Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 4 Hansard (25 March) . . Page.. 1581..
MR SPEAKER: Sorry, Mr Hanson, your time is up.
MR HANSON: I could go on four hours, Mr Speaker. It is very disappointing.
MR SPEAKER: I suspect so, but the time for the debate has now expired.
Fair Trading (Motor Vehicle Repair Industry) Bill 2009
Debate resumed from 19 November 2009, on motion by Mr Corbell:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.04): The Canberra Liberals will be supporting this bill in principle. But that support only comes because Mr Corbell will be introducing amendments in the detail stage of the debate.
Mr Speaker, if ever you were looking for an example of the result of what happens when there is a failure to consult with industry and stakeholders, you need look no further than this bill. None is as stark as the Fair Trading (Motor Vehicle Repair Industry) Bill 2009.
This ACT Labor government, through Mr Corbell, introduced this bill into the Assembly on 19 November 2009. Our process of consultation on the bill revealed that, until just before the 2008 election, there had been years of discussion between the Motor Trades Association and the Office of Fair Trading about legislative reform. Indeed, that discussion had taken place under the auspices of the industry code committee—a committee established by the government and chaired by the head of the Office of Regulatory Services.
Those years of discussion took place because the industry knew it needed regulatory reform. It wanted regulatory reform and it was waiting for regulatory reform. As far back as 18 March 2008, the MTA met with Mr Corbell to seek the government's commitment to implement a legislative framework similar to that which is in place in New South Wales. Mr Corbell, in a letter to the MTA dated 19 August of that year, said he was "generally supporting of replacing the code with legislation".
Why did the MTA call for reforms? A letter dated 31 August 2009 from the MTA to the Department of Justice and Community Safety puts it well. It says:
The ongoing failure of the current voluntary code when measured against the objective established back in July 1999, and ORS inability to enforce the Code due to legal restraints which has resulted in repairers questioning the logic and validity of meeting their legal obligations at considerable expense as opposed to those repairers operating outside the present system.
What we had was a complete breakdown in the code. This was happening because the industry was rapidly changing. Motor vehicle technology was, and is, changing rapidly. Specialist skills are required to work with that changing technology. Dodgy