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Taxis removed from ANZAC parade to protect veterans from vehicle attacks

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NSW RSL President James Brown says the reason taxis will no longer drive war veterans in an ANZAC Day march is to protect them from hostile vehicle attacks.

Mr Brown tells Ben Fordham in previous marches unwelcome vehicles were spotted not carrying any veterans.

“The sad reality is we are in a different age. Our ANZAC Day marches across the state are very closely coordinated with NSW Police.

“Frankly last year, we had cars in the parade that weren’t meant to be in the parade and weren’t carrying any veterans.

“It’s something we have to be incredibly careful about.”

Mr Brown tells Ben the days of having a large number of cars in street parades with thousands of pedestrians are no longer, and he’s defending the decision.

“The suggestion we’re doing anything else other than thinking about the best thing we can do to honour our veterans is frankly outrageous.”

Click PLAY below to hear the exclusive interview with James Brown

Deputy CEO of NSW Taxi Council Nick Abrahim says he’s “appalled” by James Brown’s comments.

“It just shows how… disconnected he is from this whole process.

“In 2017 we introduced a new regime with NSW Police to get every single driver and vehicle background checked.”

He says any vehicle or driver participating in last year’s ANZAC Day parade had the approval of police.

Northern Beaches Councillor Rory Amon has also weighed in on the issue, saying 140 veterans on Sydney’s Beaches need the taxis to participate in the march.

“Not one person within the RSL village has been given any police advice saying this was a concern,” he says.

“All we’ve received is a last-minute word by the RSL… we’re just trying to get to the bottom of it and figure out how to make this work.”

Click PLAY below to hear from Councillor Rory Amon and Nick Abrahim