The increasing participation of Australians in the sharing economy shows no sign of slowing down, as a report today has made clear.
This is why Labor announced our National Sharing Economy Principles in October 2015 and took them to last year’s election.
However, the absence of any leadership from the Abbott-Turnbull Government on the issue has remained.
In the past couple of years, dozens of Australian companies such as Car Next Door, Parkhound, GoGet and Camplify have sprung up to help Australians make better use of our spare rooms, and unused tools, or tackle problems like traffic congestion and parking shortages by sharing resources around.
Although Uber did not exist in Australia before April 2014, there are now 54,000 drivers across the country and 2.4 million riders registered on the Uber app.
This holiday season has set new records for the number of Australians prepared to open their homes to travellers.
Today, more than 1 in 6 Australians aged over 18 have an Airbnb account.
By the end of January, Airbnb expects there will be 100,000 Australian properties listed on the Airbnb platform, up from 45,000 this time last year.
While Labor appreciates the huge economic and community potential in the rapidly expanding peer-to-peer market and is addressing its regulatory deficiencies, the Turnbull Government has shown no interest or capacity to engage with the sector.
Instead they have left consumers and operators to languish without protocols that fit the new economy or are adapted to community expectations.
By acknowledging that the sharing economy is changing the way Australians are buying and selling goods and services, Labor’s modern principles are designed to guide the development of sensible competition policies for a more innovative and entrepreneurial Australia as well as making sure we put the right rules in place to protect entrepreneurs, workers, consumers and taxpayers.
Labor will continue to work on the development of these rules, and we call on the Turnbull Government to follow our lead.
The six National Sharing Economy Principles Labor took to the 2016 election were:
1. Primary property is yours to share
When Australians use their own cars, homes or goods to deliver services, rules and regulations specific to the sharing economy should apply.
2. New services must support good wages and working conditions
When offering services which involve human labour, sharing economy companies should ensure their pricing and contracting arrangements allow Australians to achieve work outcomes at least equivalent to the prevailing industry standard.
3. Everyone pays their fair share of tax
Everyone doing business in the sharing economy must pay a fair share of tax.
4. Proper protection for public safety
Sharing economy services must have the right insurance to protect Australians if anything goes wrong. Consumers should also be protected by the Australian Consumer Law and light-touch licensing and inspection rules at the state government level.
5. Access for all
Sharing economy services should be accessible to Australians with disabilities. Sharing economy companies should negotiate service levels and needs through accessibility agreements with disability peak bodies.
6. Playing by the rules
Once tailored, light-touch rules exist for the sharing economy, there should be zero tolerance for companies that flout Australian laws.
MEDIA CONTACT: TAIMUS WERNER-GIBBINGS 0437 323 393
MONDAY, 30 JANUARY 2017