Life Tech Labor wants to legalise Uber

Labor wants to legalise Uber

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The Labor party will push for the sharing economy to be regulated, not banned, so that the “next Uber” starts in Australia.

Opposition assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh said companies like Airbnb and Uber should be welcomed and legislated for.

“The sharing economy is growing rapidly,” he told the ABC on Wednesday night.

“What Labor wants to do is have an environment where the next Uber is an Australian firm, not an overseas firm.”

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Leyonhjelm has made his support for the sharing economy hilariously clear in the past. Photo: Getty
Senator Leyonhjelm has made his support for the sharing economy hilariously clear in the past. Photo: Getty

US-based ride sharing app Uber has faced strong opposition from the taxi industry and crackdowns from state governments in Queensland and NSW, which claim it is illegal.

Mr Leigh said a framework was required to regulate the sharing economy, valued at $15 billion globally.

“About one in 200 homes are now listed on Airbnb and yet the federal government has been slow to respond with a set of sensible rules that encourage innovation and protect consumers and workers.”

Labor would propose regulation to lock in access for such services to the disabled, and to define specific insurance requirements.

It also said “a fair share of tax” should be paid by the firms, threatening a one-strike rule for those who don’t follow the laws.

Mr Leigh said the plan had been developed over the past six months.

He indicated Labor wanted to embrace the influence of the sharing economy business model .

Earlier this year the ACT government passed legislation to allow Uber to enter the marker if drivers have the right insurance as part of a list of requirements.

The ACT is the only state or territory that legally allows Uber, although the Northern Territory is expected to follow.

In NSW, Victoria and Queensland there has been a series of protest from the cab industry, calling for Uber to be forced out of Australia.

Liberal Democrats senator for NSW David Leyonhjelm previously said the ACT leading this move made the Federal and State governments look like “a bunch of slack-jawed banjo-playing yokels”.

“This is a serious issue for our tourism industry, and they make the rest of us look the same way.”

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