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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Article: GST Roadblock Deterring Uber Drivers - SDA's Take

THIS morning I awoke to find SDA's latest media interview efforts translated into this Start Up Smarts article which we are pleased report was pretty close too the substance of our exchange. Our compliments to the author for a decent representation of share drivers views.

Now, it would be easy for me to sit here and say: "that's not my quote, or that's not what I meant, or that's out of context". But that would be unfair because overall the article does discuss most of the major points I tried to make.

It gets slightly lost in translation from representing share drivers views in their purest form because the intended audience is not the general public, but a very particular demographic: those starting a business, those interested in business start ups and others with an interest in how technology can work for business.

We were very pleased to see a link included back to our site. An explanation that drivers end up paying an effective GST of 12.5% was included. It said that drivers were dropping out in masses and that I had also quit (not quit, just stopped driving for now). Well, pretty sure I said many (not masses) share drivers were dropping out and listed a variety of reasons, not just GST, but I shall give the author the benefit of the doubt because it's possible I did say it some stage in our phone conversation.


It can be argued that Start Up Smart's article will have some good reach and impact. Afterall, who else do you know of who are starting up small tech based businesses in earnest? Australian share drivers, that's who!

Original article here: http://www.startupsmart.com.au/fina...ock-deterring-uber-drivers/2015081115285.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You've lost me - can you define what a "share driver" is? Then define what a pre-booked Taxi service is. And what are the differences.
Oh goody, being asked for definitions again....set em up and knock em down Eh Sydney Uber.

I've no intention of indulging you.

How about this: you define and I'll tear it to shreds....nice role reversal don't you think?
 

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Oh goody, being asked for definitions again....set em up and knock em down Eh Sydney Uber.

I've no intention of indulging you.

How about this: you define and I'll tear it to shreds....nice role reversal don't you think?
Okay Ghosty, I was trying to help you out.

You claim to be a representative of "Share Drivers " A relatively new term, and a relatively new Association. You are getting some media interest, and you will be asked by journalists seeking to inform their readership various perspectives of this whole debate. Journalists first lay down a description of the conflicting arguments. They will require definitions.

If you respond in such a petulant, immature manner to a journalist who is allowing you a platform to promote your constituency, this will ensure that the drivers you represent will never get media coverage again.

As I have told you in the past I was the secretary of an association which successfully beat taxis combined when they applied to the ACCC to enact a restrictive practice. They tried to stop cab drivers from using mobile phones to take direct bookings and dispatch them in contravention of Radio Network bylaws. We raised 25k in driver funds back in 1990 to secure top tier legal firm to represent us (we won - another example of the Taxi industry fighting new technologies).

Now, let's not take my questions personally, just remember you chose this position and stuck your head out to be the mouthpiece. There will be far harder opponents than myself trying to cut you down. So take this as a mentoring media training exercise and answer the questions please.

can you define what a "share driver" is? Then define what a pre-booked Taxi service is. And what are the differences.
Ghosty, I'm helping you expand your platform. Your constituents are listening (I apologise to those that I missed)
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SydX
Thelma & Louise (T&L)
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Nellcote
Uber.melb
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Danny Driveshare
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chase
Subaru_X
Broc
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uberbris
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bachris
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Shaun the Sheep
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Zero4
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
The obvious sarcasm was because you have asked me to do this before and I have already obliged, but if you insist....

(and with your lovely hand picked audience too, welcome all)

For the purposes of effective communication, differentiation from other point to point transport providers and simple self identification (ie a new share driver just signs up and goes looking on the internet for support communities...what does she 'google'?) "share driver" is the wide ranging term I used to identify app connected point-to-point transport drivers
Trying to keep the definition broad to encompass potential new market players, both OS based and also for potential new Australian based app providers who are yet to launch their products.

This new tech based service is charged via the app: no cash is exchanged
This new tech based service has a timer giving customers real time feedback
This new tech based service has a 5 star rating system
This new tech based service uses private vehicles
This new tech based service still does not have appropriate regulations to govern it's activities
This new tech based service is currently delivered by an overseas based provider
This new tech based service gives out the drivers private mobile number
This new tech based service has drivers paying GST at an effective 12.5%
This new tech based service does not provide full cover livery insurance whilst in service
This new tech based service can apparently treat it's drivers any way it chooses, it typically finds the bottom of the market, that is how little drivers will except in payment
This new tech based service drivers cannot claim back any GST input credits on there biggest expense: the app provider fees. they can only claim back income tax deductions on this.

