NSW government addresses $500m Uber economy
The next step has been taken towards collaboration with the sharing economy
The NSW government has issued a position paper that addresses services like Uber operating in the "sharing economy", which contributed $504 million to NSW last year.
"Releasing this paper shows that the Government is committed to the collaborative economy," NSW Innovation and Better Regulation Minister Victor Dominello said. "We are living in the information age and it is vital that the government policies embrace new technologies and enable businesses to operate with certainty."
Dominello said the paper covered areas including innovation, regulation, consumer protection and safety.
Regulation would be "flexible and proportionate to identified risk," according to Dominello, and take a "digital-first approach".
Part of this regulatory approach includes consideration of the following principles:
- Regulation should encourage the growth of commercial activity, not restrict it;
- The opportunity should be taken to reduce the overall regulation across the visitor economy;
- Self-regulation should be encouraged before government intervenes;
- A cross-governmental approach is required to develop an efficient regulatory framework;
- Regulatory responses should be designed based on strong empirical evidence.
The focus of the paper was primarily on transport and accommodation, with car sharing service Uber and accommodation provider Airbnb cited throughout. The paper notes Uber is worth an estimated $41 billion with one million Australian Uber users while there are 50,000 Airbnb renters in Australia.