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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 14 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 5278..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

penalises those employers who employ their workers on an appropriate basis and comply with their legal responsibilities. The commercial advantage these contracting arrangements bring is so significant that the viability of businesses doing the right thing can be under extreme threat.

This bill clarifies the broad definition of worker, thereby limiting the opportunity for premium avoiding and sham contracting. If an individual on a work site, in a cafe, at a retail shop or commercial cleaning company supplies "labour only", then without doubt they are a worker, regardless of whether they have an Australian business number. These workers must be protected by their employers.

In conclusion, the bill will save the ACT employers approximately $4 million in reduced red tape and administration costs. The bill will implement a new national framework for the approval of workplace rehabilitation providers, strengthen the compliance framework and signal that sham contracting is an unacceptable business practice in the territory. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne) adjourned to the next sitting.

Fair Trading (Motor Vehicle Repair Industry) Bill 2009

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo-Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.38): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Fair Trading (Motor Vehicle Repair Industry) Bill 2009 provides for the licensing and regulation of people in the motor vehicle repair industry. The bill is designed to replace the existing Fair Trading (Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Industry) Code of Practice established under the Fair Trading Act 1992.

The code commenced in 1999 and was developed following a recommendation made by the ACT Motor Vehicle Repair Industry Working Party in its report titled Motor vehicles repairers in the ACT: an options paper for government. The working party, consisting of industry, consumer and government representatives, made the recommendation to resolve the regular and numerous concerns expressed from consumers about motor vehicle repair issues. Particular problems experienced by consumers included the quality or necessity of works performed, unauthorised repairs exceeding quotes and estimates, and the costs of parts used in repairs.

Consultation with key stakeholders of the motor vehicle repair industry has recently revealed that the code is subject to a number of inadequacies, and as a result is losing its value to those repairers who register under the code each year. The main inadequacy identified is that the code is difficult to enforce. The code is only


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