(Vic taxi drivers)
Taxi drivers have a 55% income guarantee (see below for details)
Taxi drivers can claim back GST input credits and income tax deductions on their biggest expense: the bailee costs
Taxi drivers costs have historically been artificially driven up by governments (Do you like that? You pay that much to keep the other guy out? Really? I bet you and the other guy make more if you just competed in a free market)
Taxi cabs can be hailed on the street with no trace-ability and no accountability...this is not an exception, this service exists, it is an integral of what cabs are capable of doing so it cannot be separated. ref: https://theconversation.com/factcheck-is-ridesharing-no-safer-than-hitchhiking-45878

This is a definition and description of the working conditions and rights of Victorian cab drivers:

REF: http://www.taxi.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/word_doc/0020/213950/Implied-Conditions.doc
NOTICE UNDER SECTION 162L(1) OF THE TRANSPORT
(COMPLIANCE AND MISCELLANEOUS) ACT 1983 (VIC.)
Definitions
In this notice:
Act means Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous Act)
1983 (Vic).
Dispute has the meaning given to it in condition 4.1.
Driver means a person who takes possession of a Taxi-cab
operated by another person for the purpose of operating the
Taxi-cab under the driver agreement.

Gross Fares has the meaning given to it in condition 1.1.
Incident means any event occurring during a Shift in which:
a) the Taxi-cab or equipment is damaged, lost or stolen;
b) the Taxi-cab is involved in a collision resulting in damage to
the Taxi-cab, another vehicle or any other property; or
c) a person is injured by the Taxi-cab, while inside the Taxi-cab
or while entering or leaving the Taxi-cab.
Operator means a person who operates a Taxi-cab, and who
allows another person to take possession of the Taxi-cab for the
purpose of operating the Taxi-cab under the driver agreement.
Shift means any period during which the Driver is allowed to
drive the Operator's Taxi-cab.
Taxi-cab means any vehicle that the Driver is permitted to have
possession of under the driver agreement.
TSC means the Taxi Services Commission.
Words used in this notice have the meanings given in the Act,
unless otherwise indicated.
Notice
In accordance with section 162L(1) of the Act, I, Graeme Samuel
AC, Chair of the Taxi Services Commission, specify the following
conditions as conditions that will be implied into every driver
agreement within the meaning of section 162J of the Act.
Section 162L(1) of the Act, and accordingly this Notice, take
effect on 30 June 2014.
Conditions applicable to all driver agreements
1. Parties' earnings
1.1. For the purposes of section 162L(2) of the Act,
'Gross Fares' means:
the total amount of all fares accrued on the meter,
including any applicable:
a) booking fee;
b) high occupancy fee;
c) late night surcharge; and
d) public holiday surcharge,
but does not include Citylink or Eastlink tolls,
any non-cash payment surcharge and any fees
charged by Melbourne Airport.
1.2. The Operator must maintain a record of:
a) all payments made between the Operator and
Driver;
b) all Shifts worked by the Driver;
c) the total amount of Gross Fares earned during
each Shift; and
d) all surcharges charged to a passenger during
a Shift,
and must provide copies of these records to the
Driver at the end of every calendar month.
1.3. The Operator must not charge the Driver any fee or
surcharge that would be subtracted from the Driver's
agreed share of the Gross Fares (which must be at
least 55 per cent).
2. Maintenance costs
2.1. The Operator must pay all operating and maintenance
costs of the Taxi-cab, including:
a) fuel;
b) oils;
c) lubricants;
d) repairs;
e) Taxi-cab livery and equipment; and
f) tyres and other replacement parts for the
Taxi-cab.
DTPLI7670_S103_06/14 2
Implied Conditions
Taxi Services Commission
Level 23, 80 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
GPO Box 1716, Melbourne VIC 3001 Phone: 1800 638 802 (toll-free) www.taxi.vic.gov.au
June 2014
2.2. The Operator can nominate the places of purchase for
items under this condition. If the Operator nominates
the places of purchase, then the Driver must
purchase the items at the nominated places, unless
the purchase is an emergency (for example, the
engine's oil light comes on and the nominated place of
purchase is not near).
2.3. The Driver must give to the Operator the tax invoices/
receipts for the purchase of any items under this
condition within a reasonable time after the purchase
of the items. The Operator must reimburse the Driver
within seven days of receiving the tax invoices/
receipts from the Driver.
3. Insurance
3.1. From 30 September 2014, the Operator must
maintain one or more policies of insurance providing
cover of at least $5,000,000 for each Taxi-cab driven
by the Driver against liability in respect of property
damage caused by or arising out of the use of the
Taxi-cab.
3.2. The policies must:
a) be issued by a corporation authorised under
the Insurance Act 1973 (Cth) to carry on an
insurance business;
b) be held in the Operator's own name; and
c) not be held in any name other than the
Operator's. For example, a policy held in the
name of a person other than the Operator
with the Operator as a beneficiary will not be
sufficient to comply with condition 3.1.
3.3. The Operator is responsible for and will pay any
applicable excess on the policy payable in relation to
a claim involving the Operator's vehicle.
3.4. At any time during the term of the driver agreement,
an authorised representative of the TSC may request
evidence from the Operator which demonstrates that
the Operator has in place a current insurance policy
as required under condition 3.1. The Operator must
provide such evidence to the reasonable satisfaction
of the authorised representative.
3.5. The Operator must ensure that the insurance policy or
policies are current, and must provide a copy to the
Driver on request.
3.6. Subject to condition 7.4(b), the Operator must
indemnify the Driver for vehicle damage (including
damage to the Taxi-cab) arising out of the use of the
Operator's Taxi-cab, and for costs including legal
costs associated with such vehicle damage.
3.7. If the Operator holds a policy of:
a) public liability insurance; or
b) personal injury insurance,
for the Driver in relation to the driver agreement,
the Operator must keep the following records
(and must provide these records to the
TSC and/or the Driver on request within a
reasonable time):
a) whether the Operator agrees to maintain
the policy for the duration of the driver
agreement; and
b) the expiry date of the policy; and
c) either of the following for the policy -
i) the policy information; or
ii) how the policy information can be
obtained from the Operator.
3.8. If an Incident occurs while the Driver is in possession
of the Taxi-cab, the Driver must:
a) tell the Operator about the Incident as soon as
possible (including, where possible, the details
of all the people involved, witnesses
witnesses, injuries
suffered and damage to property); and
b) as soon as possible, give to the Operator, or
the Operator's insurer on request, copies of any
statements the Driver makes to the police or any
other person about the Incident.
4. Disputes
4.1. For the purpose of this condition, 'dispute' means
any disagreement or dispute between the Driver
and the Operator including a disagreement or
dispute concerning the substance or meaning of
the driver agreement.
 

