UberX is still illegal in South Australia but the state’s opposition leader Steven Marshall says the ride-sharing service should be trialled in Adelaide as a way to boost employment.
Unemployment in South Australia has increased as big manufacturing plants, the city’s traditional employers, scale back costs and operations.
“We know there have been 5,000 applicants for jobs working for Uber in South Australia,” he told the ABC.
“We’re in the mix of a dangerous jobs crisis with the highest unemployment rate in the nation and we can’t see any reason to hold back an UberX trial.”
Uber has been in Australia since April 2014 and more than a million Australians now use the service.
According to The Australian, Uber has 15,000 drivers in Australia and is on track to have 20,000 on the road before the year is out.
The company has revealed 45% of Uber drivers come from an area where unemployment is above the national average. There are currently 4,500 drivers based in Victoria, 3,500 in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and 4,000 in NSW. About 12% are older than 55 and 10% are military vets.
The company is currently challenging a recent ATO decision which requires drivers who are self-employed contractors to collect GST. On Friday, the cost of UberX went up 10% as the charge was passed on.