Queensland handed Uber drivers $128,000 in fines on the weekend

Uber founder Travis Kalanick. Photo: Getty Images

While NSW and South Australia are keen to open the gates to ride-sharing services, Queensland is taking the opposite approach.

The state’s transport minister, Stirling Hinchcliffe, told parliament today that transport officers spent a 78 hours enforcing new ride sharing laws during Queensland’s Labour Day long weekend.

Hinchcliffe said that in total, $127,926 fines were issued, with 51 drivers in total busted for providing an illegal taxi service. Three drivers were caught more than once.

“While the Queensland government welcomes innovation in transport, passenger safety will always remain our number one priority,” Hinchliffe said.

“Our transport inspectors must have the appropriate tools to ensure that they can uphold the current and any future regulations.”

New laws in the state passed last month that see big new fines for both drivers and Uber itself.

Under the changes, police can now fine UberX drivers up to $2356, an increase from $1413, while Uber and other ride sharing services face fines of $23,560.

Transport inspectors and police also have greater powers to investigate anyone suspected of operating an “illegal taxi” and less proof is now required to charge a driver or the company.

Queensland will have another review of its ride-sharing laws in August, and the state’s peak motoring body, the RACQ, has urged the government to focus on reform rather than penalty.

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