Media Release

23 November 2015

Reports that NSW may legalise uber won’t affect QLD – Taxi Council

Taxi Council Queensland (TCQ) says reports of illegal taxi service uber being legalised in New South Wales should not affect any future decision by the Queensland Government, as this state’s industry is very different.

TCQ chief executive officer Benjamin Wash also said the reason given by unnamed NSW “Government sources” for the proposed move was bizarre and worrying.

The Daily Telegraph reported today that “Government sources described state regulation of uber as “inevitable”, saying the service would have continued to operate under the radar had it not been legalised”.

“This is an unbelievable precedent. Is the NSW Government seriously saying that any company wealthy enough to keep breaking the law and thumbing its nose at regulation will ‘inevitably’ become legal because the Government is too weak to uphold the law?
​“The NSW Government has willingly become a victim of corporate blackmail,” Mr Wash declared.

However he said Queensland is currently undergoing its own review and the taxi industry would be making several submissions to the recently appointed independent taskforce to explain the necessity of both a level playing field and the importance of the taxi industry to the state.

“The difference in Queensland is that we already have what we believe to be the best taxi service in the world, with high levels of performance,” he explained.

“Our 3,200 plus licences are owned by more than 2,200 individuals, and the industry in Queensland is made up of over 16,000 small business people who meet high regulatory standards and pay their taxes, supporting over 60,000 jobs.”

He said Queensland taxis deliver 24/7 service to all areas and service those with disabilities, something illegal taxis don’t do.

“Any decision in NSW is irrelevant to Queensland, and it should be pointed out that uber has never agreed to meet any government’s regulations in any part of the world, so saying they will be legalised means nothing.

“Governments must realise that when dealing with uber they are dealing with a company that flouts the law, pays no taxes and sends their money out of Australia, so how can you trust them to meet any regulations?”