Queensland’s Taxi Council has strongly endorsed a private members bill proposed yesterday by the Katter Australian Party that calls for greater penalties for illegal taxi services, saying it was time that the Government became serious about the law.

Taxi Council Queensland chief executive officer Benjamin Wash said uber has been defying the law for too long and laughing in the faces of regulators and governments.

“In every other part of society the law is upheld and offenders are prosecuted, yet because this big foreign monopoly has money to pay fines and doesn’t care about Queensland’s transport safety regulations it appears everyone is scared to act.”

Mr Wash said he couldn’t open a restaurant without abiding by food safety regulations nor could he open a medical practice without the necessary qualifications and licensing, so “how can we stand by and allow illegal taxis to operate without any safety regulations that protect Queenslanders and ensure a level playing field for genuine taxis which are abiding by the law.”

He said “enough is enough” and has called on both Labor and the LNP to pass the Katter bill with the greatest of urgency.

He also wants the media to play a more responsible role.

“The media are continually giving uber credibility even though they are operating illegally. This is unheard of and outrageous and would never happen with any other person or company that breaks the law.”

“uber are an illegal taxi service, and are spawning copycats across Queensland. Right now anyone, anywhere can start to drive their private cars and transport the public and the Government is letting it happen.

“This will become a nightmare.

“We’ve already seen assaults with no camera evidence by uber drivers across Australia, and without enforcement of regulations nothing will be able to stop any sexual predator or person with the wrong motives starting their own illegal taxi service.”