• Tony Ryall
Associate Minister of Justice

Associate Minister of Justice, Hon Tony Ryall, today introduced legislation modifying the licensing of motor vehicle dealers.

The Motor Vehicle Dealers Bill replaces the regime in the existing Act with a simpler scheme incorporating specific minimal entry criteria.

The process for applying for a licence will be simplified with applications going directly to the Registrar of Motor Vehicle Dealers who must grant a licence if the criteria are met. Salespersons will no longer have to be registered.

"People with certain convictions under the Crimes Act, Misuse of Drugs Act or the Fair Trading Act, or people who have been barred from managing a company under the companies legislation for example will not be eligible to apply for a licence under the new regime," he said.

The composition of the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunals is changed and they will now consist of a chairperson and a person with technical industry knowledge. The tribunals' jurisdiction is widened to allow them to hear disputes under the Sale of Goods Act, the Fair Trading Act and the Consumer Guarantees Act.

The Motor Vehicle Dealers Institute will no longer have any statutory functions and membership will be voluntary. The Motor Vehicle Dealers Fidelity Guarantee Fund, administered by the Institute, will be abolished.

Mr Ryall said that since the Act came into force in 1975, the Fair Trading Act and the Consumer Guarantees Act have made heavy-handed regulation less necessary and an extra cost.

"The reforms in the new Bill will result in a simpler, less costly licensing regime while, at the same time, providing for consumer rights.

"For example, the Bill retains specific warranty provisions for second-hand vehicles currently contained in the Act.

"Information on the notice required to be displayed on second-hand vehicles offered for sale by a dealer will be contained in a consumer information standard prescribed under the Fair Trading Act.

"But the existing specific guarantee of title provision is not retained because the issue of title is already covered in the Consumer Guarantees Act and the Sale of Goods Act."