Ride-sharing service Uber will be made legal in Queensland from early September, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announcing the move on Facebook this week.
Queensland's legalisation of ‘ride-booking’ companies such as Uber is part of numerous reforms which will include a $100 million industry assistance package, and a universal set of rules and regulations for taxi and ride-sharing operators.
In her post, Premier Palaszczuk said: “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”.
“But at the same time as we embrace the future, we will do it in a way that supports the taxi industry.”
“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,” she added.
The reforms aim to level the private transport playing field, and to put a “premium on passenger safety”, meaning Uber drivers will need to undergo the same processes as taxi drivers, including background checks.
This latest step for Queensland follows similar reforms passed by New South Wales, Western Australia, ACT and South Australia. The Northern Territory, Victoria and Tasmania are believed to still be in the process of investigating whether these services should be made legal.
In May, Nathan Brenner, an Uber ‘driver-partner’, was cleared of “operating without accreditation” in the Victorian County Court after being fined $900 in the Magistrates Court.
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