Yesterday, Les Johnson and I had another productive meeting with the Opposition Transport Minister, Mr Steve Minnikin who we have come to build a mutually respectful and cordial relationship with.
The more experienced ones of you in the trade will remember that when the LNP was in power, Minnikin was the Transport Minister, and didnt get to accomplish much in their short stint in power. Then the ALP were elected and we had Trad, then Hinchcliffe, Trad again then Bailey who gives every indication of not being interested or happy in his role. Under Bailey’s administration, we have seen TMR fail to prosecute the major BEAs for compliance breaches, fail to eliminate the problem of illegal hire drivers advertising in Facebook and Gumtree (TMR staff are not allowed access to FB), fail to address in a timely manner the common sense issues the RSDAA has brought to their attention. and fail to come up with a solution for a security camera requirement that the rideshare industry needs to stop unfair deactivation from BEAs. TMR has transitioned to an ineffective, under-resourced and lazy administrator of an industry we all use for our livelihoods, where the compliance activities are centred around pinging drivers for incorrect sized stickers and other ‘low hanging fruit’ that don’t take much effort nor have any chance of a challenge in court (TMR were unaware that Uber closed their hub in Brisbane and had no contacts or follow up details to enquire whether they are abiding by their BEA requirements and have a representative with a Queensland address for correspondence). This is not the industry regulator stakeholder that gives any value for money to this industry.
The RSDAA has always been and takes great pride in being apolitical, with no political persuasions or leanings at all, however thirty minutes with Steve Minnikin indicates to us that he is shaping up to be the Transport Minister that we all need. He has the runs on the board with previous stints in the job, knows the bureaucrats and department heads we refer to and has great plans in store to reverse the department and give it the shake-up it needs. He has indicated verbally and with past meetings of passenger transport representatives that he wants to work closely on maintaining a select group of reps to keep a regular brief to him about the state of play across our industry and to critique the Department – all without the involvement of bureaucrats or managers that would water it down before it gets to him. To us, this shows a rare indication of dedication and application for the job and a go get them attitude we all need to see. A quick check of Minnikin’s background shows a career in property development and asset portfolio administration which means he is used to the cut and thrust of business as opposed to the art teacher who decided to run for election backed by the Electrical Trades Union, and wanted a different portfolio but shows his distaste for the Transport one by letting the culture degrade to toxic. The contrast between the two men couldn’t be more prolific.This is not the industry regulator stakeholder that gives any value for money to this industry.
An election will be called by October the 30th when the four-year mandated term is up. We have no doubt that to re-elect a useless and hopeless Bailey to the Transport Minister portfolio would be nothing short of a disaster and a definite sign that our industry would not grow in the way it should.