Taxi owners who claim they will lose everything as a result of the Victorian government's deregulation of the taxi industry created traffic chaos on Melbourne's Bolte Bridge on Monday.
Hundreds of disgruntled taxi drivers blockaded the bridge during peak hour, sparking scenes of anger among affected commuters who sprayed insults, including "Get an Uber", at the protesters.
The convoy ended at Parliament House with the crowd of several hundred calling for the resignation of transport minister Jacinta Allan.
After about an hour the group of several hundred made its way to a side entrance near Premier Daniel Andrew's chambers, where they called for the Labor leader to face them.
A small scuffle broke out between police stationed at the door and disaffected taxi owners who described the government changes as "theft" and "literally illegal".
One owner, who wanted to be known only as Abidan, said his 25 years of driving amounted to nothing after the state government announced it was buying back licences.
"We work 70 to 80 hours a week and then the government says 'bugger you'," he said.
"We've lost almost everything. We've got nothing now. The last licence we paid $440,000 for about seven to eight years ago.
"We've lost all them years, all my younger years when I left my wife and kids at home, no holidays, and at the end we get nothing. We worked for nothing all those years.
"Imagine if your house was worth a million dollars and someone came along and said your house is worth $100,000. What do you do if you borrowed $800,000 dollars like some of my colleagues?
"They've got nothing and now they're in debt. How are they going to pay this?"
But amid scenes the of anger, one driver who has been on the road since 1992 said changes to the industry were "long overdue".
The man, who didn't want to be named, said owners frequently ripped off their drivers. He was working through Monday's protests.
"They rip us off," he said of taxi owners. "We don't get holidays or sick leave. It's always been like this. Why should I support them?"
"It's good the government is buying them [licences] back. It's long overdue."
"I can't afford to waste my time on a protest. I've got to feed my family and pay bills."
The driver said he might even lease a licence through the government once the changes comes into effect, saying, "Taxis are still a good industry. It's consistent".
He said drivers were often blamed for problems that were the responsibility of owners, including cab maintenance.
After thanking the small number of police at the protest, Mr Bougias warned changes to the industry would be followed by suicides and bankruptcies.
"We're here because something very, very wrong is happening. It's immoral. It's literally illegal and it's not right. It has to stop."
Mr Bougias made headlines last month when he administered first aid to a woman injured in the Bouke Street tragedy and was hailed as a hero by other witnesses.
"We are the middle and working classes and they're trying to destroy us," he said.
"We are raising families, we're paying debts off and we're working hard and we're going to wake up one morning with nothing.
"It's time," he said, borrowing Gough Whitlam's iconic slogan.
"It is time. Enough is enough is enough."
Taxi owner Tom Flitzanis, 61, said he planned to fund his retirement by leasing the single licence he bought in 1985 for $62,000.
"Once the government buys all the licences then I have to go on the pension. That was my superannuation and the inheritance for my kids."
"It wasn't enough to retire with the lease of my license but at least I was going to get a part of it.
"I didn't want to depend on the government on a full pension. My superannuation is gone. Finished."
"I bought my licence in 1985. What about the poor fellow that paid half a million and still owes money to the bank?
"We don't want to make any profit out of the government. We just want a fair price."
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