Senate debates

Tuesday, 13 October 2015


Ride Sharing Services

3:45 pm

Photo of Glenn LazarusGlenn Lazarus (Queensland, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes the range of issues currently being experienced across the country in relation to the operation of UBER, including allegations of acts of violence and intimidation against UBER drivers by members of the taxi industry in Queensland;

(b) acknowledges the important role of competition, change and disruption in forging new industries and creating new services;

(c) further notes the impact of UBER and other ride sharing services on the viability of the taxi industry and the stakeholders involved in the taxi industry, including owners, administrators, drivers and others directly and indirectly employed by the industry;

(d) urges the Government to consider the opportunity for all transport services, including the taxi industry and ride sharing services, to have a legitimate and legal role in Australia; and

(e) calls on the Government to show leadership and urgently address the taxi and ride sharing issue by working with state and territory governments to develop a national approach which:

(i) puts the needs of the people of Australia first,

(ii) improves the quality, safety, effectiveness and efficiency of taxi and ride sharing services across Australia,

(iii) creates a framework to enable the operation of taxi and ride sharing services on a level playing field basis, including regulation, fee introductions and fee modifications,

(iv) recognises the financial investment of taxi industry stakeholders, and any potential losses associated by a national approach,

(v) proposes amendments to policy, legislation and administrative instruments and mechanisms across relevant levels and areas of government to facilitate the adoption of the framework,

(vi) is developed in consultation with all taxi industry, ride sharing service providers and other stakeholders, and

(vii) aims to resolve the issues being experienced across the country, and reduce the tension and concern being felt by many involved.

Photo of Nick McKimNick McKim (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

I seek leave to make a short statement.

Photo of Stephen ParryStephen Parry (President) Share this | | Hansard source

Leave is granted for one minute.

Photo of Nick McKimNick McKim (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

The intent of Senator Lazarus's motion is no doubt good and admirable. It basically calls on governments to collaborate not only with each other but also with the taxi sector and the ride-sharing sector to consider regulatory frameworks that would cover both of those sectors. Normally we would be very happy to support this motion as it stands; however, what Senator Lazarus's motion fails to consider is that there are actually inherent differences between the ride-sharing sector and the taxi sector including regulations, fee introductions, fee modifications and other aspects. On that basis, we have concerns with some of the wording in this motion but we do support the principle of it. (Time expired)

Question agreed to.