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Government follows Libs policy lead on Uber

The Weatherill Labor Government has backflipped on allowing UberX to operate in South Australia, less than two weeks after the State Liberals committed to introducing legislation in Parliament to legalise ride-sharing. 

On 31 March this year, State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall announced that the State Liberals would introduce legislation to allow ride-sharing services, such as UberX, to legally operate in South Australia.

At the time of the State Liberals’ announcement, Premier Weatherill said:

“[it was] irresponsible for the Opposition to be proposing legislation without the benefit of [seeing] that very extensive review”. –InDaily, 31/03/16

Minister Mullighan also accused the State Liberals of “making policy on the run” (InDaily, 31/03/2016).

“The only one running here is Minister Mullighan, who is desperately trying to catch up with this popular policy adopted by the South Australian Liberals and the rest of Australia,” said Mr Marshall.  

The State Liberals have been leading the charge to legalise ride-sharing in South Australia.

In August 2015 the Liberal Party called on the Government to allow a 12 month trial of UberX in South Australia.

At the time there had been around 5,000 applicants for Uber jobs and the Liberal Party recognised the role UberX could play given South Australia’s disastrous unemployment rate and jobs crisis.

“The Weatherill Labor Government has been forced into an embarrassing backflip because of the popularity of the State Liberals’ policy,” said Mr Marshall.

“Technology is enabling the share economy and the Weatherill Labor Government has ignored it for long enough.

“The State Liberals have long recognised that legalising Uber and other ride-sharing services has the ability to strengthen the South Australian economy, create new jobs across a number of sectors and heighten innovation across the State.

“The ride-sharing economy also increases competition, gives customers a broader range and choice of services, and improves transport reliability and customer service.

“Treasurer Koutsantonis won’t be happy about his Government’s announcement today, but this is about giving commuters the choice they want when it comes to transport options in South Australia.”

In November 2015, Labor MLC Tung Ngo also stated his opposition to Uber in South Australia, posting the following message on Facebook: