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ISSUE #16 FEB. 2014 The exciting new

Canberra Elite Mobile Booker PG.04

mercure hotel PG.17

it’s hot hot hot! PG.05

vale john fitzpatrick PG.14

double blow to act economy PG.08

Promote the new Canberra Elite Mobile Booker to your customers.

All they need to do is visit on their mobile and save the booker to their home screen. Booking a Canberra Elite cab has never been easier.

Cabbies Breakfast NEW R T R O P IR A ERRA

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ISSUE #16 - FEBRUARY. 2014












CTIA 06 The New Year is here and Canberrans are holding their breath in expectancy of May Federal Budget outcomes. The taxi industry in Canberra has weathered slow to stagnant business conditions during 2012 and again in 2013. Taxi Operators are electing to sit things out with record numbers of both leased and perpetual plates retuned to Government. Taxis mirror the retail cycle but we don’t have the stimulus that Christmas adds for retail. Aerial have been working on dispatch changes to improve both customer and taxi business outcomes. A lot of work has been done to redesign changes to the dispatch system that will improve customer service outcomes. The primary aim being - how to reduce the average waiting time for customers booking a taxi? A package of changes (9) is proposed, for switch on in early March. The nine (9) changes have been assessed using market testing in both Melbourne and Sydney taxi markets and with advice from MTData. Aerial’s management is consulting with the Taxi Operators who own the cars that make up Aerial’s fleet. Much has been talked about the recent GPS dispatch test conducted in December 2013. GPS Dispatch is only one of the nine changes under consideration. GPS Dispatch will only be used during the parliamentary period (usually 50 to 80 days per year) and it will only apply to a limited number of areas used in the dispatch system. GPS Dispatch is an important part of the proposed changes but still only 1 of 9 proposed changes. Consultation with our taxi operators is underway and an implementation/training document will be circulated to the fleet during February. With CTIA starting work on the 2013 Fare Review submission, a lot of discussion is taking place on LPG pricing. There appears to be large variations in pricing, at the pump and from the two contracted suppliers offering cards to Aerial’s fleet. Taxi Operators should put in the time to understand which sites and which purchase method (cash, account, cards) their drivers use. Large price variances are common. One example crossing my desk during January highlighted a 10c/lt variance costing the operator nearly $300/MTh. Aerial has made many attempts to change this in consultation with two fuel companies, but without success but we are still trying.













For any enquiries regarding the CabBerra magazine, please give us a call on 02 6126 1696 or email us at MARKETING@ AERIALCAPITALGROUP.COM.AU






Happy New Year to all operators and drivers from the Fleet Department.. I hope that you managed to spend some time with your families during the festive season. 2014 shapes up to be an interesting challenge for the Canberra taxi industry. To think positively, with a stable government in place and no elections we should hopefully see stronger business from the government departments this year. On the negative side of the argument the Canberra Centenary celebrations are behind us and with it a lot of the taxi trade that accompanied those events. It’s a year where it is more important than ever to show the customers how important they are to the ongoing viability of our industry. Making the extra effort to put a bag in the boot or open a door for a customer is what this year needs to be all about. Why? We can’t afford to lose any more customers, we need to expand the customer base instead of watching customers walk away from Taxis disappointed at the level of service they were offered. I want to discuss some of the issues that have kept the Fleet department very busy in the past month. The First issue is to do with lost property and a drivers responsibilities. All drivers are reminded that if they find lost property in their taxi they must drop it off at the base within 24 hours. On three occasions in the past month the fleet department has had to fine drivers for finding lost property


and not returning to the base. What made these situations worse was that the drivers in question all lied to ACG management when asked if they were holding the phones. On further investigation which included heavy interviewing from the Fleet Department all drivers admitted to having the phones and admitted an intention to keep the phones to give to family and friends. This behaviour is not acceptable! If you find a customer’s property in your Taxi you MUST return it the base within 24 hours unless instructed to do differently by the Call Centre. In one of the situations above a driver narrowly avoided a criminal conviction for property theft. All Drivers found to not have returned lost property will be reported to the ACT Government, face heavy fines, and removal from the Aerial network. Another issue that has come up in the past month is the amount of Meter Flashes that have occurred on fixed price jobs. A meter flash for those who don’t know is when a driver turns the meter on and then straight back off again to clear a job. If drivers could please remember this practice is illegal. In the case of a fixed price job which is the only time a driver is legally allowed to not start the meter you need to process the job properly on the MT Data. So when you get offered a fixed price job the red button will say pick up. So once you have made contact on the job press the red button. Now the red button will say drop off, so when you get to the drop off press the red button again. Drivers who fail to follow this process face penalties from the Fleet Department.

Final issue relates to drivers breaking Aerial Capital Group By-Laws so they can gain advantage over other drivers. The Fleet Department has been sending out infringements to all drivers found to be breaching the Aerial By-Laws. One driver found to have misused the no job function on the MT Data system on numerous occasions has been removed from the network forever. The Fleet Department is here to protect the good and honest drivers from those drivers willing to break the rules at any cost. Due to the continuing rise in the number of complaints from the public but also complaints within the industry the Fleet Department will be taking a zero tolerance approach to driver behaviour in 2014. The Fleet department would like to wish everyone good luck for 2014. Hopefully we will see our great industry returned to some of its former glory. See you on the ranks!




