RACQ to insure ridesharing drivers once legal

RACQ has called on the State Government to speed up its decision on ridesharing in Queensland, announcing it would insure operators like Uber as soon as the practice was made legal.

RACQ spokesperson Paul Turner said under RACQ's insurance cover for ridesharing drivers there would be no limit on hours of operation.

"We recognise that for many people, working for rideshare operators such as Uber supplements their main income. We won't restrict drivers to operating for a set number of hours," Mr Turner said. "Other States in Australia have legalised ridesharing, and Queensland continues to lag behind as we wait for a decision.

"The review has taken more than nine months to complete and while we wait for an outcome rideshare users and drivers are putting themselves at legal risk, and the taxi industry is being unfairly penalised as its future lies in limbo.

"RACQ is committed to insuring ridesharing drivers as soon as the practice is made legal."

Mr Turner said 80 percent of RACQ members surveyed were in favour of ridesharing in Queensland, and the same number believed people should be able to choose between rideshare and taxis.

"The legalisation of ridesharing doesn't have to mean the end of the taxi industry. The two can co-exist as we give all Queenslanders a choice," he said. "The focus must be on the best transport outcome and not just on protecting existing operations."

Taxi industry accuses RACQ of hidden agenda

Taxi Council Queensland CEO Benjamin Wash condemned the RACQ's position.

"For the past couple of years RACQ has publicly supported uber and the so-called "ridesharing" model, despite the way uber has entered the market bypassing regulations, ignoring government cease and desist orders, disadvantaging over 16,000 small business operators that pay tax and play by the rules, and treating the rule of law with contempt,'' Mr Wash said.

"The RACQ's support for illegal activity is surprising, and should raise the question of why it is being so vocal and what its agenda really is.

"The organisation has publicly supported leaving taxis rank and hail work, which only represents around 35 per cent of taxi work in this state. This means that it either does not understand the way the Queensland taxi industry works, or it has hidden motives.

"The RACQ and its interstate affiliates have stated in the past that they would consider starting a rideshare company.

"It is clear that these organisations want to use their huge combined membership base to start a company that will rival uber and dominate the market, generating massive revenue across their income bases of insurance and road servicing, while establishing an entirely new revenue model.

"The RACQ has a clear vested interest and it is wrong to imply it is independent in this debate. We call on the RACQ to finally declare its motives and stop hiding behind the guise of being an observer."

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