LNP yet to commit to compensation for taxi plate owners
THE Queensland Opposition has not committed to compensating taxi licence holders for the legalisation of ridesharing and criticised the Government for its $100 million plan to do so.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Thursday confirmed ridesharing services such as Uber would be legalised as of September 5 as long as drivers and cars met certain criteria.
Drivers will need government authorisation and cars will need to undergo safety checks. Approved ridesharing vehicles will have to display signs in their rear windows.
But only taxis will be able to use ranks or be hailed from the street. The age limit on taxis will also be removed. Vehicles of all ages will be able to qualify for a taxi licence as long as they pass safety standards.
Transport Minister Sterling Hinchcliffe said a $100 million "industry assistance package" would help existing licence holders adjust to the new market.
"These new reforms unveiled today are about fairness and will ensure the future sustainability of the personalised transport industry while encouraging more innovation which will benefit our economy," he said.
But shadow transport minister Andrew Powell said the government was "dipping their hand in Queensland's cookie jar" to fund their compensation package.
Mr Powell said the LNP would consider the just-released Opportunities for Personalised Transport review before committing to supporting the legalisation of ridesharing in Queensland.
"The LNP has supported an even playing field. We've always been on about passenger safety. But I want to have a look and my colleagues want to have a look (at the review), we want to talk to the key stakeholders and make sure we get our decision right," he said.
When asked if he believed licence holders should not be compensated, Mr Powell said Queenslanders deserved to know how the government would fund the program.
"I would prefer if the Palaszczuk Labor Government came clean in terms of how they're funding this $100 million package," he said.
"The LNP will be looking at the details of this package, consulting with stakeholders and making a decision then."
Mr Hinchcliffe said the funding came from "consolidated revenue". Currently only Uber offers ridesharing services in Queensland.
Katter's Australian Party state leader Robbie Katter said taxpayers should not be funding the assistance package.
"Using taxpayers to pay for this $100 million industry assistance package is essentially subsidising Uber's entry into this market," he said.
"If the multinational wants to enter the field they should be putting up the funds to do so - I'll be damned if it comes from the pockets of Queenslanders." - ARM NEWSDESK