The motor trades industry in New South Wales and across Australia is in a state of crisis.
The Royal Commission into Financial Services heard of the tactics used by some insurers, selling junk policies that were of little or no value and $120 million having to be returned to consumers.
Smash Repairers have been calling on Governments both Federal and State to address the issues affecting this vital industry for over 20 years, the smash repair industry is under the control of Insurers and that is not good for small business or consumers. Hundreds of smash repair small businesses have closed in recent years due to the behaviour of insurers.
Within the smash and auto repair industry, major insurance companies have taken hold and are running wild with their policies and actions. Major insurers have done deals with repairers who are willing to work for a fixed price, compromising the quality of repairs for consumers. What this means in some cases, is that cars are being ‘repaired’ to a price instead of a standard.
Through market manipulation, strong-arming, collusion, and in some cases fraud – these major insurers are risking consumer safety, forcing the closure of small businesses, and damaging the reputation of the industry.
Whilst the NSW Government is pushing forward with a 100,000 apprentice funding package, this money is wasted when they do not actively promote the industries which need workers the most.
The repair industry has had to resort to seeking skilled migrants on visas to fill the void caused by government changes to TAFE and the lack of promotion for vehicle trades. There has to be money invested to attract students into the motor trades, after all what does the NSW Government do with all the money collected from business and tradesperson licensing?
THIS IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH
In NSW Repairers and Dealers have to comply with the Motor Dealers and Repairers Act 2013.
NSW Fair Trading have issued 180 infringement notices against repairers who have not filled out the Form 2 Prescribed Parts Register to the satisfaction of the Officers, a $550 fine and it shows on the Fair Trading website. Repairers are being fined by NSW Fair Trading for not filling out some paperwork that they were never told about in the first place. This is blatant revenue raising.
When industry experts have told us about their efforts to have dodgy repairers reprimanded by Fair Trading, they tell us it falls on deaf ears. The peak regulatory body in NSW is more concerned about making money from good repairers, than ensuring the safety and security of NSW consumers and levelling the playing field among repairers.
The NSW Government is adamant that they want to reduce the burden of red tape and make it easier for businesses to thrive – this is clearly not the case.
The NSW Government will review the Motor Dealers and Repairers Act in 2019 – which makes now the time to act. If elected to the upper house in NSW, we will ensure that the needs and requirements of the motor trades industry are taken into consideration throughout the Act review and will push tirelessly to protect the industry.
This NSW Government would see local repairers, dealers, traders, and businesses go under in order to service their mates at the big end of town – this is wrong, this is unethical, and this will not happen on our watch.
The Small Business Party is here to save the motor repair industry and all the small businesses, their families, and their local communities. Despite the many challenges facing the industry, we are ready to fight and ensure business security into the future.
In order to get into the Upper House in 2019, and in order to help protect the needs of the motor repair industry, we need your help.
If you can offer assistance, physical, financial or otherwise – please do so.
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