As of Monday 5 September 2016, Uber became legal in Queensland.
The controversial ride share app has sparked a war with the Sunshine State’s cabbies, who originally called for its ban in April 2016. During this time, Uber drivers have faced fines of up to $1,413.00 and undercover police officers posing as passengers.
In a bid to not strangle the concept of the ‘free market’, the Queensland Government has moved to legislate ride sharing services; however, will provide $100 million in an assistance package to taxi drivers for disrupting their monopoly. An independent review has found that since the introduction of Uber, the value of a taxi licence in Queensland has fallen from $519,000.00 to $260,000.00.
Uber freely operating in the personal transport market will encourage new and innovative service offerings and existing service providers will need to respond to market changes and expectations. Notwithstanding this, the Palaszczuk government will allow taxis to retain exclusive access to ranks and hail rights across the State.
The Taxi Council of Queensland has called the move ‘foolish’ and has stated that Uber hurts small business and jeopardises passenger safety. However, the new legislation will require Uber drivers to undergo the same background checks required for a ‘blue card’ which is normally issued for people working with young people and children.
Feel free to Uber away!
Article Written By: Tegan Childs