Charlie Peel, The Courier-Mail
April 20, 2017 1:48pm
THE operations manager of a taxi business claims workers are doing shifts driving a cab and then getting in an Uber vehicle afterwards.
The claim was made by Professional Taxis Gold Coast operations manager Zara Trengrove at the first session of a parliamentary committee inquiry in Brisbane.
Ms Trengrove told the committee she was aware of taxi drivers getting in an Uber vehicle after a long shift driving in a taxi.
Fatigue management, safe work practices and identification of drivers were other issues raised by Ms Trengrove and the Taxi Council Queensland (QTC).
The peak body representing Queensland taxi drivers is calling for an independent commission to be established to regulate the personalised transport industry.
Taxi Council Queensland CEO Benjamin Walsh told the inquiry into the State Government’s Transport and Other Legislation (Personalised Transport Reform) Amendment Bill that the commission could report to the relevant minister.
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The organisation representing ride-sharing drivers says companies such as Uber need to lift their fares to give drivers a "fair and equitable" wage.
The Ride Share Drivers' Association of Australia made the submission to the Queensland Public Works and Utilities Committee during public hearings on the second phase of the state government's ride-sharing reforms on Thursday.
The legislation aims to create a level playing field for the personalised transport industry, including taxis and ride-sharing services such as Uber.
Association secretary Les Johnson said one way to do that would be to ensure ride-sharing drivers were paid more.
"For ride-sharing to be viable ongoing, the rates need to go up considerably," he said outside the hearing.
"Based on figures published by the RACQ, to operate a vehicle on a per-kilometre rate, plus the fact we have to pay GST on every dollar we earn, plus the fact that we pay a 25 per cent commission to Uber, most drivers are running at a loss."
Mr Johnson said calls for the government to legislate to ensure ride-sharing cars had the same safety features as taxis, such as CCTV and GPS tracking, would only add to their costs.
But Taxi Council of Queensland chief executive Benjamin Wash, who also made a submission at the hearing, said it was the only way for the industry to move forward.
"Taxis do have a great deal of extra protections built in, but if someone chooses a cheaper ride-share service that person should reasonably expect that there's at least a minimum amount of protection," he said outside the hearing.
"Right now, with the bill as drafted, they can't be assured that will be the case."
Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/national/2017/04/20/03/32/uber-to-ask-for-online-qld-driver-licences#gJoTIX7b83Rxfs5i.99
Felicity Caldwell l Brisbane Times l April 10, 2017
You might think a truce was called in the uber and taxi war when ride sharing was legalised in September 2016. But that has not stopped the issue from shaping up as a major battlefield for the upcoming Queensland state election.
Queensland's political parties have been laying out their policies on ride sharing. Photo: Getty ImagesHere's where the parties stand on the issue.
A government bill, creating a taxi and limousine assistance package, passed in December 2016.
The $100 million assistance package includes one-off payments of $20,000 per taxi licence, capped at two per owner, while limousine licence holders can apply for a payment of $10,000.
An LNP amendment to the bill passed, requiring the government to outline its plans for the industry within three months and have them implemented within six.
AdvertisementIt came after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced ride-sharing services such as Uber would become legal from September 5, 2016, in addition to reforms to level "the playing field".
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