One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson will take on freelance taxi company Uber, which she claims is destroying the industry and making life tough for licenced drivers, Yahoo News and The Satellite reported.
The Queensland politician vowed to seek a level playing field for taxi drivers following a „briefing from the industry.” At a gathering of taxi drivers in Marcoola on the Sunshine Coast, Ms Hanson said, „what is happening is unfair, unjust and needs to change“.
Ms Hanson said Uber, a US-based company operating in 66 countries and estimated to be worth $67 billion, was „taking over and destroying“ the industry. Senator Pauline Hanson vows to fight Uber on behalf of Queensland cabbies.
„You have paid an enormous price for licences you bought in good faith,“ she told the cabbies in the crowd, vowing to make their concerns an issue in the state’s election. „At the next election we will have seats in Queensland and will take your concerns to Parliament to get justice on your behalf,“ she said. Part-time taxi driver John Clarke suggested a licence with a $10,000 or $20,000 price for Uber drivers might be appropriate as he and his colleagues were struggling to compete.
Ms Hanson said the cost of running a taxi far outweighs that of an Uber car, where the „registration for a taxi licence is $6000, for an ordinary car it is just over $300“. The senator also told Yahoo News that safety was also a concern, suggesting that with Uber passengers „don’t know the drivers, but you do in the taxi industry“.
But an Uber spokesman told the newspaper that many of the senator’s claims about the company were wrong.
„The Queensland Government has introduced sensible, safety-based reforms to open up choice for the travelling public and new income earning opportunities for everyday Queenslanders and we comply with the new framework,“ he told The Satellite. He said every Uber driver must have a Driver Authority granted by the Department of Transport and Main Roads, while all vehicles undergo third-party safety checks. Only drivers who pass a criminal background check can be granted a Driver Authority. The spokesman added that Uber users were given information about their drivers before each journey.