Radio Room Commitment to Your Clients The start of the year is a time that tests men’s souls with long hot days and lengthy waits between each fare. We in the radio room are doing what we can to help you with your daily flow of work but what we cannot do is see, much less manage your private bookings. There have been several calls received lately from distressed, often elderly clients who have entrusted a driver with a private

arrangement off the system, only to have that driver forget about collecting them. The onus is then on the radio room to transfer them ASAP, while this mess is reflected directly on to the Aerial brand name.

medical appointment or get to a flight. It is absolutely essential, therefore, that if you make this commitment to a client you honour it as if it was a formal booking in our system.

We understand the attraction of establishing a foundation of regular work to rely on. However, the people most likely to engage with you are those that need a cab regularly to do some shopping, attend a

Please feel free to query base if you would like to discuss this and best wishes to all those on the road.


DVA’S CLIENTS The Australian taxi industry and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) work closely together everyday to provide timely and high quality transport services for veterans and war widows (and widowers) when they need to travel for medical treatment. This service is known as the Booked Car Scheme and more than one million journeys are undertaken throughout Australia each year under this scheme. Traditionally, the journey to treatment and the journey home from treatment were planned as two separate trips and often completed by different taxi networks and often confusing for the more elderly and frail passengers. With the cooperation of Aerial Capital Group, DVA has implemented the concept of “Right of Return” in the ACT. This means that when Silver Service is allocated a job of transporting a DVA client to their medical appointment it also has the authority to bring them home after the appointment for same day treatment. The benefit of Right of Return is that the network can be guaranteed two jobs instead of just one and the use of the same network makes it simpler for the veteran or war widow. Taxi drivers are pivotal to making Right of Return successful for everyone.

When undertaking the inbound journey to the medical appointment the driver should explain to the passenger that Silver Service will also be picking them up after the appointment for the outbound journey home. To ensure the network actually receives the outbound job, the inbound driver should provide the veteran or war widow a Right of Return business card which has been produced solely for DVA passengers using Silver Service cabs. This card provides the priority telephone number the veteran, war widow or medical practice should ring when they are ready to come home. If DVA passengers do not receive a Right of Return card from the driver this may result in the medical practice phoning a competitor contractor or the DVA Transport hotline to arrange the return trip and it is possible that DVA may allocate the job to another

contracted network or hire car company. It is in the interest of drivers to provide a Right of Return card to ensure the job is retained by Silver Service. All taxi drivers who undertake contracted DVA work should provide a higher level of personal assistance. This may include assisting passengers from their front porch, helping passengers in and out of vehicles, setting down passengers as close as possible to the entry of their destination, and assisting them to the medical practice reception if required. The higher level of personal assistance offered by dedicated and professional taxi drivers to DVA passengers represents the importance and acknowledgement by the Australian taxi industry of the service to our country and sacrifices made by Australia’s war veterans and war widows.




training room

route to take if you ask the question the wrong way it can easily contribute to a bad first impression.

Hello all,

Put a bit of thought and effort into what questions you ask your customers about which route to take. One example I heard was “the driver told me I would need to tell him where to go”. This is definitely not good enough and does not make us look good. In this case it would be much better to say “do you mind if I check my map quickly to make sure I am taking you the best way”. Instead of saying “um, I don’t know Fadden could you show me the way”, use what you do know and say something like “I don’t know Fadden very well, but I know it is in Tuggeranong is it best to go down the Monaro Highway?”

Happy New Year to everybody, I hope you had a nice festive season. This issue I would like to bring up the subject of what route to take your customer. I am sure most of you have heard complaints from customers about taxi drivers that didn’t know which way to go, I know it’s something that we hear about sometimes. I understand that you are never going to remember every street in Canberra, if you do you are much smarter than myself, but when you don’t know a place you need to be able to prove to your customer you can certainly find the place and work out the best route to take them. In a previous issue I talked about first impressions, and when you ask your customers where they are going and which

I am always impressed when I catch a taxi if the driver can give me a couple of examples of which way to go and ask if I have a preferred route. A lot of trips in Canberra there is more than one way to go that are much the same, and depending on time of day and traffic flow the best route to take may change.

The exciting new

Canberra Elite Mobile Booker Canberra Elite has a new mobile booker that makes booking taxis even quicker and easier. The mobile booker looks just like a Mobile Ap but can be saved and used on any version of smart phone. Encourage your customers to save the mobile booker to their phone. It’s easy! All they have to do is visit www.canberraelite. on their mobile and the mobile booker is there for them. Customers can book quickly and easily, which is especially useful during peak times. The mobile booker has many other helpful functions. Customers can book a taxi now, or schedule future bookings. They can save their favourite pickup and destinations in order to make bookings in the future that much quicker.


Canberra Elite also have a taxi fare calculator so customers can plan ahead and make sure they have enough money to cover the fare. If they select ETA message with their booking, they’ll know when you’re about to pick them up and be ready and waiting for you. We have some exciting new features, which we are about to launch over the next couple of months as part of this new booking system. One of these features is the ability for passengers to prepay their fares. Prepaid fares mean guaranteed pickups and no chance of a runner. Remember get your customers to save the Canberra Elite Mobile booker to their home screens.

