Queensland Uber law places transport services in legal limbo, Minister says
Charter buses, limousines and hotel transport vehicles may all be illegal in Queensland as an unintended consequence of ride-sharing laws passed in State Parliament.
The Government supported a Katter Party bill to increase penalties for drivers and owners of ride-sharing companies such as Uber.
But Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said amendments that the Government did not vote for may have broadened the definition of a person who administers a taxi service.
Mr Hinchliffe said he had told his department to address the legal consequences of the amendments, which he said the Liberal National Party (LNP) had supported.
"As I warned last night, the economic vandalism inflicted by the LNP may well mean that all pre-booked passenger services are illegal if they do not use taxi licences," he said.
"Charter bus services, tourist services, chartered school bus services, community transport services, limousine services, shuttle services and hotel accommodation transfer services - all of these services may be deemed illegal if not operated by a licensed taxi.
"It also means that compulsory third party insurance is required for some of these services, and that may be, depending on the insurer, up to some $6,300."
Mr Hinchliffe said he would not allow chaos in the transport system.
"Last night I instructed the Director-General of the Department of Transport and Main Roads to take all necessary steps to ensure that those unintended consequences ... do not impact on our communities," he said.
Katter MP Shane Knuth said the issue could be fixed with amendments to the legislation.
"If there is a problem we can work this out, the Parliament is a lot bigger than that," he said.
"That is what we are here for, we are legislators.
"We will continue to work with the Government over this."
Opposition transport spokesman Scott Emerson said "any unexpected consequences from Katter amendments, we would support being corrected".
Source: ABC News