It is the end of an era for Tenterfield Taxis, as after 32 years the Warn Family will be hanging up their plates.
Due to family health issues and rising costs the Warn Family has made the difficult decision to say goodbye.
“My parents bought the cars years ago to buy themselves a job,” said Nicole Haddock, daughter of Ray and Lyn who own Tenterfield Taxis.
“It was a struggle for them at the start because plates prices were quite high, but then it got to be a great little business, because they ran it themselves with an extra driver or two.”
A string of health issues saw the family lose their mother, Lyn, back in 2016, followed by two heart attacks for their father, Ray, over the years and more recently a heart attack for their daughter Nicole three months ago has made the outlay of costs to pay drivers and keep the business going unsustainable.
“My dad has exhausted every financial avenue to keep the business going.”
“COVID was extremely difficult but my dad wouldn’t sell them because he has had them for so long and he didn’t want to let down the people of Tenterfield.”
“But now, something has to give.” said Nicole.
As Tenterfield’s only form of public transport, it will be a big loss to the community.
“A lot of people rely on us the get them to the doctors, we take our veterans to appointments in the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Lismore.”
“We don’t have hire cars in town, so if people break down we go and get them and get them around.”
“Same as doctors and nurses that fly into the airport, and it’s hard to even think about.”
“We feel like we are letting everyone down but there is nothing we can do.”
Introducing Uber and ride share services unregulated into Australia was detrimental to the taxi industry, and while the local service could compete by being compliant and give great customer service, the new competitor drastically reduced their plate value, affecting the Warn Family today.
“The plates are what is worth the money, and the government has agreed to buy our plates back at a ridiculously bad price, then people can lease them.”
“So, there will be no more buying or selling a Taxi Plates in Australia.”
In one final farewell, a kind message from the Warn Family to the Tenterfield community.
“On behalf of the Warn family- Ray, Lyn (deceased), Nicole and David, we want to thank the community because they have been great to us over the years. The businesses in town, our regulars, our oldies, our drivers. We are genuinely sorry, but we want to say a massive thank you so much to the Tenterfield community because if it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t have had our family business for 32 years.”
“We are hoping someone will take over the lease from the Government. If they were to buy the cars off us and get the plates and run it themselves, it could be a great little business acquired quite cheap.”
If anyone or any business is interested in taking over this essential community service, please contact Nicole on 0439 530 451.
Tenterfield Taxis will cease trading on Friday March 31.