Statement from Blair Davies, CEO Taxi Council of Queensland (TCQ) - Re Uber driver rape charge

Once again we see an incident of an alleged rape by an Uber driver this time on the Gold Coast. This is the third Uber driver to be charged with rape in South East Queensland in as many months and that doesn't even include the Brisbane Uber driver charged with depravation of liberty within the same period.

The question for Premier Palaszczuk and her Government is a simple one. How many more incidents will we have, how many more young females must needlessly become the victims of sexual predators, before Queenslanders see some real action to make ride booking services safer? With the state election looming, is the Premier seriously going to go to the polls with her reforms of the personalised transport sector clearly putting female passengers in unacceptable jeopardy?

The Taxi Council of Queensland (TCQ) warned the Government when it started down the path of changing regulations that it needed to place passenger safety at the top of its priorities. We warned the Government that lax rules and relying on the self-serving assurances of certain companies could be a recipe for disaster. Regrettably, we saw the Government largely dismissive of those warnings. That has proven to be a huge mistake and it now needs to be fixed and fixed urgently.

We have had security cameras in Queensland taxis since 2005. They are proven technology that has made taxi services safer for passengers and drivers. We don't understand why the Government doesn't require them in booked hire vehicles. Proper security cameras would definitely make those services much safer than they currently are.

The Government has a plan to undertake a review in eighteen months that will look at security cameras and other options for making booked hire services safer. However, with the Government's new regulations critically failing to protect vulnerable female passengers, the community cannot wait eighteen months.

TCQ is calling on the Premier to take personal charge of the issue of safety in booked hire vehicles. It's an urgent problem that requires urgent fixing. Premier Palaszczuk has to put the interests of Queensland first and cannot put her Government into caretaker mode before serious measures are put in place to protect female passengers using booked hire services.

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Taxi Council Queensland is the state’s peak industry body, representing all those involved in the industry including drivers, owners, operators, and booking companies. Its purpose is to expand the total market for taxi services through effective engagement with governments, stakeholders, and the wider community
Our mission is to provide a unified voice for the Queensland taxi industry through direction, resources, and political and community profile, proactively leading it on issues strategically important to the Taxi Council of Queensland.

Our core values include professionalism, integrity, pro-activity, accountability, and teamwork, all of which ensure the Queensland Taxi industry has a strong foundation to provide the best service to our community, and carry it into the future.