Labor budget reply: sharing economy must be embraced

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NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley will push for the regulation of peer-to-peer sharing services such as Uber in his first Budget reply speech that sets out Labor’s policy platform. 

In a speech that advances positive solutions for the NSW economy, Mr Foley said services such as ride-sharing platform Uber should be regulated to protect users and providers.

A working group ahead of the introduction of a private members bill will be convened soon. NSW would be the first state to regulate services such as Uber.

In his speech, Mr Foley said: “Embracing the sharing economy is part of my vision for our state’s future. There is huge economic potential here.

“It is time for Government to engage with this collaborative economy, by creating a framework for its use – and we should start with ride sharing.

“Ride-sharing has already been regulated in more than 24 jurisdictions around the world - it’s time for this state to join that list.

“People are voting with their feet—hundreds of thousands used Uber last year.  And the public should be free to choose the services they want without fear of retribution from Government. Once again, Labor’s starting point is clear: the public interest comes first.

“The Parliament should regulate to protect consumers and drivers by putting in place some basic standards. We should have a race to the top, not the bottom, when it comes to customer standards and driver pay.

“We need to find ways to encourage and facilitate the sharing economy. This makes economic and environmental sense—by enlisting a whole suite of assets that otherwise lay idle.

“On this issue, and so many others, the Government is behind the times.”