LEVEL PLAYING FIELD: Disgruntled taxi drivers gather outside Leanne Donaldsons office.
LEVEL PLAYING FIELD: Disgruntled taxi drivers gather outside Leanne Donaldsons office. Mike Knott BUN110816TAXI2

Taxi industry on the attack after move to legalise Uber

THE taxi industry has slammed the Labor Government's decision to legalise ride-booking services such as Uber.

Thursday's announcement that regional Queenslander's would have broader access to personalised transport under the government's new five-year plan prompted taxi drivers to protest outside Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson's office.

Bundy Yellow Cabs manager operations Lesley Smith said Yellow Cabs wanted to express its disappointment in the decision.

"We feel public safety should be paramount," she said.

"We are looking for a level playing field and we fear that Uber will have an unfair advantage.

 


"We as an industry need to look after the entire community including the disabled.

"We feel that further consultation with the taxi industry is warranted."

But Ms Donaldson said in regional areas the roadmap - Queensland's Personalised Transport Horizons - meant more choice for consumers with new types of booked services entering the market.

"Ride-booking services will be legalised and these drivers will be required to meet the same safety standards and pay the same fees as taxi drivers," she said.

"Regional customers will have more choice, more competitive pricing and strengthened strengthened and consistent safety standards."

But Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett, who joined taxi drivers in the protest, said he was appalled at the local Member for Bundaberg's failure to fight for the Bundaberg region's small business operators.

"Yet again, the local Bundaberg MP hasn't stood up for local businesses... instead, she has thrown them to the wolves," he said.

And yellow Cabs general manager Bill Parker labelled the government's direction as effectively taking the taxi industry back 25 years.

"The current act is all about customer protection in the provision of a transparent accountable service," he said.

"The disabled will be most vulnerable especially when you consider the choice of supplying an $80,000 vehicle suitable for the conveyance of a wheel chair or a second-hand $1500 sedan."


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