“ON the back of the State Government’s blitz on rideshare drivers, future city leaders have thrown their support behind Uber saying innovation and entrepreneurship need to be recognised as real economic drivers.

Young Professionals Gold Coast, the city’s peak body representing young business and industry leaders, says disruptive technologies such as Uber need to be embraced if the Gold Coast and Queensland want to be recognised as competitive destinations.

President Sean Braybrook says the lack of support for this unique application and the state governments rideshare blitz, which has secured almost $200,000 in fines, is the wrong approach as the government is actually penalising consumers.

“YP Gold Coast is in support of new ventures that offer people a more competitive offering and rallies behind any and all innovative technologies that disrupt and evolve industries,” says Braybrook.

“YP Gold Coast represents the next generation of city leaders, many of whom are young entrepreneurs who are building thriving businesses and looking to turn their dream into a reality.

“However, a state and a city that does not support the delivery of innovation means more and more young people will find other, more supportive, destinations to lay down roots.

“And that goes against everything YP Gold Coast advocates for – we want to encourage young professionals to live, work and play on the Gold Coast.

“The city is on the cusp of greatness but it needs to diversify and support new industries, and invest in innovation and entrepreneurship, if it wants to continue on the road to success.”

Uber most recently emailed tens of thousands of its users on the Gold Coast, encouraging them to email a replica fine to the Premier in payback for a blitz on rideshare drivers, who are now facing harsher penalties.

Uber drivers face fines up to $2356 while the administrators of illegal taxi services could be penalised up to $23,560.

“The government’s focus should be on normalising Uber just like the New South Wales government, rather than creating a new moneymaking stream,” says Braybrook.

“While YP Gold Coast believes there needs to be a level playing field for the ridesharing industry in terms of regulatory bodies, harsher fines are not the answer, as this is very much like putting the genie back in the bottle.”

“Instead of coming up with ways to penalise the ridesharing app, the government should be coming up with solutions that focus around embracing this technology.”

YP Gold Coast aims to motivate, inspire and empower the next generation of city leaders. With a real focus on growing the city’s corporate culture, the organisation offers networking and mentoring opportunities.”

Author: Sean Braybrook