Queensland Uber drivers should be hit with demerit points against their licences because fining them isn’t working, Katter Party MPs say.

Rob Katter says a bill that aims to crack down on the ride-sharing service must be dealt with urgently, after a parliamentary committee decided not to back it.

Mr Katter said Uber was an illegal taxi service in Queensland but was escaping penalty because current laws weren’t being enforced.

He said drivers operating without a taxi licence should be facing demerit point penalties.

“If Uber and the likes were going to pay the fines for their drivers and barrage their way through the laws with money, then we had to look at alternative ways to fix this,” Mr Katter said on Thursday.

The party would move a motion in parliament later on Thursday to have the bill debated by April, he said.
It comes after Queensland Parliament’s Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee said it wouldn’t back the bill.

The committee wasn’t against the bill’s purpose, but was concerned it was highly unlikely demerit points would be recorded on a driver’s history in the short-term.

Uber’s director of public policy, Brad Kitschke, insisted the service wasn’t illegal in Queensland and said drivers weren’t being taken to task over unpaid fines.

“They are not doing anything wrong,” he said.

But the Taxi Council Queensland disagrees and wants the government to urgently act to uphold the law.
“The law is the law, and at the moment we have an uneven playing field,” the council said in a statement.
Queensland’s transport minister, Stirling Hinchliffe insists the government is already cracking down on illegal ride-sharing services like Uber.

The Minister’s comments come after a parliamentary committee this week recommended he take urgent action to ensure the current regulations, which deem Uber to be an illegal taxi service, are enforced.

But Mr Hinchliffe says that’s already happening, denying suggestions the government’s issued a directive for Department of Transport and Main Roads officers to stop fining drivers.

An independent review of Queensland’s taxi plan, which includes ride-sharing services, is not due until August.

– See more at: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/national/qld/2016/03/17/uber-should-be-susceptible-to-demerits–katter.html#sthash.Hjjdms6X.dpuf