CBD taxi bay removal decision reversed

By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au

A seemingly simple move by Gladstone City Council to re- move one taxi parking bay from Goondoon Street has highlighted tension between the council and the local taxi company.

After the council suggested removing a taxi bay on Roseberry Street outside the Westpac Bank to reposition a bus stop, two taxi delegates attended a council meeting to express their views.

During the Technical Services Committee meeting, councillors expressed concern that the local taxi company was "taking over'' the CBD area.

As a result the council decided to move a taxi bay and replace it with a 10-minute stopping bay for residents.

However, director of Blue and White Taxis, Roger Jones, and chairman Allan Rowe made a deputation to the ouncil the following day during the Environmental Services Committee meeting.

"The history of negotiations hasn't been good on our part, we seem to get screwed every time,'' Mr Jones said during the meeting.

Mr Jones also expressed concern that the taxi company had not been involved in the planning of the CBD revitalisation.

In response, the council decided to reverse the recommendation made during the Technical Services meeting and leave the taxi rank as it was and continue negotiations with the taxi and bus company to resolve the issue.

It also invited Blue and White Taxis to be part of the CBD parking consultation process for future planning purposes.

Gladstone mayor Peter Corones said the council recognised the important of the taxi company in the future of the CBD project.

"Council recognise the taxis as a major stakeholder in the CBD,'' Cr Corones said.

Cr Corones said that taxis were likely to play a major part in the new CBD with moving people in and out of the centre and as such they would be included in any fu- ture traffic consultation.



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