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1st! :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you respond in such a petulant, immature manner to a journalist who is allowing you a platform to promote your constituency, this will ensure that the drivers you represent will never get media coverage again.
Even patient people might get frustrated when they are asked the same question which they have already answered repeatedly.

Not that I approve but Clive Palmer has not seemed to have suffered much damage from immature behavior. Hasn't really hurt Trump either. Still not approving of their methods, but it has gotten them more media attention, not less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hit the word limit so must continue here:

4.2. Where a dispute arises between the Driver and
the Operator:
a) either party may give a notice to the other party
that states that there is a dispute, and
b) the parties must meet and attempt to resolve
the dispute within seven days of the party giving
the notice of dispute to the other party, or if the
parties have agreed to a longer time, the parties
must meet and attempt to resolve the dispute
within that longer time.
NOTE: If, after the parties have met to
attempt to resolve the dispute and the
dispute is not resolved, the parties may
attempt to resolve the dispute under the
dispute resolution process set out in Division
5C of Part VI of the Act.

5. Driver's leave entitlements
5.1. Where the Driver has worked regularly for the
Operator for 12 months or more, the Driver must be
allowed to take a period of up to four weeks of unpaid
leave on a pro rata basis.
5.2. Unpaid leave must be taken on dates agreed between
the Driver and Operator. The Operator must not
unreasonably withhold his/her agreement to the dates
on which the Driver may take his/her unpaid leave.
5.3. The Driver will have worked 'regularly' for the
purpose of condition 5.1 if he or she has worked on
average three or more Shifts per week over a twelve
month period.
6. Termination
6.1. Either party may end the driver agreement for
any reason by giving two weeks written notice of
their intention to end the driver agreement to the
other party.
6.2. Either party may end the driver agreement at any time,
by written notice, if the other party has breached a
term of the driver agreement.
6.3. If either party ends the driver agreement under this
condition, then the Driver must, on the ending of the
driver agreement, return the Taxi-cab to the place
nominated by the Operator.
NOTE: The Operator does not need to require a
bond from the Driver under condition 7.

