The taxi industry pushes for Uber regulation in QLD
We breakdown the legalities of the controversial ride share service that is putting cabbies to the test
As the on-going saga between Uber and taxis continue in Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory have made the move to have Uber legally operating by October 30.
This movement is expected to be mirrored by other Australian jurisdictions and comprises of reforms to the taxi industry which are set to adopt the casual nature of Uber.
Rob Katter from Katter’s Australia Party says that regulation is imperative for this industry in order to protect consumers and not leave it open to the vagaries of the market.
“Our party studied their submissions closely and we believe we have a real sense of where they are coming from and we see that there is real value in their service,” he says.
Mr. Katter says that Queensland taxis conduct approximately 1 million wheelchair lifts per annum and without regulation this system would not run.
“Unregulated forms like Uber do not have this obligation,” he says.
Mr. Katter agrees that there is a lot of room for improvement within the taxi industry but says this shouldn’t mean new companies should be allowed to come in and make their own rules.
“Like any good policy maker, you must consider the inadvertent detrimental effects,”
“Its very easy for Uber to market their product with their cheap rides but this will cause many problems in 5 to 10 years to come,” he says.
Mr. Katter says that although Uber has brought new jobs into the Australian market, if this causes the taxi industry to go under then that will mean a loss of 90 million dollars for the Australian tax payer.
“We hope Mr. Katter will give us the opportunity to help him understand why over 200,000 Queenslanders are choosing Uber as a safe, reliable and affordable alternative,” they said.
In Uber’s submission to the QLD Government, Uber states that they meet and exceed every safety level set in stone within the taxi industry and policy makers are blatantly ignoring innovation by not legalizing Uber.
Sir Richard Branson, a business man whose career transformed out of launching start-ups that break up monopolies such as the QLD taxi industry told the Telegraph that you cannot stop progress.
“Countries that try to ban Uber are holding themselves back,”
“It’s like banning Google because it’s competing with education. You must embrace it,” he said.
Despite Uber’s well educated submission to the QLD government and progress around Australia the QLD taxi industry is still angered by the current situation.
Black and White Cabs Managing Director, Gregg Webb says he agrees with the Bill introduced by the Katter party.
“We want demerit points and we want people to understand that they’re illegal,”
“While they may be cheaper, their costs don’t have to take in regulation which is providing a public service to everybody,” he says.
At this point in time Uber has already been made illegal or is not properly recognized in 15 places around the world.
Mr. Webb says that despite popular belief there’s a lot that Uber aren’t doing that make them unsafe.
“Uber is paying the fines for it’s drivers which as it stands is an illegal activity as well as the fact that they’re not paying taxes,”
“These activities must be stopped and these drivers need to start losing their licenses,” he says.
In a survey completed by a group of 60 people aged 17 – 55, the majority said that they felt completely safe within an Uber and would choose it over a cab in most instances.
They also said that alike the current outcome we see in the ACT, in QLD it is also possible to see a co-existence of these two entities.
Uber driver and former taxi rider, Michael Devlin agrees that these two entities can co-exist but there is a lot that the taxi industry needs to learn from Uber.
“With Uber, you get a driver who is there because they want to be there, we’re not forced to work a 12 hour shift and we don’t know where we’re going until we pick you up so we can’t reject clients,”
“and from a safety point of view, I don’t think you can get anything safer than an Uber, you’ve got everything and more than what you’d get in a taxi,” he says.
If the bill introduced by the Katter party is passed, QLD Uber drivers would by penalized with demerit points, with three tickets leading to a loss of license.
Greg Webb - Managing Director Black and White Cabs - 07 3860 1800
Rob Katter - Katter’s Australia Party - 07 4730 1100
Michael Devlin - Brisbane Uber Driver - 0408 449 920
Caspar Nixon - Communications Associate Uber - firstname.lastname@example.org - Submission to the QLD Government
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