a single registration system for cabs, hire cars and ride-sharing services.

Taxi licences will be scrapped, with owners to be compensated, but at a fraction of what licences were once valued.

Back in 2010-11, licences were selling for above $500,000.

Under its taxi licence buy-back scheme, the government will pay $100,000 for a single licence and $50,000 for a second licence.

At a meeting on Sunday, the Victorian Taxi and Hire Car Families said they are revisiting their legal options.

“We’re working on legal options — circumstances have certainly changed,” Nina Massara told the meeting.

“This government has been incredibly irresponsible.”

Under the new system, all commercial passenger vehicle operators will be hit with the equivalent of a $2 levy per trip from 2018.

Draft legislation is expected to be introduced into parliament this year, and the new system likely to be fully operational by early 2018.

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