The NSW government has announced a framework for regulating the collaborative economy and responding to disruption within the traditional economy.
The collaborative economy, sometimes called the sharing, or peer-to-peer economy, links customers directly with providers typically through online and mobile platforms- Uber, Airbnb etc. A Deloitte Access Economics report estimates that more than 50 per cent of NSW consumers have used a digitally enabled shared product or service that includes transport, accommodation, education, employment and finance.
The NSW paper, released by Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello, acknowledges the importance of the collaborative or peer-to-peer sector, which contributed $504 million to NSW’s economy last year.
Dominello said: “Digital innovation is transforming the way people do business in every city and every country around the world. The reality is the collaborative economy is here to stay. We are living in the information age and it is vital that government policies embrace new technologies and enable businesses to operate with certainty.”
The position paper acknowledges that the collaborative economy presents some challenges and sets out how the Government will approach regulatory issues to ensure that regulation is fair and flexible for all market participants
Dominello said international experience showed that where governments have embraced the collaborative economy and adopted sensible regulation, it has provided a significant boost for local startups and entrepreneurs. “The economic benefits relating to the collaborative economy are already significant and will continue to grow, as more consumers choose to link or share directly with providers via online and mobile platforms.”
In repsonse to the NSW government announcement Sam McDonagh, country manager at Airbnb Australia said in a statement to B&T: “This is great news for New South Wales and the everyday people – mums and dads and working families – who list their homes on Airbnb. We applaud the state government for outlining how it will welcome the sharing economy and recognising the tremendous economic contribution it provides.
“We look forward to working with the Minister and the NSW Government to help grow and diversify tourism in NSW and continue to provide visitors to the State with unique travel experiences.”
Last year, the NSW government legalised UberX with premier Mike Baird’s cabinet legalising the service immediately and finalise a compensation plan for taxi owners whose licence plate values will drop.