The Collaborative Economy -
what you need to know

The NSW Government welcomes the positive impact of the Collaborative Economy (aka Sharing Economy or Peer to Peer Economy) on consumer choice, employment and productivity. Here we've put together information on how to make the most of the opportunities this new sector of the economy presents.

Read our guidelines, Ask NIC a specific question, or find out more about the NSW Government's position and initiatives around the Collaborative Economy.

WHAT'S HAPPENING?

Collaborative Economy refers to a three-way marketplace of users, providers and digital platform owners. Users and providers are brought together on a digital platform to conduct peer to peer transactions in timebanking, car sharing, accommodation sharing, food, money lending and space. See author Rachel Botsman's definition here

While there are many benefits, the disruptive technologies and changing consumer expectations around these platforms have created a number of challenges for Collaborative Economy participants, customers and government. 

When Uber launched its ridesharing platform in the Asia Pacific, for example, it chose Sydney as its first city. But at that time it was unclear whether the drivers who found work through the platform were providing services legally. 

WHAT'S GOVERNMENT DOING?

The NSW Government has taken a proactive approach to addressing key issues arising from the Collaborative Economy so that the new sector can grow.

Deloitte Access Economics estimates that the Collaborative Economy is contributing around $504 million per year to the NSW economy, with approximately 45,000 citizens having earned income on a Collaborative Economy platform.

In general, government seeks to increase opportunities for peer to peer transactions, while protecting customer safety, removing barriers such as burdonsome regulations, providing regulatory certainty to new participants and ensuring a level playing field.

As a result of Uber's entry, for example, more than 50 pieces of regulation have been removed and ridesharing drivers can now legally operate. We're also reviewing issues around consumer protection. 

Government is getting involved in the Collaborative Economy as a participant, too, with many examples of government agencies using Collaborative Economy services to increase efficiency.

Collaborative Economy Enterprises are companies that facilitate the sharing of underused assets