New South Wales has become the second Australian jurisdiction to legalise controversial ridesharing platform app Uber, only weeks after a Melbourne court ruled it effectively illegal in Victoria.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the NSW Cabinet has approved the legislation which will immediately legalise the service and provide large compensations to the taxi industry.
Nearly 6000 perpetual taxi plate owners will be handed a $20,000 flat fee as compensation, while more recently purchased plate holders will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
Uber drivers in the state will soon have to pay a licence fee to pick up passengers, undergo criminal background checks and have their cars checked regularly for safety and won’t be able to access taxi ranks or airports.
It follows in the footsteps of the ACT, which became the first Australian state or territory to legalise Uber in October. As part of that legislation, Uber drivers have to pay a licence fee of $100 and an annual accreditation charge of $50.
The ACT government also provides large compensations to the taxi industry, reducing licence fees by 75% to $5000.
While other governments are moving to legalise the rapidly growing startup, a Melbourne court recently ruled Uber to be effectively illegal and fined a driver $900.