Apr 22, 2015

The taxi industry is disappointed that Opposition Leader Matthew Guy has called on the Victorian Government to embrace illegal ride sharing apps.

Mr Guy was yesterday filmed as a passenger in an UberX, a service which remains illegal in Victoria. 

Victorian Taxi Association CEO David Samuel said Mr Guy’s stunt ride was disappointing.

“I’m concerned that a senior Member of Parliament would associate himself with a dangerous and illegal service,” Mr Samuel said.

“There are serious questions about how UberX operates in Victoria, including whether UberX drivers have commercial insurance to protect road users and passengers, and whether UberX pays tax in Australia.

“We know that UberX drivers are not covered by workers compensation insurance,” Mr Samuel said.

It is only a very short time since Mr Guy was a senior member of a Government which had ample opportunity to address the issues of systematic non-compliance with commercial passenger vehicle regulations by Uber.

The Baillieu and Napthine Governments’ comprehensive review of the taxi and hire car industries made no reference to the emergence of ride sharing providers, nor provided a policy response.

Industry and community representatives will meet with Transport Minister Jacinta Allan next week, as part of the inaugural Taxi and Hire Car Industry Ministerial Forum.

The taxi industry continues to seek a level playing field on which to compete and clarity around the conditions within which the industry must operate.

We look forward to a discussion with Minister Allan on Monday and have also sought a meeting with Mr Guy.