By Matt Coleman
Ride-booking company Uber is to be fully accredited in South Australia, and new laws are to be introduced to punish unaccredited services.
The Uber-X service had been operating in SA since last year, but without a licence, meaning drivers have been breaking the law.
The accreditation moves announced by the SA Government have been accompanied by raft of new laws to be introduced later this year.
They include demerit points, licence suspensions or disqualifications for driving or providing a passenger transport service without appropriate accreditation and enabling a court to order the recovery of any profits obtained that way.
Transport department inspectors have detected 321 offences under current laws since June 2016.
The Government has also announced plans for a $1 levy on all paid-for passenger transport rides, including those by taxis and chauffeur vehicles.
That will, among other things, contribute to compensation payments to taxi licence holders.
“The State Government has worked hard to negotiate a balance between the desire for more choice, better quality of service, improved working conditions and the sustainability of existing operators and investors,” said Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan.
Other planned changes include a halving of the maximum EFTPOS and credit card fee for passenger transport services from 10 per cent to 5 per cent.