New services like Airbnb, AirTasker, Camplify and GoGet are changing the way Australians buy and sell things. They are also changing how we think about work and the line between private property and public goods.
There is huge economic and community potential in this emerging peer-to-peer market.
Australia must embrace it, while ensuring we have the right rules in place to protect workers, consumers and the public good.
Labor’s plan is based on six principles.
A Shorten Labor Government will work with state and territory governments to turn these into concrete rules and regulations.
- Primary property is yours to share
When Australians use their own cars, homes or goods to deliver services, rules and regulations specific to the sharing economy should apply.
- New services must support good wages and working conditions
When offering services which involve human labour, sharing economy companies should ensure their pricing and contracting arrangements allow Australians to achieve work outcomes at least equivalent to the prevailing industry standard.
- Everyone pays their fair share of tax
Everyone doing business in the sharing economy must pay a fair share of tax.
- Proper protection for public safety
Sharing economy services must have the right insurance to protect Australians if anything goes wrong. Consumers should also be protected by the Australian Consumer Law and light-touch licencing and inspection rules at the state government level.
- Access for all
Sharing economy services should be accessible to Australians with disabilities. Sharing economy companies should negotiate service levels and needs through accessibility agreements with disability peak bodies.
- Playing by the rules
Once tailored, light-touch rules exist for the sharing economy, there should be zero tolerance for companies that continue to flout Australian laws.
These principles have been developed after more than six months of listening and talking to Australians about their ideas and priorities for the sharing economy.
They demonstrate that Labor wants to see the local sharing economy flourish within a supportive and flexible regulatory framework.
Striking a balance between supporting innovation and protecting the Australian community is tricky. In a fast-moving digital context, it will be a challenge to get it right.
But Labor believes we owe it to Australians to take this challenge seriously.
Labor’s focus on the sharing economy is another part of our plan to advance Australia by building a more innovative and entrepreneurial country.
The details of Labor’s National Sharing Economy Principles can be found at: www.alp.org.au/sharingeconomy
THURSDAY, 22 OCTOBER 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053
JENNIFER RAYNER (LEIGH) 0428 214 856