Yellow Cabs Queensland has condemned an alleged assault on two Uber drivers in Brisbane, but says there is anger in the taxi industry toward the ride sharing service.
A group of about five men allegedly attacked one driver and grabbed his mobile phone at 1:50am while he was sitting in his car on Wickham Street in Fortitude Valley.
At 3:15am, a second Uber driver was allegedly assaulted and his car damaged on River Terrace at Kangaroo Point.
The 49-year-old driver was treated at the scene for cuts and bruises to his head.
Another man sitting in his car in Fortitude Valley was allegedly punched and his vehicle damaged.
Uber released a statement saying it hoped the attacks were not an attempt to intimidate the burgeoning businesses.
“The taxi lobby and its associates have long used fear, misinformation and intimidation in its campaign against ride sharing,” the statement said.
“It would be a very worrying turn of events if these alleged assaults happened as a result of this campaign.
“We call on Taxi Council Queensland to condemn this type of behaviour immediately.”
Queensland Government siding with taxis: Uber
Yellow Cabs Queensland condemned the assault, but vice president Bill Parker said he could understand why it happened.
Mr Parker, who is also Taxi Council Queensland vice president, said he did not know anything about the attack and did not support violence.
However, Mr Parker said there was anger in the taxi industry towards the ride sharing service.
“If, and this is a big if, someone went out of their way to take the law into their own hands, I could understand that happening,” he said.
Uber, which offers a pick-up and drop-off service using a credit card, wants to be recognised as a ride sharing operation, rather than a taxi.
It has accused the Queensland Government of siding with the established taxi industry.
“We also urge the Queensland Government to quickly begin their review of the point-to-point industry and implement sensible, safety-based ridesharing regulations to provide certainty to the 4,000 ridesharing drivers and hundreds of thousands of riders in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and remove any ambiguity for the broader industry,” they said.