Shadow Minister for Fair Trading Tania Mihailuk has called on the Liberal/National Government to stop turning a blind eye to road safety and finally implement measures to improve motor vehicle repair standards – as the Government shut down debate on the issue in Parliament today.
In July, a bipartisan parliamentary committee found that poor quality vehicle repair practices are putting motorists at risk – and that a major imbalance exists in favour of insurance companies over smash repairers.
The Committee recommended a number of measures to improve transparency and compliance, to safeguard the motor vehicle repair industry – recommendations so far ignored by the Liberal/National Government.
Today Ms Mihailuk introduced legislation to implement these reforms, but the Government shut down debate on the bill.
“Enough with the excuses and inaction – the Liberal/National Government needs to stop burying its head in the stand and stalling on an issue as important as road safety,” Ms Mihailuk said.
“Industry business practices, and unfair contractual terms with insurance companies, mean that some repairers have no choice but to repair to a price, rather than a standard.
“The result is that some cars are being returned to our roads in an unsafe and unroadworthy condition – these reforms are much needed to ensure everyone is safe on our roads.
“The bipartisan inquiry unanimously found that many motor vehicles are subject to poor repair practices and are being returned to motorists in an unroadworthy state.
“But Fair Trading Minister Matthew Mason-Cox has made a complete mockery of the process by ignoring the recommendations.
“Smash repairers and motorists throughout NSW have demanded action to ensure a fair and transparent industry that prioritises road safety over cost – the Liberals and Nationals must take these concerns seriously and support this Bill.”
Labor’s bill will:
Introduce a licensing regime for motor vehicle loss assessors to ensure they are held accountable for repairs performed to motor vehicles.
Allow smash repairers to challenge unfair contractual repair terms with an insurance company through the Small Business Commissioner to guarantee that vehicles are repaired to a standard, rather than a cost.
Implement a ‘name and shame’ register in the mould of the NSW Food Authority Register that will give motorists the information they need to make an informed choice of smash repairer.