Always confirm with your customer that the route you are going to take is the way they would like to go. Even if you know for a fact that a different route is better, if the customer has a particular way they want to go that is the way we have to take them. Spend some time getting to know where all the suburbs are located, what the main roads are in each suburb and which roads will get you there. I think this is much easier if you use a street directory rather than a GPS, you get a much better picture in your mind of the layout of the streets and where the suburbs are in relation to each other if you are looking at it on a map. If you only use a GPS please make the effort and pick up a street directory, even if it is only to plan how to get to pick up points to begin with. Putting in the time to learn this will make you a much more professional taxi driver in the eyes of your customers and will have a lot of benefits for you and your image. I wish you all a good new year.




It’s Hot Hot Hot!

Take Care this summer! We are going through some of the hottest weather on record here in Canberra. When you find yourself relieved that the temperatures are in the low 30 degrees you know things are extreme. Here are some heat statistics for Canberra: The 2009 record of 3 days of consecutive 40 degree temperatures has just been broken in the recent heat wave we experienced. This consecutive record is significant as previously there has only been 11 days above 40 recorded in Canberra. Seven of those have occurred in the last 5 years. Our hottest day on record was 42.2 and was recorded back in February 1968. (Data courtesy ABC Canberra and BOM; Source Not only is this extreme heat uncomfortable it also poses potential fatal consequences. Heat related illnesses range from heat cramps, heat exhaustion and finally heat stroke. Heat stroke can occur without any obvious symptoms. It is possible to not sweat or feel thirsty, and you may not be aware you have heat stroke until other symptoms such as nausea and dizziness start to occur. We may sometimes think we are superman when it comes to taking care of ourselves but even Superman can melt! Stay safe this summer by keeping your body cool. The body cools itself by sweating and allowing sweat to evaporate. This means there needs to be enough fluid in the body to allow you to sweat, air needs to circulate across the skin, as well as a low enough air humidity so the sweat can evaporate. Being out and active in a hot environment can overwhelm the body’s ability to cool itself, which can cause heat-related symptoms.

DISPLAYED ON THE FRONT LAWN OF THE SINGAPORE ART MUSEUM THIS MELTING SUPERMAN IS TITLED, “NO ONE CAN SAVE US NOW.” CREATED BY MOJOKO AND ERIC FOENANDER AS PART OF THE EXHIBITION: THE SINGAPORE SHOW: FUTURE PROOF. Symptoms include profuse sweating, headaches, lightheadedness, nausea, dizziness, vomiting and muscle cramps. Heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke if the body’s temperature regulation fails. The skin will stop sweating, confusion and lethargy may be experienced and seizures are a risk. The internal body temperate may exceed 41 degrees Celsius. This is a life-threatening condition and emergency medical attention is needed immediately. Bring your core body temperature down before exerting yourself and stay hydrated. Water is essential and should be drunk even if you don’t feel thirsty. Always make sure you have a durable water bottle that you can take everywhere and refill.

Staying cool will also help to keep your mood calm too. By ensuring your taxi’s airconditioning is working at its best, you and your passengers will feel a whole lot calmer. Sunscreen and sunglasses are also important. They may not keep you cool but they provide you with vital protection. Sunburn reduces your ability to release heat from your body, is painful and can lead to skin cancers. Even though you are in the car most of the time, it is still possible to suffer sunburn. Take care everyone. Reference exhaustion/article.htm




Taxi drivers go on strike

Do they really want more taxis released? At the end of arguably the worst year for taxi drivers and operators in the history of Canberra’s taxi industry and in the month when poor incomes resulted in the surrender of about fifteen licences, up to one hundred drivers, urged on by some irresponsible operators, stopped work for two days and disrupted the taxi industry as well as businesses in Kembla St, Fyshwick


The strike, was called ostensibly in protest to a trial by the Aerial Group of different dispatching methods, but the trial was more likely to have been a trigger for a pent up reaction to the poor income received by operators and drivers due to an excessive number of taxis that has been a feature of the Canberra taxi industry for over five years.

hoping the strike would continue because they made much more money than usual.

Unfortunately, striking taxi drivers only hurt themselves and the reputation of the industry. In the past, “stirrers” have urged taxi drivers to strike simply to test their powers to control people. At a meeting with the CTIA several years ago a person who had led a midnight strike of taxi drivers referred to his fellow drivers as a bunch of idiots. I believe he later went on to get a job with a union. It pays to be slow to trust the man with the loudest mouth. Drivers who aired concerns about the temporary changes made to dispatching methods were advised to work through despite what they perceived to be difficulties. Operators were urged to encourage their drivers to keep working. Those who worked through, although somewhat confused at times, did not lose money. Some drivers expected the CTIA to “stick up for them”. They claimed the network did not care about them.

• It seems the main effect of the strike was a loss of income to the striking drivers and the operators associated with them. Except for some temporary minor disruption at the Canberra Airport the strike had virtually no effect on the public.

• Some of the drivers who worked were

• There were very few no-contacts during GPS dispatch periods. The ability to cheat was severely restricted.

• A taxi network is obliged to dispatch work in the most efficient way possible. This is for the good both of the passenger and the taxi driver. Sometimes this means that new methods need to be trialled and evaluated and that co-operation should be expected.

• Taxi operators are the customers of a network and the network must always strive to provide the best equipment and best methods of dispatch for its customers.

• By providing the best equipment and best methods of dispatch the network attracts passengers, and connects them more quickly to drivers in its fleet. A win-win situation for both. This, in turn holds back demands for the release of new taxi licences, a big win for drivers.

