Published: 4:43 pm, Monday, 10 April 2017
Queensland's Liberal National Party opposition says its plan for an independent commissioner for the taxi and ride-sharing industry will create a level playing field, but the state government says it has already committed to similar measures.
Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls on Monday announced his party would set up the position as an industry ombudsman for the entire personalised transport industry, if he was elected to government.
'That person will have the ear of the minister and will sit on a ministerial advisory council along with other participants in the industry,' Mr Nicholls said.
'This is about levelling the playing field, restoring value to the people who have taxi licences, making sure those businesses are viable into the future.'
The commissioner would be responsible for recommending safety requirements including CTP insurance, safety cameras, vehicle identification, licensing and registration.
Mr Nicholls said the measures would fill in the gaps in the Labor government's legalisation for ride-sharing services.
'It has been a hodgepodge of band-aid fixes by Labor. This is about securing the long-term future of the personal transportation industry in Queensland.'
But Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the LNP's announcement was very similar to measures hsi government had already committed to.
'The only difference is they've proposed an 'independent commissioner' function but how can they be independent if they sit within the department?' Mr Bailey said in a statement.
'The LNP's proposed ministerial council is just a rebadge of the Palaszczuk government's Personalised Transport Industry Reference Group which has been meeting regularly since October last year.'
It comes as the Taxi Council Queensland pledges to support any party at the next election that advocates on behalf of the taxi industry.
The council's Benjamin Wash said they were pleased with the LNP's announcement.
'Today's announcement is a game-changer, as it gives the oversight of this sector to a specialised, independent authority who will act in the best interests of all Queenslanders, and limit the opportunity for politicians to play party politics,' Mr Wash said in a statement.
Taxi owners have been worried since the Palaszczuk government legalised ride- sharing services in August last year, with fears their licences, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars, would be worthless.