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February 25, 2021

Getting the rules right for Uber

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Simon Alderton, Murwillumbah

I wish to thank the Member for Ballina, Tamara Smith for her correspondence with the Queensland Minister of Transport, the Hon Mark Bailey, on behalf of NSW registered Uber drivers.

The Queensland Governments’ position (stated in a letter from Mark Baileys office), is that NSW registered Uber drivers cannot do return trips across the state boundary. That is, local Uber drivers can drive passengers to Queensland but are forbidden to pick up passengers in that state. This is inline with similar rules for taxi drivers.

A popular route for local Uber drivers is the Byron Bay to Coolangatta Airport run, which happens to sit right on the border. As the terminal is in Queensland, NSW Uber drivers cannot pick up passengers there for a return trip back to NSW.

This may seem absurd, especially for NSW Uber drivers who live in Tweed Heads and are most likely closer to the airport than most Queensland Uber drivers.

In contrast, Queensland registered Uber drivers are allowed to work in NSW and many Ubers who come to Byron Bay are from the Gold Coast. This is not the case, I believe for Gold Coast taxi services. As you can imagine this is a cause of great frustration for local drivers.

All we ask is a level playing field to drive on par with Queensland Uber drivers, who can work on both sides of the border. I’ve recently mailed the NSW Minister of Transport in Sydney to clarify the NSW position and negotiate on our behalf for an open border for all Uber ( and taxi) drivers.

If the Queensland Government won’t allow this, we believe that NSW should reciprocate the Queensland position and not cross border return trips to inter state drivers.

If locals cannot work in Queensland why should Gold Coast Uber drivers be allowed to spend the day in Byron and take work away from locals?

We wait in anticipation for a response from Sydney. In the meantime, at least we know we have Tamara onside.


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