• The current dispatch equipment is capable of providing a great deal of information on the efficiency of a dispatch system and is able to provide information on such things as the average pick-up time, the average distance travelled to a pick-up, the average distance of each fare, the number of trips per taxi per day and much more.

• Preliminary results from the trial indicate that at certain times and in certain places GPS dispatch delivered benefits to both passengers and drivers.

SOME MORE FACTS • There is no point in in a network changing dispatching procedures simply for the sake of change.

• GPS dispatch appeared to relieve a good deal of pressure from the call centre staff. There was far less outstanding work at peak times.

• Adapting to the needs of customers has always been part of the Australian taxi industry and has contributed to its survival.

• Changes to dispatch systems and methods have always caused heartache for some drivers who have been upset by change. Most people do not like change. I can remember no one who has left the industry because of changes to equipment or procedures.

• The hint of disruption brought on demands from one prominent person for the release of another hundred licences. Striking taxi drivers will always do that.

• Drivers who patronise GoCatch or any other non-industry affiliated aps weaken the efficiency of the network and of the industry as a whole and lower the defence against the addition of extra licences.

CTIA AND DRIVERS’ STRIKES • The CTIA does not exist to be involved in arguments between taxi drivers and network management. Taxi drivers’ strikes do not work for a couple of reasons:

• They are ineffective because most drivers will not be involved

• They can upset the passenger who will not support a group who causes him/her inconvenience

• The strikers are usually a small proportion of the total number of drivers and are not seen to representing all drivers, so whomever they are trying force to their point of view will not be intimidated.





GAS PRICES As disruptive and annoying for some as the above mentioned strike was, it was nothing compared to the shock experienced by taxi operators, especially those fleet operators who operate on very low margins, when the price of LPG rose by 16% and more during December. At the time of writing the CTIA has not been able to find the exact reason for the rise, although it appears to have eased slightly. Often the high demand for oil products in the Northern Hemisphere’s winter temporally forces up the price of fuel. There has been speculation that the removal from the road of a large proportion of a fleet of unroadworthy LPG tankers and the resultant disruption of deliveries has caused the spike in prices. If the price rise is sustained, the CTIA will look at the possibility of a special fare increase to cover the loss of income for operators. There are provisions for unscheduled fare reviews when a sudden cost increase affects the composite costs index by over 1%.

THE CANBERRA CENTENARY The Canberra centenary year, 2013, has been and gone. Robyn Archer, the driving force of the program, issued Christmas greetings statement that said –“I reflect on the mantra I used at the start of planning four and a half years ago ‘Seed now, blossom in 2013, and flower for another hundred years’. We have achieved the first two—the third is over to you”. The ACT taxi industry should be able to reflect on the Centenary Year with a good deal of satisfaction. The industry cooperated with the centenary organisers in several promotions during the year. Drivers helped promote Canberra and joined in the spirit of the occasion to promote our city. The industry can also be thankful for the extra income that the centenary generated for the city and for the taxi industry. Without the Centenary, many more taxi licences would have undoubtedly been surrendered.

CABBERRA SIXTEEN - 07 One Canberra attraction that became visibly more impressive as the year progressed was the Arboretum. That is one place that is certainly going to flower for another hundred years. Taxi drivers who have not driven around the arboretum and seen the breathtaking views from Dairy Farmers Hill should find the time to do so. It is definitely the place to take visiting relatives and any taxi passenger who would like to fill in some time before a meeting or a flight. It’s a great place for someone wishing to impress.


Another attraction that many may have failed to visit is the National Botanic Gardens. They are simply beautiful. Walk in stressed, walk out impressed and relaxed. They are a fantastic escape from the mad world.

But from a taxi driver or operator’s point of view, it may not be as grim as it might be.

And don’t forget the War Memorial, the National Gallery, the National Library, the National Portrait Gallery, Parliament House (Old and New), the National Museum, the Embassy area etc. Canberra’s taxi industry was recognised as an important part in the Centenary promotions. It is always an important cog in the Canberra machine. The industry will be an important element in the “flowering for another hundred years” provided we continue to give good service and promote our city.

It’s all right to talk about the centenary year and the next 100 years, but what about 2014? The new government is to slash government jobs, the building industry has slowed further, retail sales were down in November and airport arrivals have continued to drop. First up, this scenario looks very grim; and it really is grim.

The reality is that business can hardly be worse than it was in 2013. The CTIA believes that there may be as many as forty licences “on the shelf” at Dickson. This unfortunately includes about two perpetual licences for which operators will hopefully soon be found. The others will remain on the shelf until a new method of reissuing them is determined. This means that for period, there will be fewer taxis competing for work than there were about three years ago and that should help raise the number of trips per taxi per day. We know the number of taxis on the road is sufficient to provide a good service at the present time so that the absence of the forty or so licences will allow those remaining to consolidate. Remember, three extra trips per taxi per day will mean an extra $800-$900 dollars per month for both the operator and the driver. The missing licences will no doubt be reissued some time during the year, and it would probably be better for a release mechanism to be in place sooner rather than later as there can be a fine line between too many and not enough taxis. The CTIA wishes operators and drivers a steadily improving and harmonious 2014.


