Queensland government open to Uber operating

The Queensland government has said that it will be reviewing its taxi strategy later in the year, and has not ruled out the co-existence of taxis and Uber services on the state's roads.

The Queensland government has not made its mind up about what to do with Uber, but has hinted the controversial ride-sharing service could co-exist with taxis.

The state is reviewing its taxi strategy later this year with Deputy Premier Jackie Trad saying a range of options to deal with Uber will be considered.

The Deputy Premier said that there could be a complete crackdown on Uber or further deregulation of taxis, but she will not rule out both co-existing in Queensland.

"Other jurisdictions have made a place for Uber without diminishing the importance of the taxi industry that's already established," she said.

Uber has been at the centre of a prolonged debate about regulatory changes to the industry since it entered the Australian market in 2012, with the Taxi Council Queensland denouncing it as a "foreign bully" over the latest marketing technique of cutting fares to bolster participation.

In the meantime, a police crackdown on Uber will continue in Queensland. Drivers are being issued on the spot fines, which according to reports have totalled AU$1.7 million in the state alone in the past year, as a result of 1,536 infringements.

Despite a cease-and-desist order having been placed upon the company's Queensland operations on 21 May, 2015, the ride-booking service said it has been accessed by more than one million Australians.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Wednesday called for a national approach to deal with the ride-sharing service.

Both the New South Wales and Western Australian governments are already tackling the topic in their respective states.

On July 1, the New South Wales government launched an independent task force to work with customers and the taxi industry to examine the impact of emerging technologies, and opportunities to update existing regulations. The task force will have until the end of October to report back to the government on its recommendations.

The West Australian Department of Transport also opened the debate on regulating the transport industry in the greater Perth area this month by releasing a green paper centred on regulating the transport industry and ensuring consumer safety. The paper proposes using consistent regulations to govern the licensing of on-demand vehicles and will be open until the public until 16 October, 2015.

With AAP