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Uber ruled illegal in Victorian court case

Tom Elliott

Uber has been ruled illegal in Victoria.

A Magistrate found Uber driver Nathan Brenner guilty on Friday of driving a hire car without a commercial licence or registration.

Mr Brenner has been fined $900, but is appealing the decision.

It sets a legal foundation that the ride sharing company is operating illegally in this state.

In a drawn out court proceeding, lawyers representing Uber attempted to have three charges against Mr Brenner thrown out but failed.

Twelve other Uber drivers face similar charges, which will likely follow the precedent set by today’s decision.

The ruling will impact the Andrews government inquiry – currently underway – investigating Uber’s operations and allegations it has an unfair advantage over the traditional taxi and hire car industries.

The Chair of the Taxi Services Commission, Graeme Samuel, told Tom Elliott those who disobey the law need to be prosecuted.

‘Uber have chosen to ignore the law, that’s their approach,’ Mr Samuel said. 

‘That’s just not the way that our society works.’

Click play to hear Graeme Samuel’s full interview with Tom Elliott

In a statement, Uber said it is disappointed with the outcome of the hearing, but will continue to support Mr Brenner. 

Uber said it will continue to support the 6,000 UberX drivers in Victoria. 

They said it is ‘widely acknowledged’ that current legislation could not have foreseen current technology and needs to be updated.

Tom Elliott