Regarding the “over to you” part of Robyn’s message: FACEBOOK.COM/AERIALCG



DOUBLE BLOW TO ACT ECONOMY 10/1/1 By Ross Peake and Meredith Clisby Canberra Times 10th Jan 10 Jan 2014 The ACT economy is showing clear signs of distress as the federal government cuts the public service, the latest economic data shows. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports the territory was the only jurisdiction in the nation where retail sales and building approvals fell in November. The ACT has recorded the largest slump in building approvals for the year, which industry says is attributable to post-election uncertainty. Business figures are hoping the slump in retail sales in November will be offset by healthy spending in December’s pre-Christmas shopping spree. However, they fear the confidence of Canberra consumers is being severely battered by the sacking of public servants, with many more jobs, expected to be slashed in the budget. “Both consumer confidence and business confidence are going to be critical as we face the challenges of the next couple of years as the federal government works to get its budget back into surplus,” Canberra Business Council chief executive Chris Faulks said on Thursday. The ACT’s retail turnover dropped 0.2 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms in November. This compares with a national rise of 0.7 per cent in November, up from 0.5 per. cent in October The bureau says in trend terms, the ACT recorded 0.5 per cent growth in retail sales in November, in line with the national average. The ABS says building approvals fell by 9 per cent in the month, which was the fifth consecutive decline and the largest for the year for the ACT.


The most recent increase in building approvals was in June when the territory recorded a rise of 6.2 per cent. Since mid2013 approvals have fallen by about 2 per cent each month in trend terms. Nationally, dwelling approvals rose 2.4 per cent in November, which was the 13th consecutive month of increases. Neil Evans, executive director of the Housing Industry Association ACT-south-eastern NSW region, said the slowdown in building approvals in the second half of 2013 could be attributed to the effect of the federal election. He said consumer confidence was still low due to job cuts and the industry could not expect things to improve quickly. “It’s not dire straits but it’s not good, it won’t be until the end of2014 that we pull ourselves out of the trough that we’re in,” Mr Evans said. The association predicts a 30 per cent reduction in housing starts for the year, largely made up of a decline in unit approvals. Master Builders Association of the ACT executive director John Miller said the data showed there was still post -election uncertainty in the ACT with decisions still to be made on public sector cuts. “Nobody will get any comfort from a 9 per cent decline when the rest of the country is heading in a different direction even though invariably the ACT is often out of step with the rest of the country,” he said. “We don’t need any further decline especially when the news appears to be getting better across the country.” Ms Faulks said the trend figures for November trading in the ACT were positive and were considered to be more reliable than the seasonally adjusted data.

“In terms of turnover, the ACT is up 4 per cent on 12 months ago, which is in the range of the other states,” she said. “Overall I think the November retail figures are probably better than expected. “The real test though will come with the December retail figures and the figures for the January sales. “These are the figures that will indicate whether the ACT is going against the national trend and specifically what impact the ongoing employment uncertainty and the announcement of a fairly negative MYEFO just before Christmas has had on consumers, and the extent to which consumers disregarded those two influences and opened their purses. “There’s no doubt that people in the ACT overall are cashed up and have been paying off debt and mortgages even as interest rates fell. “The real dampener in the ACT though is the employment expectations and the uncertainty around cutbacks in the APS. “The other states and territories are not impacted to the same extent as the ACT when the federal government is looking at making substantial savings to bring its budget back into surplus. “From the Business Council’s point of view, retail spending is important because it gives an indication of levels of consumer confidence.” Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman said the 0.7 per cent national increase was a positive sign for even higher results in December when the majority of Australians started their Christmas shopping.




event of the month Enlighten Culture and creativity illuminate the capital. See Canberra come to life after dark when cultural institutions across the capital open their doors to host an array of exclusive events and surprising experiences between February 28 and March 8. Enlighten’s architectural projections will transform the buildings of the Parliamentary Triangle Bringing vibrant colour, movement and celebration to the cultural institutions at the heart of our city.

Around the Parliamentary triangle The Electric Canvas, with the help of some of Australia’s most exciting contemporary artists will claim the walls of Parliament House, Old Parliament House and the National Library of Australia, creating a gallery of the grandest proportions.

Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre The Electric Canvas interactive Fingerpaint program lets you add a dash of colour to brighten up the walls of Questacon. With colour and outrageous animated wallpapers, Questacon will have a whole new look and feel once you’re finished with it.

National Portrait Gallery When it comes to animation the Academy of Interactive Entertainment have their finger on the pulse. Working with The Electric Canvas they have put their skills to the test, crafting a series of animations that will take over the building’s northern façade.

National Gallery of Australia Spectacular golden treasures and ancient artefacts from the Gold and the Incas: Lost worlds of Peru exhibition will enthral visitors when projected across the western façade of the National Gallery of Australia.

Circle of Light Twelve robotic searchlights arranged in a circular formation create an astounding luminary attraction. Sending pencil thin beams into the night sky the searchlights are visible across the city. Sitting inside the Circle of Light you will be transported by the shifting colour and light of this ethereal creation.From outside the Circle of Light audiences will be able to play with its colour and movement, by manipulating controls to command this dynamic light sculpture.





