Labor leads on the sharing economy - Media Release


The ACT Government’s announcement that it will legalise ridesharing again shows Labor is taking the lead on innovative policies for the sharing economy.  

The announcement of new ridesharing rules and associated taxi reforms will pave the way for ridesharing companies to operate legally for the first time anywhere in Australia.  

This milestone comes as Federal Labor moves towards finalising our response to the sharing economy Discussion Paper launched in March. This looks at how we can get the national policy settings right to support the growth of this new sector while protecting Australian workers and consumers.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr deserves praise for embracing innovation and addressing the practical regulatory challenges that come with ridesharing. As with the ACT’s stamp duty reforms, this again demonstrates the Barr Government’s policy leadership.

At both the federal and state/territory level, Labor is taking a forward-looking approach which acknowledges that digital disruption is changing the way people access goods and services. The status quo doesn’t cut it anymore and new approaches will be needed.

This is the kind of leadership that has been lacking from the Abbott-Turnbull Government and state Liberal governments around the country.   

We aren’t waiting for the Liberals to get their act together. There are potentially huge economic and community benefits in the sharing economy, and Labor wants to see all Australians share them.

Together with our state and territory colleagues, Bill Shorten and the Federal Labor team are determined to unlock Australian innovation and entrepreneurialism.



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  • commented 2015-09-30 23:55:52 +1000
    Hello Andrew,

    My husband has been a taxi licence owner and driver in Queensland for over 35 years and I have also purchased a taxi licence . The taxi industry has been our main income for many years and now we have retired, with my husband having very little superannuation except for his taxi licences.
    I read your Discussion Paper on the Sharing Economy and the full transcript from your address to the National Press Club. At the time I was impressed with your grasp on the complexities of the taxi industry and issues around the arrival of illegal taxi services in Australia. Also I was impressed that at least the Labor Party was looking toward the future and attempting to create new industries and opportunities for Australians. However after viewing Ed Husic on Sky news and reading your article above I am bitterly disappointed with your current stance.
    I also visited my Parents’ Federal Member , Wayne Swan, to discuss our concern with him, and also with their state ALP member Stirling Hinchliffe.
    Both members stated to me that they did not see any distinction between the nature of the service offered by Uber and the regulated taxi industry.
    The taxi industry in Australia has had booking by apps for more than 4 years.
    Uber sees that as their point of difference, but it is no point of difference as you can see. Uber also sees the idea of using ordinary people , in ordinary undifferentiated vehicles as another point of difference. I see that they are offering an unregulated taxi service. Taxi drivers are ordinary citizens too, driving ordinary cars such as Toyotas or Fords. So where is the difference.?
    Only difference I can see is the potential problem with under insured vehicles , and non differentiated vehicles.
    So what about the idea of the technological advance and the growth of digital industry in Australia ? Well there is no difference, as both taxis and Uber use apps. Once the point to point service has been booked and paid for the remainder of the service is EXACTLY the same. A purely physical drive as a passenger in a car. Nothing technologically advanced about that! I would say this to you. Australians want work for themselves and future generations. We need work for our emotional and physical well being. We need work that does not lead to a generation of the working poor .

    What our country does NOT need is: increased casualization of the workforce,
    Poorly paid work
    A transfer of risk and reward between employer and employed.

    I would like to engage in a further discussion with you, about these issues.
    I live in Queensland but am prepared to visit you at your electorate office, or your parliamentary office.
    There are many aspects about this issue which require more scrutiny BEFORE you create a policy paper.
    I would appreciate a reply to my email .

    Elizabeth Marshall

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