There was passenger chaos and angry confrontations at Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport today.
Hundreds of cabbies set up a blockade, protesting the axing of short term fare queues.
Drivers confronted airport security and police, and hurled abuse at their collegues.
Laura Churchill reports.
At around 1030 this morning three cabs blocked Melbourne Airport’s main taxi rank as part of protest against changes to the airport’s short fare queue.
A group of cab drivers then headed for the main terminal to continue their protest but were stopped 200 metres away by security staff.
Previous taxi rank rules at the airport, meant drivers who picked up a local fare were able to join a shorter queue on their return to the airport.
VOX 1: “I’m a true blue Aussie and this is third world and you’re destroying the industry it’s destroying everything.”
Vox 2: “It’s very hard they can’t make the money they can’t make the money they work in peanuts for peanuts the money.”
The cabbies took their anger out on fellow drivers, who tried to get through the blockade to pick up fares. Police and security staff had to restrain them.
Drivers hope this morning’s demonstration might raise awareness of the difficulties cab drivers face in Victoria.
But for arriving passengers, all that lay ahead of them was a very long wait.
Laura Churchill, QUT News.