Court rules against Queensland taxis on two grounds of compo claim

In 2019, the average sale price for a standard licence in the city was about $75,000.

In his decision handed down on Friday, Justice Thomas Bradley found against the group of more than 1300 taxi licence holders in their claim for equitable compensation and damages for a breach of contract by the Queensland government.

Leave was granted for the group to re-plead a claim for relief under the Australian Consumer Law within 28 days.

“The plaintiffs’ equitable compensation claim has no real prospect of success,” Justice Bradley said.

The taxi licence holders claimed they had suffered loss and damage because the state did not require ride-share operators to pay for taxi licences or comply with the relevant regulation, while granting them similar rights.

They also claimed the state had represented to them that they would only have to compete with others who held the licences, which they considered to be a “permanent asset”.


Justice Bradley said there was “no apparent path” the group could take to claim damages for a breach of contract.

The licences also “did not give them any right” to operate a taxi service without operator accreditation, Justice Bradley said.

In a statement, Mr Katter lashed out at the state judicial system.

“It’s just another classic example where the people that are supposed to be looking after us are not on our side,” he said.

“I have no idea how many [taxi drivers] are homeless, suffering deep depression or how many suicides there have been – but this is the ugly reality of this decision.”

“So, while these guys are copping it today, I warn you guys will get your turn.”

The office of Transport Minister Mark Bailey declined to comment as the case was still before the courts.

The Taxi Council of Queensland had previously said the fall in licence value had a “terrible impact” on owners.

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