$2 levy on airport taxi trips

A $2 LEVY on taxi trips to Rockhampton Airport will be introduced after the proposal won a narrow majority in the council chamber yesterday.

Several councillors, however, spoke of a perception in the community that the authority was grasping every opportunity to squeeze money out of the public.

The controversial charge was initially backed by the business enterprise committee when only three councillors were available to vote.

Yesterday, only deputy mayor Rose Swadling was missing and opponents had high hopes that they would have the numbers to scrap the idea.

Cr Sandra O'Brien said she had initially opposed the levy because she believed cab owners were doing it tough. But she changed her mind when she realised that the benefits of the proposed scheme had not been sufficiently emphasised.

She said cabbies and taxi users would benefit from the introduction of a taxi marshal and CCTV coverage of the rank outside the terminal.

Cr Stephen Schwarten, who initially said he would vote against the charge, was persuaded by the same argument.

Cr Graeme Brady said we lived in a user-pays society and a taxi marshal would reduce waiting times for people arriving at night.



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