Tougher uber laws in Queensland aim to level playing field for taxi industry and ride-booking services
25 May, ABC News
Ride booking services like Uber will now have to be licensed and pay annual licence fees in Queensland after new laws were passed in State Parliament on Wednesday night.
Taxi Council of Queensland CEO Benjamin Wash told ABC Radio Brisbane said the legislation still did not level the playing field.
"In fact, the legislation enshrines a different cost structure for what is essentially the same service," he said.
"It's still strangers picking people up and dropping them off.
"The fact that there's no cameras and there's no minimum conditions for personalised transport drivers or people in booked hire services, it beggar's belief that the Government's dropped the ball so badly on this."
He said it was widely known that people in booked-hire services and ride-sharing around the world want to be able to run a business with no regulation and no cost structures.
"It's certainly nothing new, but there's no element in the community or society where a business can just run with impunity, cutting corners, cutting costs, and not having any regulatory frameworks that are meaningful to define their business," he said.
Ride Sharing Drivers Association of Australia spokesman Les Johnson said it had found there was only a 4 per cent retention rate of drivers after 12 months, with 80 per cent not earning enough money.
"There's other expenses coming into it," he said.
"I think that with a lot of the fees and charges the Government has looked at over a period of time — many which the association has argued against — they're just forcing the cost of entry into the industry up and up and up when the returns are not there.
"If drivers are up for all these extra charges and the rate of return is below what is sustainable, then I think people will pull out."