Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 2754 ..
MR CONNOLLY (continuing):
Those people are the ones who are in direct competition with the Motor Trades Association. We certainly found compelling when we were in government, as we do in opposition, the argument from the Motor Trades Association that, if they have to cop a more effective warranty provision; a cooling-off period, which is a very important and very sensible reform, and one that I am pleased that the Government stuck by; if they have to accept the refund of deposit provisions; if they have to cooperate with the Government in some fairly onerous checks to ensure, as far as possible, that hot vehicles, stolen vehicles, are not circulating back through the industry - if they have to cop all that, they can really ask for some protection against backyarders. Six vehicles a year as the deemed dealer provision gives them that level of protection. I will be moving an amendment to that effect later.
MR MOORE (4.17): This is important legislation to protect consumers. Mr Humphries and Mr Connolly have adequately presented arguments to that effect. The only area of conflict that is worthy of comment is the amendment that Mr Connolly has foreshadowed. We will have a chance to speak to that in more detail later.
The arguments that Mr Connolly put fall down on the premise that people working on cars are likely to work only on cars that are over 10 years old. That may apply to a large category of people, but there is also a strong category of people who enjoy fiddling with cars that are not as old as that. It seems to me that we ought begin with the figure of six that has been presented in the legislation and monitor that. If it does appear that the situation is as Mr Connolly describes it and there is evidence to that effect, then I would be quite happy to revisit the matter and say, "Yes, we do need to take some action". At this stage, because people are participating in and enjoying a popular hobby and are using their time to make a bit of money by fiddling with cars, I will be supporting Mr Humphries's Bill as it is. I will keep an open mind on it. Should there be any evidence brought before us, either privately or in the Assembly, that this does need to be remedied, we will take action.
MR HIRD (4.19): This Bill is the culmination of three years of consultative process. By all accounts, this is an extremely comprehensive review of the Sale of Motor Vehicles Act. At some period during the review the consumer movement lobbied for stronger consumer protection measures to be incorporated into the legislation. The industry's views varied throughout this period. The net result is that a complex and comprehensive law reform package has delivered a balance of measures which will assist industry, while at the same time promoting fair trading in the ACT.
The ACT Motor Trades Association has been involved in, and substantially contributed to, the review process from the outset. As I understand it, members of the MTA executive and local motor dealers welcome the amendments. The Government is conscious of the need to ensure that the amendments are introduced speedily and without any undue detriment to the industry. I note that it has announced the establishment of a joint working party of industry and government representatives to oversee the implementation of these amendments.