Motor vehicle repairer fined for operating after licence expires (T.I.M Automotive Services / Serugga Bukenya)
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A Landsdale motor vehicle repairer who continued to operate his business after his licence had expired has been fined $10,000 by the Joondalup Magistrates Court.
Serugga Timothy Bukenya, trading as T.I.M Automotive Services, was also required to pay costs of $8,016 after being convicted in his absence on 11 January 2017 of breaching the Motor Vehicle Repairers Act.
Mr Bukenya, who was originally granted a licence in 2010, had submitted a renewal application in May 2013. Consumer Protection required that further information be submitted with the application in order for it to be approved. Three subsequent reminders and warnings were sent but Mr Bukenya still did not supply all of the required information. As a result, his licence was deemed to have lapsed.
Consumer Protection took prosecution action against Mr Bukenya after obtaining evidence that he continued to operate his business after his licence had expired.
He was originally convicted of the charge in his absence and fined $10,000 by the Joondalup Magistrates Court on 19 June 2015 but this decision was set aside upon application by Mr Bukenya on 5 August 2016.
Magistrate Pontifex said that Mr Bukenya’s failure to attend a second trial for this matter demonstrated a severe disregard for the judicial system and that he had inconvenienced the Court, the prosecution and witnesses. The Magistrate also stated that it was important to deal with this kind of behaviour for public policy reasons in order to deter Mr Bukenya and other persons from similar conduct as licensing is not an issue to be taken lightly.
Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said it is imperative that licence renewal applications are submitted with the required information.
“Licence renewals are not automatic and applicants need to show that they comply with the criteria that allow them to be licensed,” Mr Hillyard said.
“In this instance the business was given every opportunity to renew the licence but failed to do so. Unlicensed trading cannot be ignored.
“The licensing system is designed to ensure that only fit and proper people work in the industry, maintaining standards and protecting consumers. That’s why consumers should not deal with an unlicensed repairer and any unlicensed activity should be reported to Consumer Protection so that the appropriate action can be taken.”
Consumers can check whether a motor vehicle repairer is licensed by doing a search on the Consumer Protection website: www.commerce.wa.gov.au/cp/licencesearch or look for the distinctive yellow and black sign with the tick of approval displayed at their premises.
Unlicensed motor vehicle repairers can be reported by emailing email@example.com or by calling 1300 30 40 54.
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