SICÁN-LAMBAYEQUE CULTURE North coast 750–1375 AD Tumi [Sacrifical knife] Gold, silver, chrysocolla, turquiose, lapis lazuli, spondylus; Museo Oro del Perú, Lima © Photograph Daniel Giannoni

MOCHE CULTURE North coast 100–800 AD Bead in the form of an owl’s head Gold and turquoise; Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipán, Lambayeque © Photograph Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipán

The National Gallery of Australia will host a major international exhibition, Gold and the Incas: Lost Worlds of Peru from 6 December 2013 until 21 April 2014. The exhibition will be on display in Canberra only. Gold and the Incas is the most important survey of Peruvian art ever staged in Australia and will showcase the splendour of the ancient pre-Hispanic cultures of Peru. Audiences will encounter the depth, drama and beauty of the famous Incan empire and its predecessors. More than 200 objects, from scintil- lating gold pieces made to decorate the nobility in life or in death, intricate jewellery, elaborate embroi- dered and woven cloths to breathtakingly sophisticated ceramic sculptures will be on display. The exhibition will be open every day (except Christmas day) from 10am – 5pm. Tickets are on sale through au or 1300 795 012 and at the Gallery. The National Gallery of Australia is an Australian Government Agency. FACEBOOK.COM/AERIALCG





ACO – Dawn Upshaw, Elgar and Grieg


Llewellyn Hall

ActewAGL Royal Canberra Show

21/02/2014 to 23/02/2014

Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC)

Adult Programs: Portrait learning circle


National Portrait Gallery

Agatha Christie’s A Murder Is Announced

22/02/2014 to 28/02/2014

Canberra Theatre

Akmal: Trial and Error

4/02/2014 to 16/02/2013

Courtyard Theatre, Canberra Theatre Centre, Civic Square

Australian Mountain Bike 100 Marathon


Stromlo Forest Park

Ben & Jerry's Openair Cinema Canberra

14/02/2014 to 8/03/2014

Commonwealth Park

Brumbies v Reds


GIO Canberra Stadium

Children and Family Programs: Little faces


National Portrait Gallery

Enlighten: See Canberra in a whole new light

28/02/2014 to 8/03/2014

Various Venues

Flights of fashion: bonnets to beanies


National Portrait Gallery

Flix in the Stix


Australian Botanic Gardens

FourPlay String Quartet


The Street Theatre

GWS Giants vs Sydney Swans


StarTrack Oval

Joel Ozborn – One Night Stand-Up

14/02/2014 to 15/02/2014

Courtyard Theathre, Canberra Theatre Centre

Lantern Festival 2014


Commonwealth Park

Lantern-making Workshop


Cook Community Hub

My Latin Heart

27/02/2014 to 28/02/2014

The Street Theatre

National Multicultural Festival

7/02/2014 to 9/02/2014

Various Venues

National Portrait Gallery Portraits on Sunday: Young poetry voices


National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery Wednesday Gallery talk: From the rise of the teenager to the day of the dead


National Portrait Gallery

Old Bus Depot Markets - International Day at the Markets in March


Old Bus Depot Markets

Old Masters lecture series


Visions Theatre, National Museum of Australia

Priscilla - 20 years young


National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Reece Mastin


Southern Cross Club Woden

Steel Magnolias

13/02/2014 to 1/03/2014

Theatre 3

Summerside Festival

1/02/2014 to 23/02/2014

Lerida Estate Winery

The Hollies


Canberra Theatre Centre

The Necks: Open


The Street Theatre

The Swisse Color Run


Commonwealth Park

Valentine Serenade at the National Carillon


National Carillon

W-League: Canberra United vs Newcastle Jets


W-League: Canberra United vs Newcastle Jets

Womens National Basketball League: The Tradies Canberra Capitals vs Townsville


Australian Institute of Sport Arena





FEB. 2014



























VALE JOHN FITZPATRICK 5th August 1953-20th January 2014

The name John Fitzpatrick may not be familiar to taxi drivers who came into the business after 1993, but from the early eighties until around 1993, “Fitzy”, or his voice, was well known to Canberra’s taxi drivers.

a couple of years previously. Not that John did not need “guidance” at times, especially when Wednesday night dances were in full swing at the Labor Club in the mid-eighties and it became harder and harder for Fitzy to arrive on time on Thursday mornings.

Those who do remember John will be saddened to know that he passed away on 20th January aged 60. He was another “Aerial Character”.

John started with Aerial as a taxi driver before he became a dispatcher in the base at 1 Lonsdale St.

Fitzy was one of Aerial’s top dispatchers in the days of 2-way radio and was generally accepted as such. A former director (who predeceased Fitzy by several years) was one who did not accept this status. This director’s contribution to the board was minimal, but at every board meeting he could always be counted on to raise the matter of John’s employment and insist that “we sack Fitzy”, for a job in Lyneham that (he claimed) Fitzy denied him


In the short period when taxis were allocated to taxis drivers and base station employees on a seniority basis, John reached the top of the list and became the proud owner of TX 166. He left the employ of Aerial to operate his taxi, but soon came back. In the Lyons base station, John became radio room supervisor and did a commendable job until ill health forced him out in 1993.

