Queenslanders UBER excited as ride-sharing service gets green light

UPDATE: Uber drivers will soon be able to pick up and drop off passengers without the fear of being fined in Queensland after the state government announced it would usher in “sweeping reforms” to legalise the service.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed the developments in a statement on Facebook a short time ago.

“From September 5 this year, my Government is levelling the playing field so ride-booking companies will be able to operate in Queensland, in concert with the taxi industry,” Ms Palaszczuk said.


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“My Government will usher in sweeping reforms that will create a level playing field. We want to put a premium on passenger safety, and ensure all operators follow a new, fair set of rules, with the best interests of consumers at heart.

“We want to put a premium on passenger safety, and ensure all operators follow a new, fair set of rules, with the best interests of consumers at heart.

“Queensland is the innovation state. We are advancing Queensland. We are embracing innovative new technologies and business models right across our economy and up and down our state, and the personalised transport sector is no different.”

Ms Palaszczuk said the government would do what they could to support the taxi industry, announcing a $100 million assistance package which includes over $4 million in waived taxi fees over the next 12 months.

“But at the same time as we embrace the future, we will do it in a way that supports the taxi industry,” she said.

“This is a challenge all Governments across Australia have faced.

“This is because the taxi industry is different from many other industries that have faced disruption because it has been heavily regulated by Government for generations.

“Not only will there be a $100 million industry assistance package, including over $4 million in waived taxi fees over the next 12 months, but 80 pieces of taxi red tape will be cut.

“After all, none of us want to leave any of our fellow Queenslanders behind. And unlike some other states, including New South Wales, we will do it without imposing a new tax on passengers.

“Our independent review consulted extensively because it’s important this is done right.

“We had to find the balance between Queenslanders who make millions of ride bookings each year and their right to better affordability, choice of service and consistency in safety, and transitioning the taxi industry into the digital era.

“These reforms strike that balance.”

EARLIER: The Queensland government is set to announce its plan to legalise ride-sharing services.

While services including Uber are closer to being legal across the Sunshine State, taxis will retain exclusive rank and hail access.

That’s one of four options which have been outlined in a review of Queensland taxi and ride sharing industries, which has still not been made public.

It’s understood senior ministers in the Palaszczuk government are also giving strong support to another recommendation, which would require Uber drivers to have a blue card.

The state opposition is calling on the government to end speculation and provide certainty to the industry by releasing the full review.