Labor rises to the challenge of the sharing economy - Media Release

MEDIA RELEASE

LABOR RISES TO THE CHALLENGE OF THE SHARING ECONOMY

Labor today launched a new Discussion Paper on the rise of the sharing economy to help release the in this innovative new sector.

Australia has a housing affordability crisis, yet there are nine million spare bedrooms across the nation.

Some of our major cities are in gridlock, yet the majority of cars carry only one person. Many people own a power drill, yet use it less than an hour a year.

Sharing economy services can help us make more efficient use of the world’s existing stock of bedrooms, cars, tools and more.

Labor wants to see Australians share the benefits of the sharing economy. We also want to make sure we have the right rules in place to protect workers, consumers and the public good.

At the moment, some sharing economy services operate outside the rules and regulations which exist to protect public safety, ensure everyone pays their fair share and guarantee workers’ rights.

This is tricky balance and in a fast-moving digital context it will be a challenge to get it right. But we owe it to consumers to take this challenge seriously.

Labor’s Discussion Paper sets out the main regulatory challenges raised by this new sector, and the strong principles that will guide our response.

Australian consumers have embraced these new services. We would be squibbing our responsibilities as policymakers if we simply tried to shut these services down or punted dealing with the challenges they pose them into the too-hard basket.

There may be very real benefits in this emerging economy. Getting the rules right will mean millions of Australians can share them.

TUESDAY, 24 MARCH 2015

MEDIA CONTACT: JENNIFER RAYNER 0428 214 856


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