The federal government has confirmed a mandatory servicing and repair data-sharing scheme will become law.
The scheme will mandate that all service and repair information car manufacturers share with their dealership networks must be available for independent repairers to purchase. The scheme will be implemented in primary legislation to provide flexibility in its design and robust dispute resolution processes which consultations told the Government is important to industry.
During the consultation process, industry representatives were also asked to consider the potential for an industry-led body to assist Government with administering the scheme and ensure manufacturers, repairers and consumers have a voice in developing the scheme and keeping it effective and relevant. With dispute resolution processes set out in legislation, this body could also be conferred with dispute resolution duties for the scheme.
Assistant treasurer Michael Sukkar’s office has released a statement confirming the “Coalition Government is committed to progressing the design of a mandatory information sharing scheme for motor vehicle service and repair information”.
The statement says the scheme will form “part of our commitment to support appropriate commercial dealing and competition in the new car retail supply chain for the benefit of both small businesses and consumers”.
It’s the biggest affirmation the automotive industry has officially had from the government since Sukkar announced his support for the program at the 2018 AutoCare convention in Sydney for the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association.
The laws, Sukkar’s statement says, will include conditions such as mandating all service and repair information car manufacturers share with their dealership networks “must be available for independent repairers to purchase”.
“It will also remove grey areas in the current voluntary arrangements by explicitly setting out a list of safety, security and environmental information that must only be released to appropriate businesses as well as clear criteria for access,” the minister’s statement says.
Response from the AAAA
The AAAA’s chief executive Stuart Charity says it’s a long-awaited win for both the automotive industry and consumers, and that he will be “reading every word” of the draft bill to ensure aftermarket business are charged “a fair price” for their data access.
“This is an incredible result for our members, who came to us with their concerns, put competitive rivalries aside and fought alongside us to have the law changed for their customers, their businesses and the wider industry,” he says. Charity explains the association has worked “tirelessly” to push for government action to address the “important competition issue”.
“We have personally met with over 75 federal MPs, facilitated hundreds of workshop visits by MPs all around the country and had countless early morning and late-night discussions with ministers and other industry stakeholders,” he says. The AAAA has also passed gratitude to fellow stakeholders, some of whom were once staunchly opposed to the idea of sharing proprietary OEM servicing and repair information with aftermarket workshops.
“This has been an industry wide effort and I would like to acknowledge the invaluable role played by automotive industry associations, Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA), Australian Automotive Dealer Association (AADA), Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC), Australian Automobile Association (AAA), and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI),” Charity says.
“I’d like to personally thank the Assistant Treasurer Hon. Michael Sukkar for his leadership on this issue and commitment to introduce a mandatory data sharing law that will benefit small businesses in the automotive service industry as well as every Australian car owner,” he adds.
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Content source: AutoTalk.com