Qld minister denies Uber free ride
Queensland's transport minister insists the government is already cracking down on illegal ride-sharing services like Uber.
Stirling Hinchliffe's comments come after a parliamentary committee this week recommended he take urgent action to ensure the current regulations, which deem Uber to be an illegal taxi service, are enforced.
But Mr Hinchliffe says that is already happening, denying suggestions the government had issued a directive for Department of Transport and Main Roads officer to stop fining drivers.
"No, there's been some 17,000 hours of enforcement put in by the department of transport in relation to these regulations," Mr Hinchliffe said.
"That's an important thing and I want to see that continue and make sure that we continue to work on how we can enforce our appropriate transport regulations."
Mr Hinchliffe said some Uber drivers had been fined over the past few days, but conceded that had been due to driving unsafe vehicles, not for operating without a taxi licence.
The Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee's report found that Uber was using technology to actively avoid transport officers, making enforcement difficult.
The report was looking into a bill that Katter's Australian Party MP Rob Katter introduced calling for Uber drivers to be issued with demerit points.
The committee didn't support the bill, arguing Uber's tactics to avoid punishment would mean it would take too long for the points to appear on drivers' records.
Queensland Uber drivers should be hit with demerit points against their licences because fining them isn't working, Katter Party MPs say.
Rob Katter says a bill that aims to crack down on the ride-sharing service must be dealt with urgently, after a parliamentary committee decided not to back it.
Mr Katter said Uber was an illegal taxi service in Queensland but was escaping penalty because current laws weren't being enforced.
He said drivers operating without a taxi licence should be facing demerit point penalties.
"If Uber and the likes were going to pay the fines for their drivers and barrage their way through the laws with money, then we had to look at alternative ways to fix this," Mr Katter said on Thursday.
The party would move a motion in parliament later on Thursday to have the bill debated by April, he said.