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  • Gavin King

    Tropic Now editor

    Email Gavin King

    Uber is finally coming to Cairns

    The ride-sharing app has announced it will commence services in Cairns on March 16.

    UPDATE 15/2/17:

    It's game on for Uber in Cairns.

    The ride-sharing service will be available in the city on March 16, with promises fares will be slashed in half on popular routes including airport trips.

    Uber Queensland General Manager, Sam Bool:

    "We know Cairns locals have been calling out for ridesharing for a while now and we’re super excited to bring choice, competition and more transport options to Far North Queensland.

    "We look forward to offering local residents, and the ever increasing number of visitors to Cairns, a safe, affordable and reliable way to get around and explore the best of the region.

    "Importantly, ridesharing will also offer hundreds of Cairns locals the opportunity to earn flexible income on their own schedule.

    "Our experience in regional communities across Australia has shown that access to a reliable and affordable ride home can help revellers make safer choices after a few drinks and lower incidence of drink driving."

    UPDATE 13/2/17: Uber has confirmed it is "closer than ever" to launching in Cairns, announcing a series of information sessions for locals interested in becoming drivers.

    The global ride-sharing app is inviting people to register for the information sessions being held at the Reef Hotel Casino this Thursday.

    "Last week we sent an email to locals who had expressed an interest in partnering with Uber to gauge support and demand for ridesharing in Cairns," a statement from Uber this morning reads.

    "We’ve been blown away by the community response and we’re delighted to let you know we’re closer than ever to launching.

    "To help you better understand what it’s like to partner with Uber and the steps you’ll need to follow to become a driver, we’re running a community information event this week."

    EARLIER: Uber has launched a political war to bring its ride-sharing service to Cairns.

    After nearly two years of speculation about its plans to enter the local market, the company has today launched a campaign urging its supporters to help "bring Uber to Cairns".

    In an email to locals who have expressed interest in becoming a driver in Cairns, the company urges supporters to email MPs from 10 North Queensland electorates.

    The email reads:

    "We want to bring Uber to Cairns!

    Thanks for expressing an interest in being an Uber driver-partner in Cairns. We want to bring Uber to Cairns, but just recently the Katter’s Australia Party and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation have vowed to try to outlaw ridesharing.

    "Already, 580,000 people in South East Queensland are catching safe, reliable and affordable rides and 9,000 driver-partners are earning a flexible income from ridesharing.

    "They have said they will try to ban Uber and ridesharing. We think people in Cairns deserve the same benefits and access to reliable transport.

    "It’s time to tell your local MP not to support Pauline Hanson or Robbie Katter’s push to take Queensland backwards."

    At the bottom of the notice from Uber, recipients can click a button that automatically generates an email featuring 10 addresses already filled in, including Robbie Katter, Billy Gordon, Rob Pyne, Craig Crawford, Curtis Pitt and other MPs.

    That form letter addressed to the MPs reads:

    Uber has not responded to requests for comment from TropicNow.

    The company previously told us they "don't have any current plans to launch in Cairns", despite advertising for drivers in the city.

    In another bizarre twist, Uber's website states "Uber is in Cairns" despite no service currently existing here.