Blue and White Taxi chairman Allan Rowe.
Blue and White Taxi chairman Allan Rowe.

Foreign drivers on the job to fix taxi issue in Gladstone

RECRUITING foreign drivers from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast has solved Gladstone's taxi shortage according to an industry spokesman.

Blue and White Taxi Chairman Allan Rowe said the company had been struggling for drivers this time last year, but being able to recruit "international drivers" from metropolitan areas has been a "godsend", with most of the company's taxis now on the road.

"Gladstone is currently one of the one places with work for taxi drivers," he said.

"There is no work in the Gold Coast, Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, even Rockhampton and Mackay."

In the past year, Blue and White taxis have had a staff turnover rate of about 75%.

"We have really struggled to find people who want to drive a cab," Mr Rowe said. "It's only been in the last two months we have been able to get on top of things."

There are now about 30 taxis servicing the Gladstone region compared with 26 this time last year.

Mr Rowe said a few of those included maxi taxis, which he said made a big difference to night life-related jobs.

"We wouldn't be able to run a company without these international drivers," he said.

"And they are starting to fit into the picture really well. They are starting to settle into country life. What I've noticed is locals are starting to accept them."

Gladstone taxi drivers reported a relatively quiet Easter long weekend. Mr Rowe put it down to many people leaving town and fewer visiting.

"Our busy periods came in patches - a main period where people were catching flights out, but overall, this year was quieter than usual."

Have you noticed an improvement in Gladstone's taxi service?

This poll ended on 02 May 2013.

Current Results

Yes

16%

No

66%

I've never had a problem with the taxis

16%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.