The Turnbull Government has broken its promise to Australian small business owners to hold an independent review into a key automotive repair industry agreement within three months of the 2016 federal election.
It has been reported today that independent car service and repair businesses are complaining that they get limited access to standard servicing information from car manufacturers, despite the 2014 Agreement on Access to Service and Repair Information for Motor Vehicles.
As a result, their ability to offer competitive or even cheaper car servicing prices to consumers faces significant restrictions.
I wrote to Treasurer Scott Morrison in December last year to alert him that the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries required a review of the agreement to be held within six months.
Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer promised a re-elected Turnbull Government would hold the review within three months of the July election.
The review is now well overdue. Another Turnbull Government promise has been broken.
Yet today Small Business Minister Michael McCormack tried to brush it off by suggesting the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission’s market study into the entire new car retailing industry is sufficient.
It is no such thing. The Commission’s study will take many months and this issue is just one part of its very broad investigation.
The Government undertook to hold an independent review which, had it kept its promise, could have been finished by the end of this year.
Repairing modern cars needs more than a spanner these days. Enabling independent repairers to access official service information will allow consumers to exercise their right of choice – whether they want to choose a major dealership or a local mechanic.
The Turnbull Government should immediately conduct an independent review into the sharing of service and repair data within the automotive repair industry – as it promised to do by 2 October 2016.
THURSDAY, 10 NOVEMBER 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: TAIMUS WERNER-GIBBINGS 0437 323 390