7. Bond
7.1. The Operator may require the Driver to pay a bond.
The total amount collected as a bond must not be
more than $1,000.
7.2. The Operator may collect the bond in incremental
amounts by requiring the Driver to pay a portion
towards the bond every Shift. The parties must agree,
in writing, to the amount to be paid per Shift.
7.3. If the Driver pays the Operator a bond, the Operator
must give the Driver a receipt and promptly deposit
the bond into a designated bank account.
7.4. Providing that the Operator can provide reasonable
evidence of the loss, the Operator may only take
money from the bond if:
a) the Driver fails to pay the Operator the
Operator's share of the Gross Fares in
accordance with section 162L(2) of the Act; or
b) the taxi or any item of equipment is damaged
due to the Driver's conduct.
7.5. The Operator must not take money from the
bond if the damage is caused by a criminal act of
another person.
7.6. The Operator must not take an amount from the bond
greater than the amount required to make good the
Operator's loss. If the Operator later recovers some
or all of that loss from another person, the Operator
must pay the amount recovered back to the Driver.
7.7. If the Operator wishes to claim money from the
bond, the Operator must notify the Driver in writing.
The notice must:
a) state the amount the Operator intends to take;
b) describe the loss; and
c) include evidence of the Operator's loss.
7.8. If the Driver objects to the Operator making a claim
on the bond, the Driver must notify the Operator in
writing within 14 days of receiving the Operator's
notice. If the parties cannot then reach an agreement
about the Operator's claim on the bond, the parties
must try to resolve the dispute in accordance with
condition 4.
7.9. Once agreement has been reached about the
Operator's claim on the bond, the Operator must
pay for the relevant loss using the money in the
designated bank account. The Driver must then give
the Operator the money to return the bond to the
required level by mutual arrangement.
7.10. On termination of the driver agreement, the Operator
must refund to the Driver within 14 days the balance
remaining in the designated bank account together
with any interest earned on the Driver's bond.
 

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Ha! I know where your coming from! In the days when Mobile Phones had maybe 20 stored names and numbers it used to be a great insight to find out where you came in that person's "top 20"!!
Or even the Telstra white flat corded phones.. They were cut throat!

8! (or was it 10) speed dial positions

Okay so it was 10, but effectively it was 9, because one of those was almost guaranteed to be either a school/fast food place/doctor's office
 

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Even patient people might get frustrated when they are asked the same question which they have already answered repeatedly.

Not that I approve but Clive Palmer has not seemed to have suffered much damage from immature behavior. Hasn't really hurt Trump either. Still not approving of their methods, but it has gotten them more media attention, not less.
I hope you don't have hair like your two chosen media Guru's Ghosty!

Okay so the crux of this WHOLE Mass-Debate is that if a clever person can come up with a clever way of distributing services that the Public seek in preference to "old-school" methods, then as long as it has a DIFFERANT name then existing laws don't pertain to the "new" service.

Your reply above looks like a great application to the UBER "smoke & mirrors" Spin department. Keep it up, and they'll offer you a job!

But what your selective blindness doesn't allow you to see is that "the Law" makes it pretty simple. If you pick up somebody for "hire and reward" you are providing a taxi service. As such all those rules and regulations that you quoted that apply to Taxis also apply to drivers providing Uber X services.

Think of this as a radio interview Ghosty, all those references, all those links mean NOTHING in such an interview. You have a long way to go convincing anyone that using clever new names changes the nature of the service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Your reply above looks like a great application to the UBER "smoke & mirrors" Spin department. Keep it up, and they'll offer you a job!
What part of these 4 points makes me an Uber spin merchant?
This new tech based service has drivers paying GST at an effective 12.5%
This new tech based service does not provide full cover livery insurance whilst in service
This new tech based service can apparently treat it's drivers any way it chooses, it typically finds the bottom of the market, that is how little drivers will except in payment
This new tech based service drivers cannot claim back any GST input credits on there biggest expense: the app provider fees. they can only claim back income tax deductions on this.

And what part of pointing out all the rights IC cab drivers have helps Uber?
 

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I think there are vast differences between a Taxi and an UBERX.. The ability for people to hail on road and preferential road laws being just some of them..

However, the only possible difference that I can think of between UBERX and hire car services is that one can be pre-booked and other cant... Doesnt change the nature of it being a cab or a taxi if you would like... But it can create significant potential revenue differences... Which the Govt should keep in mind while designing laws for the share-car or whatever you would like to call it..

However, being an UBERX driver I would love nothing more than to have minimal laws.. But I agree with Sydney UBER.. It is a taxi service... Albeit the differences noted above
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
But what your selective blindness doesn't allow you to see is that "the Law" makes it pretty simple. If you pick up somebody for "hire and reward" you are providing a taxi service. As such all those rules and regulations that you quoted that apply to Taxis also apply to drivers providing Uber X services.
If this were the case, if both were the same, I would agree with you, there would be nothing to discuss. By all means extend all these rights and laws to share drivers if you want to, but these laws would just force more of the same status quo: more taxi services who have their fares artificially increased so that drivers can afford to pay back expensive annual licence fees... the first $22 grand or whatever it is you earn every year is paid straight into the governments pocket....for the promise of what?

