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Taxi Regulation By-Law FAQ

Taxi Regulation By-Law FAQ

By-Laws are a subordinate law made by Councils under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1999.

By-Laws enable Council to regulate activities within the Council area that are not specifically addressed by other legislative and regulatory provisions.

The By-Laws provide Council with the opportunity to prohibit certain activities, and to permit and impose conditions on other activities.

The main reason for By-Laws is to allow Councils to enact and administer local laws that meet reasonable community expectations.

The City of Mount Gambier currently has six By-Laws:

By-Law No.1 – Permits & Penalties
By-Law No.2 – Local Government Land
By-Law No.3 – Roads
By-Law No.4 – Moveable Signs
By-Law No.5 – Dogs
By-Law No.6 – Taxi Regulation

The legislative provisions relating to By-Laws provide that a By-Law will expire on 1 January 2019 following the seventh anniversary of commencement.

Council’s current By-Laws will expire on 1 January 2019 having been last reviewed in 2010/2011.

The legislative provisions relating to By-Laws provide that all By-Laws will expire on 1 January 2019 following the seventh anniversary of commencement.

The current Taxi By-Law was made in 2011 and will expire on 1 January 2019.

This is not a matter that Council can decide, the legislative provisions specify the expiry of a By-Law.

No, Council cannot decide whether (or not) a By-Law will expire/lapse, this is specified in legislation.

Council has considered a report on By-Laws that notes the expiry of the Taxi By-Law and the changes in legislative provisions since it was made. The report recommendation being to liaise with licensed taxi operators with regard to their transition to the state based regime.

No, Council can only make By-Laws in accordance with the Local Government Act 1999.

The Passenger Transport Act 1994 does not confer any power on Council to make such licensing arrangements or By-Laws for taxis. Council’s By-Law and other such powers are as set out in the Local Government Act 1999.

Yes, this is true.

When the current Taxi By-Law expires on 1 January 2019 Council will no longer have any power to make a new Taxi By-Law or to regulate Taxis. Oversight of taxis operating in the City of Mount Gambier will become the responsibility of the State Government as it is in all other areas of the state.

The legislation (Local Government Act 1934) that permitted Council to make the current Taxi By-Law was revoked in its entirety on 31 March 2016.

Council has no other powers to make By-Laws or regulate taxis operating within its area.

Council’s current Taxi By-Law was made in 2011 and relied on powers contained in both the Local Government Act 1999 and Local Government Act 1934.

At that time the Taxi By-Law was validly made and remains valid until its expiry on 1 January 2019. The State Government has since repealed the Local Government Act 1934 in its entirety and in doing so removed Council’s only power to make By-Laws relating to taxis.

Yes, the City of Mount Gambier is the only Council that regulates taxis under By-Laws and taxis operate across the rest of South Australia including in regional areas.

Council has supported the local taxi industry for decades by making Taxi By-Laws and limiting the number of Taxi Licences that are issued. Council has also imposed certain expectations on taxi operators including 24/7 365 day a year operations and setting of taxi fees.

Council has previously maintained Taxi By-Laws despite certain legal and political impediments that saw other local government areas abandon Taxi By-Laws.

Council will assist the local taxi industry in the transition from a Council licensed to state regulated regime by acting as a liaison for local operators.

Taxi operators should also prepare themselves for changes within their own industry.

The current situation has arisen through changes by successive State Governments to remove Council regulation of commercial activities such as the taxi industry.

This demonstrates a deliberate public policy intent of the State Parliament that also aligns with National Competition Policy and other legislation, regulation and policy that reduces restriction on business and trade.

Local Government in South Australia operates in accordance with various state legislation that specify the matters within and outside the remit of Local Government.

The repeal of the last remaining legislative provisions empowering Council to make By-Laws to regulate taxis gives a clear message that it is State Parliament's intent that local government have no further role in regulating such commercial activities.

Council resolved at its meeting on Tuesday 20 February 2018 to support the local and wider state Taxi Industry to lobby the State Government for improved statewide regulation and oversight of regional taxi services. Such support might occur as part of the transition up to and beyond 1 January 2019 if sought and supported by the local taxi industry.

No, not as a direct result of the By-Law expiry.

From 1 January 2019 Council will no longer regulate taxi fees or operating hours, undertake annual taxi/meter inspections, or deal with service complaints associated with Taxi operations.

Taxis operating within the City will still be competing for customers like any other service industry, and will make their own business decisions with regard to the service they provide.

The State Government is responsible for ensuring that all passenger transport drivers, vehicles and services operate in accordance with the Passenger Transport Act 1994 and Passenger Transport Regulations 2009.

Accreditation of these services is assessed by the Department of Planning and Transport (DPTI), through the Accreditation and Licensing Centre, which ensures appropriate standards of customer service and stringent safety requirements are in place.

For enquiries about passenger transport services in South Australia, please contact:
Accreditation and Licensing Centre
71 Richmond Road
Mile End SA 5033
Phone: 7109 8117
Email: DPTI.ALCEnquiries@sa.gov.au