By LACHLAN MOORHEAD
HOLT MP Anthony Byrne has slammed Uber for undercutting the taxi industry at a special rally in Narre Warren on Sunday.
Mr Byrne heavily criticised the technically illegal and unregulated ridesharing service at the taxi forum, attended by more than 300 people and held in conjunction with the Victorian Taxi and Hire Car Families Group at Max Pawsey Reserve, near Fountain Gate Shopping Centre.
Drawing on strong rhetoric Mr Byrne said “behind every taxi is a family”.
“In contrast to taxi and hire car operators, Uber has not been complying with a number of State and Federal government laws, regulations and taxes,” Mr Byrne said.
“We are all here today to ensure Uber is properly regulated in Australia in the coming months and a fair go is provided to the Australian Taxi Industry that employs over 200,000 taxi drivers nationwide.
“Additionally, if Uber does become properly regulated and the value of taxi licences and plates are reduced then the taxi industry should be appropriately compensated.”
Uber, founded in 2009, is regarded as a ridesharing service which launched in Australia in 2012.
But the company has been broadly criticised for its lack of adequate regulation, insurance, licensing and training.
Mr Byrne rejected the contention that Uber provided a “ridesharing service” and argued the company needed to be governed by the same rules as taxis.
“All we want is a fair go for taxis and their families across Australia,” he said.
“Uber is not providing a ridesharing service, they are providing either a taxi service or hire car service and thus need to play by those rules.
“Our community needs to understand that behind every taxi is a family. We can’t just stand by and wait as an industry that employs nearly 200,000 people goes to the wall.”