What is $22,000 a year delivering for you?
A controlled amount of cab drivers on the road? No: can't anybody willing to fork it over buy the licence, having been through the checks?
Protection from new/too many competitors....well lets see, let me check......last time I looked....it's not working...this is the bee in the bonnet isn't it?
A quality service maybe? An unnecessarily expensive service more like it, thanks to a jacked up license fee. It could be so, so much less and still act as a deterrent.

Maybe you are fighting the wrong battle?
 

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I think there are vast differences between a Taxi and an UBERX.. The ability for people to hail on road and preferential road laws being just some of them..

However, the only possible difference that I can think of between UBERX and hire car services is that one can be pre-booked and other cant... Doesnt change the nature of it being a cab or a taxi if you would like... But it can create significant potential revenue differences... Which the Govt should keep in mind while designing laws for the share-car or whatever you would like to call it..

However, being an UBERX driver I would love nothing more than to have minimal laws.. But I agree with Sydney UBER.. It is a taxi service... Albeit the differences noted above
Thanks for drilling down to the fundamentals PZ!

In many ways all the UBERX drivers that I have met and ridden with provide a service which is closer to hire car/livery. There association with taxi services is merely the price point that Uber put them up in the transport industry.

Personally I don't know how you guys do it. You have only one pipeline of work coming through the app, can't do Street hails, pre-bookings or rank and wait at nodal points. The The vast majority of of X cars I've ridden in have been in better condition and driven more smoothly than the average cabbie. This can be a product of the relative newness of the X fleet and the high turnover of drivers.

You guys do a great job, but The rate that Uber charges are simply not sustainable hence the high turnover
 

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If this were the case, if both were the same, I would agree with you, there would be nothing to discuss. By all means extend all these rights and laws to share drivers if you want to, but these laws would just force more of the same status quo: more taxi services who have their fares artificially increased so that drivers can afford to pay back expensive annual licence fees... the first $22 grand or whatever it is you earn every year is paid straight into the governments pocket....for the promise of what?

What is $22,000 a year delivering for you?
A controlled amount of cab drivers on the road? No: can't anybody willing to fork it over buy the licence, having been through the checks?
Protection from new/too many competitors....well lets see, let me check......last time I looked....it's not working...this is the bee in the bonnet isn't it?
A quality service maybe? An unnecessarily expensive service more like it, thanks to a jacked up license fee. It could be so, so much less and still act as a deterrent.

Maybe you are fighting the wrong battle?
Government jurisdictions around the world retain the right to apply license and business permit fees as they wish. The defining reason is that there is a public interest in having a level of regulation to ensure the safety of the public.

Uber has refused to incorporate these fees with in their business model. In the vast majority of jurisdictions is the drivers that carry the burden of risk.

are you advocating that anybody should be allowed to open a bar and serve alcohol to all age-groups? How about unregistered and non-compliant medical practitioners? What about tossing out all the building codes as long as the building/ service is cheaper? are you saying it's okay to put the public at risk?

The cost of government bureaucracy is what uber is avoiding and passing the savings to the consumer. have a look at the terms of service that a rider has to agree to before getting a car through the app. All risk is borne by the driver and passenger.

Every argument that you have used to try and provide rideshare drivers some legal credibility is it dud. I'm not going to provide you with the winning argument that you should be running with. It's a simple argument that would convince the public, regulators, and drivers to band together and demand change. But you're blind hatred of the established Taxi & regulatory regime won't allow you to compromise
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Think of this as a radio interview Ghosty, all those references, all those links mean NOTHING in such an interview. You have a long way to go convincing anyone that using clever new names changes the nature of the service.
I doubt 1000's of people who do chose other alternatives and don't choose taxis, I mean I doubt the LISTENERS will agree with you....two females on the Drum, host Julia Baird and author and journo Caroline Overington had this conversion on ABC's The Drum:

JB: "People really do love using this service, don't they"
CO: "Like with my whole heart I love Uber. The first time I ever caught an Uber was the last time I ever got in a taxi, it is so fantastic"

I think the general public realise the difference and don't like paying high cab fares. Look, I'm not defending the way Uber operates. I don't like it either. I think it is anti-competitive. But stop trying to pretend it is something that it is not.
 
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