Since then John has been in survival mode. He reportedly had so much of his stomach removed that there was hardly anything left to process his food. It seemed he was never far from death. But he survived. At the time of his 50th birthday in 2003 John was on life support, but again he pulled through. John and his wife Janelle spent some time living at the South Coast, but moved to Queanbeyan a few years ago. Expecting him not to reach his 60th birthday, his sister Ruth Rogers, another loyal former Aerial employee, treated John & Janelle to a cruise not long after he reached 59. John leaves Janelle, children Robert and Veronica and five grandchildren. God bless you John. By John McKeough



Meet the driver: NAIMANYA PARAW (MIN) CANBERRA ELITE 10 YEARS HOW WAS BUSINESS DURING THIS FESTIVE SEASON? The business has been quite slow due to the festive season, and being in Canberra it is expected for it to be the way it is, many in Canberra leave town during this time of the year. Having said that, taxi drivers are not the only ones experiencing this, many retailers and hospitality would definitely see a change as well. It usually picks up by mid February, which I am looking forward to. I am hopeful, and being in this business, you must accept the ups and downs, and prepare to take the good with the bad.

DO YOU HAVE ANY INTERESTING STORIES TO TELL FORM YOUR YEARS OF BEING A TAXI DRIVER IN CANBERRA. I have so many different stories to tell. I find this job fascinating, as different people are able to share different stories. There are some pleasant stories too, but some aren’t with aggressive customers especially. However, there was one incident that was very memorable, and this happened at the very beginning of my career during the Christmas season. Four young girls got into my taxi and I could tell immediately that they were very drunk. I handed garbage bags to the girls who were seated in the back but refused to take it, they were very confident that they wouldn’t get sick from the car ride (although it was apparent that they definitely would). Not long after, one of the girls threw up, but because she didn’t have the bag I offered she had to do it in her handbag. She was very upset for the rest of the trip, as she had vomited on all of her belongings, from her wallet to her mobile phone. That trip ended up with all three girls seated in the back throwing up and one other girl survived from the smell and of course myself.



I am hopeful that the taxi business would pick up to be better than last year and the previous years. Here I am also hoping that every driver does the right thing by following the rules to create better working environment for every driver on the road. Looking back when I first started as a taxi driver, most of us were conscientious and mindful of other drivers, making it much easier to work. Some I have observed, do not follow the rules, making it hard for other drivers to get jobs as they are treating it as though it is a competition. I hope this year and coming, drivers make the right decisions by being honest and reliable to customers and other fellow drivers. Honesty is the best policy I believe.

Overall for the business, I think it will be great for the future for all parties. It is very efficient although, since it is still new I have yet to see many customers using it. And if they did, they are mostly in the day. If the system continues to work brilliantly, it will be a great change for the drivers and especially the customers. It has so many potentials and one of it, is by not having to carry cash around with them.

Enjoy a free Morning tea for Taxi Drivers Last Friday of every month!, From 10am-11am 30 National Circuit Forrest | 62034300





56 Lathlain Street,


CABSPOT 54 Pick Up Location | Anzac Park West PICK UP AND DROP OFF EFFECTIVE 1ST FEBRUARY 2014 FOR PICK UP: • Upon arrival, the driver is to use the air phone at the boom gate to advise the guard they are there to pick up a fare.

• Once access is granted, driver is to turn left into the open air car park and park in the far corner at the bottom of the stairs.

• There may be a requirement to move if a car is wanting to move from a car spot.

• The driver should then use the air phone at the boom gate to exit the car park.

FOR DROP OFF: • Upon arrival, the driver is to use the air phone at the boom gate to advise the guard they are there to drop off a fare.

• Once access is granted, driver is to turn left into the open air car park and park in the far corner at the bottom of the stairs.

• There may be a requirement to move if a car is wanting to move from a car spot.

• The driver should then use the air phone at the boom gate to exit the car park. FACEBOOK.COM/AERIALCG

Access will only be granted if the fare has advised the guards. Any taxi without prior notice will not be let in Please see map detailing the access point through the boom gate and where the taxi can park during pick up/drop off.



Mercure Canberra (formerly Olims Hotel) is located on the corner of Ainslie and Limestone Avenues in Braddon. This historical hotel has recently undergone an $8 million refurbishment, including the guest rooms, restaurants, function rooms and public areas. The hotel offers two dining options, Courtyard Restaurant and Olims Bar, Bistro and Beer Garden.


OLIMS BAR, BISTRO AND BEER GARDEN Olims Bar, Bistro and Beer garden is open daily for lunch and dinner and is the perfect place to meet friends and family in a relaxing pub atmosphere. Get a team together for Trivia on Thursday nights, have lunch with your colleagues or bring the whole family for one of our weekly specials. Olims has TAB facilities, gaming machines, pool table and a bottle shop.


The Courtyard Restaurant is located on the ground floor overlooking our beautiful internal courtyard and gardens. Dinner is available from Tuesday through to Saturday and a delicious Continental or Full Buffet Breakfast daily.

TAXI RANK As the hotel will soon become very busy with business and government travellers, we will have a 2 car taxi rank at the front entrance of the hotel from mid February. Drivers at the rank can come into the hotel for complimentary tea, coffee and water throughout the day. We look forward to seeing you all at the newly improved Mercure Canberra!




