Brisbane Times | March 9 2017 | Felicity Caldwell
uber drivers will be slugged more than $200 for an annual licence fee under suggested state reforms that even the ridesharer's traditional rival – the taxi industry – has slammed.
The fee was among a swag of changes announced by Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey ahead of the second stage of legislation due to be introduced to Queensland Parliament later this month.
But the latest reforms are far from popular – pleasing neither ridesharing company Uber nor the Taxi Council Queensland.
Taxi service licences and limousine licences and plates will be retained and a new annual licence fee of $237.26 will be introduced for ridebooking operators such as Uber.
Reflective signage will also be mandatory on the front and back of ridebooking services.
Security cameras must be operating in vehicles that are not pre-booked or services that take cash or payment during the journey. But this requirement would not affect Uber, which takes payment via a pre-registered credit card after the journey.
Driver fatigue must also be managed by companies and operators.
And all personalised transport vehicles will require an annual certificate of inspection and a new class of compulsory third party insurance – separate to taxis – has been created for ridebooking and limousines.
An Uber spokesman said the licence fee was "disappointing".
"We're disappointed to see the government propose new fees on everyday Queenslanders looking to access flexible work," the spokesman said.
"The addition of vehicle licensing fees, which do not create any safety improvements or consumer benefits, is not in keeping with the stated aims of these reforms to open up competition, increase consumer choice and create new flexible work opportunities for Queenslanders."
Fairfax Media asked Uber if it would absorb the cost of the annual licensing fee or whether it would be paid by individual drivers but the question was not answered.
There are about 10,000 Uber drivers in Queensland, which means the fee could instantly generate more than $2.73 million for the government.
Uber is still assessing the announcement, made on Thursday afternoon.
Taxi Council Queensland chief executive officer Benjamin Wash accused the government of doing nothing to level the playing field.
Read More: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/queensland-uber-drivers-will-need-to-pay-200-in-annual-licence-fees-under-proposed-changes-20170309-guul0a.html