Uber could be closer to coming to Ballarat after this week’s ruling on the ride-share company in the County Court.
The Wednesday decision saw a 1927 section of the Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Act 1983 used to successfully appeal the conviction of Melbourne man Nathan Brenner for running an unlicensed taxi service.
Previously Uber has ruled out expanding to Ballarat before the Victorian government specifically permits UberX drivers to carry paying passengers.
““We would like to launch in more regional centres but we are waiting on a regulatory response from government,” Uber’s communications lead for Australia and New Zealand Katie Curran said told The Courier last year.
That could be closer after this week’s ruling as Uber goes on the attack on the Victorian government’s hesitance to make a decision either way.
Uber's Victorian general manager Matt Denman said after the court sided with them specific legislation should follow.
"The minister consistently paints Victoria as the only state that is unable to manage this issue effectively and in a timely fashion, which is a concern," Mr Denman told AAP.
"The time has now come for the government to cease using taxpayer money to target ride-sharing drivers in the court, and work in consultation with the ride-sharing industry."
Ballarat taxi drivers have consistently expressed concern at Uber arriving and taking their customers, but Ballarat Taxis Co-Operative Stephen Armstrong said they just wanted Uber drivers to compete under the same conditions.
“We just want a level playing field,” he said.
“(Uber) is outside of regulations, and on requirements for safety standards, driver training.”
Mr Armstrong said it was likely the government would follow most of the other states and territories’ lead and properly legalise Uber.
But he said they should consider safety net rules, like obligatory comprehensive insurance.
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