Bill Shorten, leader of Australia’s Labor Party, has announced the publication of six sharing economy principles in an effort to support the meaningful growth of new business models in the country.

The principles aim to address the set of complex issues around tax, worker safety and accessibility that stand at odds with the development of sharing economy models in many territories. A statement on Labor’s website says that “the sharing economy is changing how Australians buy and sell goods and services”, but entrepreneurism and public enthusiasm for such schemes, that often offer convenience and affordability, needs to be balanced with the need “to protect workers, consumers and the community”.

Read the Labor Party’s six sharing economy principles

While the practices of big players such as Uber and AirBnB divide the public, regulators and industry voices, novel approaches that make use of idling capacity in vehicles, tools, time and physical spaces do hold the potential to solve some of the problems of today, such as resource and energy optimisation and fragmented communities.

Initial response to these rules has been mixed, with Uber commenting that “this is a sensible approach to working with industry to develop appropriate policy and regulatory responses”. Others called for greater quantification of the economic benefit of sharing economy schemes, while some claimed that the fast pace of progress in the movement would leave these principles outdated in the near future.

Source: Uber, Airtasker and Divvy Parking respond to Labor’s ‘sharing economy’ principles

Lead image: Alex Proimos/Flickr CC by 2.0

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