Taxi service under fire for Australian driver requirement

I use Taxis a fair bit and most drivers I encounter are Indians with very limited English. It can be very frustrating when you are trying to give directions and keep them on the right path. So having drivers who spreak good English would be a relief

But we should nonetheless be thankful to the Indians. It is a dangerous job and not many "old" Australians are willing to risk it. I was myself a taxi-driver many years ago and, although I was wary enough to avoid getting hurt, there were some hairy incidents. Something like half of one's customers are drunk

A taxi company is under fire after revealing it only hires Australian drivers whose first language is English.

Eureka Taxis launched its service in Ballan, about 78km northwest of Melbourne, on Monday, announcing the news to locals by posting in a community Facebook group. In the post, Eureka Taxis’ Matthew Matters said people in Ballan would be able to book a taxi and “be picked up by an Australian driver”. “All drivers are: Australian drivers, fully insured (and) have current working with children checks,” he wrote.

The majority of commenters seemed excited about having a new taxi service but not everyone was impressed with the prerequisite for drivers. “Up your arse I’m a wog,” one person wrote.

Co-owner Vivian Wilson responded to the man, pointing out she is from a European background and has no problem with the requirement for drivers to have English as a first language. “I have no issues when businesses ask for drivers to have English being your first language. I personally don’t take offence to it,” she said.

On another post Mr Matters made about Eureka Taxis, a few other locals questioned what the “Australian drivers” requirement meant. “Australian drivers means that English is their first language and they hold an Australian driving licence (not an international licence),” Mr Matters responded.

Ms Wilson clarified to The Ballarat News that English as a first language was a strict requirement for drivers but they could come from any background.

She said there are a lot of “multicultural drivers” where the company is based in Ballarat and Eureka Taxi’s requirement for their drivers to hold an Australian licence was based on customer demand.

“You’ve got drivers that will sit there and talk their own language while they have customers in the car which is quite rude,” she told the publication.

“The attention to the customer isn’t 100 per cent, so we are fulfilling that gap.”

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