Angry Queensland taxi drivers have rallied in Brisbane City to demand the state government crack down on controversial ride-sharing app UberX.
Simultaneous protests, organised by the Australian Taxi Federation, are being held around Australia on Thursday to draw attention to the unfair playing field created by a lack of regulation around UberX.
Taxi drivers, who used to earn about $12 per hour, had seen their revenue cut by a third since UberX entered Australia, the federation’s secretary Dennis Julian said.
“Uber is not regulated. It is not insured. It just treats us like fools,” he said.
“The state governments are doing nothing.”
The taxi industry has repeatedly hit out at UberX, saying its drivers have an unfair advantage because they do not have to pay more than $500,000 for a licence.
On top of that, taxi drivers need to cough up $7000 for insurance and up to $1000 each month for radio fees.
Driver Padam Jadon, 36, said that money flowed back into the economy.
“The public supporting Uber because of their cheap fares should realise one thing – Uber is not there for the people,” he said.
“Taxis are because the government regulates them to be pro-people, but Uber is only here to make money.”
It took 32-year-old Harry Singh six years to save the money to buy his licence, but he is struggling to see how he can compete.
“People have come from different parts of the world to Australia because we knew this country was a land with law,” he said.
“This company flouts all our laws.”
The Queensland government has flagged a review of its taxi strategy, but Deputy Premier Jackie Trad hinted in July that UberX could co-exist with taxis.