M u lt i c u lt u r a l TUTOR: S. CHANDRAMDHAN TX 482 LANGUAGE: TAMIL S. Chandramdhan first came to Australia from Sri Lanka on refugee status in the 1980s to start a new life of freedom and opportunity for himself and his family. It was a difficult decision to make at the time to start a new life from the ground up in a strange and unfamiliar country. But S. Chandramdham believes Australia saved his families lives and is now very much his home. Australia being a multicultural society, he would like to share with you a little about what it means to be Tamil. Tamil is a culture that is expressed by Tamil people through language, the arts and way of life. Believed to have originated thousands of years ago along the coasts of Southern India (now Tamil Nadu and Kerala) and also Sri Lanka; Tamil people have a written history over 2000 years old. The Tamil language, like other languages of southern India, is a Dravidian language. It is not related to the Indo-European languages of north India of which English, French and Italian are also a part of. Interestingly, there is a Dravidian language connection with Australian Aborigine languages, which is believed to result from migrations from Southern India some 4000 years ago to Australia. This is believed to have influenced Native Aborigine languages. For example Wanniassa and Narrabundah sound very similar to words found in Tamil. Speakers of Tamil today may use a number of words of Sanskrit and English but the Tamil language has maintained its original character. Tamil literature varies from poetry, to works of philosophy with notable classical works including the 1000 year old moral work Tirukkural. It is easy for a modern Tamil to read and enjoy classical literary works and the morals to be found in these works form a large part of what it means to be Tamil, morals such as respecting elders and other people’s rights. FACEBOOK.COM/AERIALCG









Thank you


How are you?

Eppadu Irukkringa

Expressions of ideas, morals and artistry are very important to Tamils and are not only reflected through language but also in what they surround themselves with. Tanjore painting is the most important painting style originating in the 9th century. This painting style uses cloth as the medium onto which the artist paints and then the works are decorated with threads of gold, silver, and gemstones. Performing arts express ideas through movements of the hands and body such as, Nattu Koothu street dance styles, which express the idea of state and culture of different people in Tamil Countries. Theatre and movies are also very important and Tamil movies are famous for technical details, songs and dances. Kollywood is the popular term for the Tamil film industry. Tamil Architecture developed over thousands of years and is distinctive through pyramid shaped tower entrances (Gopurams) of the Hindi temples. These towers are fully decorated with sculpture, art, and colour. A few of these temples are listed as world heritage sites. Sadly no ancient Tamil monuments remain in Sri Lanka. Something you might not know about Tamils. They have their own Martial Arts and the word ‘curry’ comes from the tamil word Kari which means sauce. There are around 77 million Tamils in the world of which the majority resides in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Canada and Singapore.

Kapaleeshwarar Temple is a temple of Shivalocated in Mylapore, Chennai, built 1491–1570 CE. Typical Dravidian architectural style.



C MMENDABLE DRIVERS MANVEER I want to get in touch and say how very grateful, thankful and impressed I am with Canberra Cabs. I left a very special guitar in a Cab on December 23, 2013. When I realised the next day and called, I was contacted by David within half an hour to say it had been found and could he pass on my details to the driver.

COMMENDABLE DRIVER AAMIR SHAH Amir, your passenger who is partially blind has given us a call to commend you on your exceptional customer service. She was in tears while on the phone to us as she was so moved by your kindness and help. We have been informed that you have taken her into the shops and assisted her with her shopping. She was very grateful for what you have done. You’re an asset to the fleet. We couldn’t be prouder that you are part of the team, well done.


Ashok Chhabra Mortgage Broker

Manveer then contacted me within 20 minutes. I had my guitar delivered to my home within 1.5 hours of realising it was missing and I have never received such efficient, happy and helpful service, ever, that I can recall. I offered Manveer money for the fare to drop the item off and he said “It’s not about the money, just good service”

GURPREET SINGH TISC assessor John Hebron reported that your presentation was outstanding. “That driver is a credit to your company. It’s really pleasing to see a driver take such pride in his appearance”. Well done Gurpreet, we are proud of you.

Well, mission accomplished Manveer, and then some. Thank you all so much. Dan


Secure Home Loans (ACT) 29 Morrow Street Dunlop ACT 2615 M: 0433 398 097 Ph: (02) 6258 2551 E:

Enjoy a free Morning tea for Taxi Drivers Last Friday of every month!, From 10am-11am

Life is too short, Live it.

30 National Circuit Forrest | 62034300






I would like to commend on Sanjeev Kumar’s great customer service on New Year’s Eve. Being very much aware of the occasional whinging from some taxi drivers when they have to make short trips, I got into his taxi from Civic heading to what I first thought was Ainslie. As we were approaching the location, I was told that I had to go to a different location. I was very happy with how accommodating, courteous and polite Sanjeev was. It was a very pleasant ride for me.

The base received a call from Sarah to compliment you for a job carried out on the 5th of January. Sarah had lost her engagement ring and was quite distressed. She believed the ring was lost and she was grateful of how helpful you were and also by allowing her to search your car for the ring. She apologised for being hysterical and complimented you and call centre for assistance and professionalism.

We’re here to look after you 8am to 11pm EVERY DAY! Shop 2, Jolimont Centre, 65 Northbourne Avenue. Canberra City Act 2600. Phone (02) 6161 1133





This is how we started.

Xerography celebrates 75 years. Seventy-five years ago, Chester Carlson created an easier way to duplicate information on paper. Named “xerography,” his invention revolutionised how information is shared and, ultimately, how office work gets done. In celebrating this 75th anniversary, we also celebrate Carlson. While tinkering in his lab in Astoria, Queens, he had one simple objective in mind: “…to make office work a little more productive and a little less tedious.” Fast forward to today: Simplifying how work gets done is core to Fuji Xerox and to the value we bring to our customers around the world.

Xerox is a registered trademark of Xerox Corporation.

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