The Katter’s Australian Party managed to give the rest of the planet something to laugh at as they introduced what must be seen as a backward ‘anti-innovation’ private member’s bill into parliament.

That’s backward even for the KAP.

Queensland Über drivers now face a $2356 fine if they’re caught, and transport enforcement officials have been given more power (because that’s what they needed) to determine whether you’re an Uber driver or just in your car with someone. It’s also reduced the burden of proof required to prosecute so the best option for you is to either-

  1. Buy a motorbike
  2. Never drive with anyone again or you may be strip-searched by a power-hungry council worker.

And while paid ride-sharing is still illegal in Queensland, the government was reviewing it to bring the state in line with the planet Earth. New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and the ACT have all legalised ride-sharing, as well as most other places inhabited by humans.

In one of the classic ‘I’m a politician, look how condescending I can be’ moments of the year, Katter MP, Rob Katter said…and this deserves it’s own separate paragraph –

“They don’t make the decisions, we do here. Someone has to be the a grown-up and say ‘I’m sorry you might get a cheaper ride tonight but in the long run this does not serve the national interest.’ That’s the question that needs to be addressed, not the tide is coming. That’s not a reason to do it.”

The “you” he is talking about, by the way, is you – the voter. So in other words, “Forget democracy, I couldn’t care less what all the people want. If you expect a clean car driven by a nice person for cheaper than a gross old cab then you can forget it.”

Because the thing is, Brisbane cabs are some of the worst anywhere. The service, cost and cleanliness of Yellow and Black and White cabs is embarrassing for us as a city and Katter’s excuse of trying to ‘save’ the industry is likely to fall on deaf ears if anyone listening has ever been in a cab in the city.

This is party politics and backroom deals at their worst. And it’s also punishment for those who may or may not be Uber drivers, a removal of a valuable service and worst of all, an increase in power to transport officials.