What an interesting couple of weeks we have had at RSDAA.
After several meetings with the ATO over the last couple of years where we have progressed numerous ideas with their management, they have supplied us with literature that has been put out in the rideshare community as well as a link direct to their site from our RSDAA website. In the last couple of meetings there has been some positive progress and now an escalation to more senior management based in Sydney. Our President and Treasurer met with these folks earlier this week and a few actions are being moved forward and as we have more information it will be posted here on our website.
RSDAA have also been involved with another State Government review committee over the last number of months as the Office of Industrial Relations have undertaken a Five Year Review of the Workers Compensation Act in Queensland. This should also include the workers involved in the “gig economy” and offer some protections to them.
Earlier this week another organization reached out to RSDAA inviting us to work with them on issues relating to the operation of airports here in Australia. This issue has been discussed with our other committee members and our Vice President and Secretary are going to be working with this organization as we move forward. This is a show of recognition by another industry body as to the legitimacy of RSDAA. Both the Secretary and Vice President attended to the recent Ground Transport Operators Forum at Brisbane Airport where the outline for the coming 5 years was spelled out to the attendees. The plans they currently are suggesting are not that viable and we will be meeting with them soon to try to offer an alternative. A workable solution.
There has been quite a bit said about the installation of the “approved cameras” in Queensland of late and at this stage it is still not a mandated requirement unless the rider is anonymous (as in rank and hail), you are accepting a cash payment or the payment is either cash, or electronic payment made immediately prior to, during or immediately after the trip. If you are operating a BEA a simple solution is to use an invoice system as in Square and invoice the client, if they don’t pay, they don’t ride. The position of the RSDAA is that the “approved cameras” are not fit for purpose in ride share as the majority of vehicles used are still private family vehicles. During discussions with some of the more reputable rental companies it has been bought to our attention that they are against the idea of installing “tamperproof” camera systems into their vehicles and have indicated that they may leave the Queensland market if this becomes a requirement. One company has indicated that it would mean an exit of at least one thousand cars and unemployment for many staff, so there is a bigger picture at play here. This issue affects the Limousine industry as well as ride share. The old saying what happens in the car stays in the car as to confidential conversations. Feedback from one operator is that it would decimate his drivers as the majority would not be able to afford to install these cameras and would leave the industry.
I know that some would see this as a good idea but remember that the RSDAA is here to represent drivers not just a select few who think they have a right to the work.
It has been the focus of some in the industry that RSDAA have no contact with Uber well that has changed at last. The actions of a few bought about the shut door policy as it was easier to baffle a few with BS than deal with real matters. That is now behind us and yes, we are talking with Uber on issues that affect the whole industry, not just Uber.