Collaborative Economy

The Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation has announced the release of a NSW Government position paper on the collaborative economy.

The collaborative economy, sometimes called the sharing, or peer-to-peer economy, links customers directly with providers typically through online and mobile platforms.

The types of goods and services available through the collaborative economy is growing every day, and include car sharing, ride sharing, accommodation, second hand goods, personal and employment services and other goods and services.

The NSW Government recognises that the collaborative economy presents significant economic and employment opportunities in NSW. Deloitte Access Economics estimates that the current value of the collaborative economy in NSW is $504 million per year and it is growing rapidly.

To position NSW to take advantage of these opportunities, the position paper includes some guiding principles:

  1. Support a culture of innovation
  2. Ensure regulation is fit for purpose in the digital age
  3. Maintain consumer protection and safety
  4. Promote competition
  5. Adopt an agile approach to government procurement

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.

Consultation

The collaborative economy has been developing over the last 20 years, with a rapid recent increase in the number and types of services available in. To understand the current state of the collaborative economy in NSW, and identify future opportunities, DFSI engaged Deloitte Access Economics.

Deloitte’s report illustrates the potential for the collaborative economy in NSW:

  • Key businesses in the most developed collaborative economy sector currently contribute approximately $504 million to the NSW economy
  • 53% of consumers had ‘tried’ offerings of collaborative economy businesses in the past year
  • Of the businesses that originated in Australia, two thirds are from NSW
  • 30% of startups at major incubators and accelerators in NSW are services and labour hire related, and a further 15% provide financial services
  • As the NSW economy is driven by services, this represents an area of potential growth for the collaborative economy

NSW Fair Trading is also conducting research to understand the view of consumers (users) and suppliers (providers) of goods and services on collaborative economy platforms.  The purpose of the research is to understand what consumers and suppliers of services believe their rights and responsibilities are when engaging in a transaction using sharing economy platforms.

In developing this position paper, the Government has consulted with key industry representatives from collaborative economy businesses and traditional economy participants. We also welcome your comment, can be submitted at digitalreform@finance.nsw.gov.au or through the DFSI social media channels Twitter: NSWICTStrategy, Facebook: NSWICTStrategy.