The growing popularity of ridesharing in Australia has required
a review of the passenger transport industry and highlighted the
need to create legislation to deal with the issues that have
arisen. The NSW Government has responded by yesterday passing the
Point to Point (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Bill 2016.
The Bill looks to reform the regulation of taxi and point to
point transport services to promote a positive safety culture for
the industry and the community, while embracing ridesharing as a
new form of passenger transport.
The legislation will deregulate the industry and encourage
greater competition and innovation, as well as provide a framework
that creates a risk-based scheme on the ridesharing industry that
will be similar to the scheme created by the work health and safety
The Bill was introduced to Parliament off the back of reports
and studies conducted by the Point to Point Taskforce. The
Taskforce was set up by the NSW Government to consider and review
issues arising out of the previously unregulated ridesharing
industry. The Taskforce worked with customers, the taxi industry,
hire car companies and other stakeholders to review the
sustainability and competition in the market, the impact of
emerging technologies (such as the Uber and Go-Catch ridesharing
apps), customer safety and any shortcomings of existing passenger
transport legislation. The Bill adopts a similar framework to that
under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW), and imposes duties
on passenger and booking service providers and officers and workers
of the providers. It requires duty holders to address safety risks
and protect passengers.
Some of the key features of the reform include:
A primary duty to ensure the health and safety of drivers and
other persons, so far as reasonably practicable.
A duty of officers to exercise due diligence (noting that the
Bill provides guidance as to what reasonable steps can be taken in
A duty of drivers to take reasonable care for their own safety
and to make sure that their acts or omissions do not adversely
affect the safety of others.
The drafting of Regulations to provide further guidance on
compliance with the legislation.
The appointment of a Commissioner to operate as the Regulator
of the legislation.
The appointment of authorised officers to exercise functions
under the legislation.
The creation of maximum penalties as follows:
Category 1: Where a person who engages in conduct,
without a reasonable excuse, that exposes an individual to whom the
duty is owed to a risk of death or serious injury or illness if the
person is reckless as to the risk.
$300,000 and/or 2 years imprisonment for individuals.
$3 million of corporations.
Category 2: Where a person has a duty under the legislation and
fails to comply with the duty so that an individual is exposed to a
risk of death or serious injury or illness.
$150,000 for individuals.
$1.5 million for corporations.
Category 3: Where a person fails to comply with their duty under
$50,000 for individuals.
$500,000 for corporations.
What does this mean for the community and workplaces?
The introduction of this legislation is designed to encourage
greater emphasis on safety in the ridesharing industry, which may
lead more organisations to consider it as an alternative form of
safe travel for their workers. The impact of this legislation on
the taxi industry may increase competition in the market, providing
organisations and individuals with greater choice and, possibly,
more efficient and cost effective transport.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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This decision will be significant to aviation industry participants in assessing whether claimants in the context of international or domestic carriage by air have commenced claims in an appropriate forum in Australia.
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