Australian taxi industry calls for Uber review following London ban

The taxi industry is calling on a crackdown on Uber licensing agreements following the decision by London authorities not to renew its licence to operate.  Photo: Supplied
The taxi industry is calling on a crackdown on Uber licensing agreements following the decision by London authorities not to renew its licence to operate. Photo: Supplied

The taxi industry has called for a review of Uber's licensing agreements in Australia following London's decision to strip the company of its licence to operate – saying state governments had failed to stand up to the Silicon Valley technology giant.

Australian Taxi Industry Association CEO Blair Davies said it was pleasing to see London authorities "standing up for their rules".

"We applaud the decision by Transport for London to enforce its laws," Mr Davies said.

An online petition by Uber in response to the company not being granted a licence renewal in London.

An online petition by Uber in response to the company not being granted a licence renewal in London.

"Uber have been flouting laws all around the globe and we've seen governments cave in to them, particularly in Australia and the USA."

Read more: Behind the Uber and taxi tussle

On Friday, London's transport regulator said Uber's approach and conduct was not fit and proper to hold a private vehicle hire licence and its licence would not be renewed when it expires on September 30.

Transport for London said Uber had demonstrated "a lack of corporate responsibility" and cited "potential public safety and security implications".

Mr Davies said the same concerns and problems associated with Uber in London – including the use of the secretive Greyball program to deceive authorities – had occurred in Australia and would continue "unless state governments crack down on Uber as Transport for London has done".

"Uber are a global organisation providing a global service and the same issues they have in London we've seen in Australia," he said.

"We're seeing more recordings of assaults of passengers in Uber vehicles, we've had an Uber driver convicted of rape in Sydney, we had a couple of drivers in Brisbane charged with rapes and another one charged with deprivation of liberty.

"This is cause for some state governments to not just rubber stamp applications to Uber and other ride sourcing companies – they need to properly scrutinise companies.

"State governments here should be looking at their licensing, just as Transport for London did." 

Uber Australia did not immediately respond to questions with a spokeswoman referring Fairfax Media to a statement by Uber's general manager in London who said the decision would put 40,000 licensed drivers out of work and "deprive Londoners of a convenient and affordable form of transport".