The mudslinging in the Australian hire car/taxi business continues afresh, with Uber's limited rollout in Adelaide facing criticism from local politicians. Uber's not exactly sitting quietly on this score either.
Image: Michael Coghlan
South Australian Government Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis took to the airwaves on ABC Radio on Monday, decrying Uber's recent limited launch in Adelaide and stating that Uber was operating illegally in the state. He also took the familiar safety line that seems de rigueur for this particular debate, stating that "It's a very dangerous option to take an Uber service - you don't know who's driving the car. You don't know if the car has been checked and, most importantly, we can't know when you got into that car and where you got out of that car or where you were meant to go."
He's also flagged that compliance officers may pose as customers in order to catch Uber drivers out and fine them up to $8,000.
Uber has struck back with a retort that points out that it's using fully accredited drivers that have passed all South Australian licensing requirements and background checks, that Uber allows you or others to track your journey and that all vehicles meet the commercially registered hire car requirements.
But that's not all. It also goes on the attack on Tom Koutsantonis specifically, noting that he's no longer the Road Safety Minister after it was revealed that he'd committed 58 separate traffic offences and had his licence suspended as a result.