Dealers will recall in CEO Newsletter No. 3 – 27 June 2016, David Blackhall referred to a letter from the former Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, the Member for Higgins. O’Dwyer had written to the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA), indicating her intention to conduct an investigation into the voluntary industry Agreement on Access to Service and Repair Information 2014 signed by industry stakeholders in December 2014.
An extract from her letter is reproduced below:
Consistent with the recommendations of the 2012 Government Inquiry, a re-elected Turnbull Coalition Government will conduct an independent review of the voluntary agreement. The review will consider the efficacy of the Agreement and its supplementary voluntary codes of practice in supporting the sharing of service and repair data in the industry.
In doing so, the review will also consider the consumer impact of the Agreement’s performance and the extent to systematic consumer detriment, as well as whether lack of vehicle access represents a barrier to entry for aftermarket repair and servicing businesses.
The review will inform the Government’s consideration of what reasonable additional measures, regulatory or otherwise, may be necessary to ensure choice of vehicle repair and servicing for Australian consumers. This will include consideration of a national mandatory portal.
The Review will be commissioned within three months of the re-election of a Turnbull Government with an announcement of an Independent Reviewer and detailed Terms of Reference.”
It is interesting to note that the former Minister has been misinformed and failed to note that at a meeting of the Steering Committee held in Canberra on 31 March 2016:
“It was agreed that, in the first instance, evidence of failure should be presented to the Steering Committee so that the relevant parties had an opportunity to address those concerns. It was also agreed that any such matters should be resolved in an agreed timeframe and that, if they are unable to be resolved, signatories can explore other dispute avenues spelled out in the Agreement.”
AADA will work with FCAI to ensure the Government has a full understanding of the facts.
CEO Newsletter No 3 can be accessed on the AADA website at www.aada.asn.au.