IF you find it hard to hail a cab at night over the festive season, you can thank the federal immigration department.
It turns out that a crackdown on international students working illegally has had a significant impact on the number of people available to drive taxis late at night.
Veteran cabbie Stephen Satchell says over the past three months the feds have targeted international students exceeding their allowed 40 hours of paid work per fortnight.
Swan Taxis and other companies have been slapped and ordered to ensure their drivers follow the rules.
“Drivers are panicking because they’ve been told by the taxi companies to bring their visas in to be checked,” he says. “Some of these drivers are working 20 hours over two days, never mind a week.
“All of a sudden, over the past three months, there’s load of vacancies for nightshift drivers.
“I’ve also heard of the immigration department turning back drivers when they come off the plane at Perth airport with their brides, telling them they’ve broken the conditions of their visa.”
Immigration minister Scott Morrison told the Voice the department didn’t target specific industries.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK