Ride-sharing services including Uber are legal in Queensland as of today, with changes to personalised transport regulation being rolled out across the state.
But about 200 cab drivers and their supporters have voiced their opposition to the move, staging a rally outside State Parliament and accusing the Queensland Government of selling them out.
State Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said changing customer expectations highlighted the need to update existing transport regulations.
“These reforms give Queenslanders more choice, will drive competition and innovation across the whole industry, and deliver a more flexible and modern personalised transport system that can keep pace with future changes,” he said.
“As a result of the reforms, Queenslanders will have a wider range of affordable travel options, and the industry will benefit from less red tape and costs.”
“Ride-booking services will now be able to operate legally across Queensland but there will be additional safety measures, such as requirements for identification signage and annual inspects to certify safety at approved inspection stations.
“Queenslanders will start to see signage of some ride-booking services in the lead up to the November 1 deadline.”
Mr Hinchliffe said the Queensland Government had responded to the industry’s concerns by slashing red tape for the taxis and limousine industry, with a $100 million industry adjustment assistance package including a range of financial, advisory and incentives measures.
“Since August 11, $4.3 million in immediate financial relief has been provided to taxi and limousine operators, licence holders and drivers through the waiving of service licence renewal fees, taxi industry security levy payments and driver authorisation renewal fees,” he said.
“Under the changes, the Queensland Government will also make a $20 payment to wheelchair accessible taxis to provide an incentive to prioritise bookings from people in wheelchair and mobility scooters.”
Changes taking effect today mark the beginning of the first stage of a plan to overhaul personalised transport regulation, with a bill to be introduced to State Parliament early next year, Mr Hinchliffe said.