The taxi industry is not to be trifled with, they made that clear in New York when Uber began expanding its market and intruding on the taxi industry's market share. Now, a similar story is playing out in Australia after WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti proposed reforms of the taxi and ride-sharing industry and called for revisions to the current legislature.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">BREAKING: WA Government has confirmed a second MP sent a “death threat” letter to their home. This time Transport Minister Rita Saffioti. Her 8-year-old daughter opened it. Armadale MP Tony Buti who is helping Minister with her taxi reforms also got the threat letter <a href="https://twitter.com/abcperth?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@abcperth</a></p>— Jessica Strutt (@JessicaStrutt) <a href="https://twitter.com/JessicaStrutt/status/1032108148272771073?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 22, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Saffioti claims she was sent a letter to her home in Perth that was opened by her eight-year-old daughter, just one day after Labor MP Tony Buti was got a similar letter. The letter that arrived at Saffioti's address included death notice clippings of her recently deceased father, an unsettling piece of correspondence to say the least.
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Premier Mark McGowan publicly confirmed in a statement that both the letter received by Buti and the letter received by Saffioti was related to the Government's proposed taxi reforms and included demands for a different proposal. Besides the clipping of her father's death, the letter Saffioti received threatened the lives of her family including her three young children.
Similarly to Saffioti's letter, the one sent to Buti, the member for Armadale, said "strange things will happen to your family" unless he "fixed the taxi industry". Buti has been aiding Saffioti with the State Government's taxi and ride-sharing reforms as new laws are introduced to the WA Parliament.
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McGowan said, "This is one of the most disgraceful and appalling things I've seen in my political life, that someone would threaten another person's children. If people think that in some way it will get them the outcome they want, they are completely wrong. That's not the way that we work in Western Australia, that's not the way government works in Australia."
The Premier also stated that "very serious consequences" are awaiting the letters' sender when they are caught. Police have also bolstered security for the government officials in the wake of the threatening letters. McGowan also said Saffioti was handling the situation pretty well all things considered and said Transport Minister has "a strong personality".
Part of the new proposed reforms of the taxi industry would require plate owners to receive a maximum of about $250,000 under a buy-back program that could see a 10% levy imposed on all fares in order to pay for the new reforms.
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