The Regulation of the Auction Sales Industry in Western Australia (final report) September 2019

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The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety – Consumer Protection Division (Consumer Protection) recently completed a review of the Auction Sales Act 1973 (the Act).

Review purpose

The purpose of the review was to assess the Act’s relevance and appropriateness in meeting current and future consumer and industry needs. 

Review finding

The review found the current legislation has not changed substantially since it was introduced in 1973. The marketplace, however, has changed significantly particularly through technology, with the advent of online auctions changing the way many auctions are now conducted.

Final report

As a result, the final report, in the form of a Decision Regulatory Impact Statement (DRIS), recommends a number of reforms which Cabinet has endorsed as the McGowan Government’s position on the future regulation of the auction sales industry.

The DRIS final report outlines the options that were consulted on during the review, considers the views of stakeholders, reports on the issues raised by stakeholders, assesses the options for change and their impact on industry, consumers and government, and makes recommendations for reform.

The DRIS recommends that the most appropriate regulatory model for the current market place is one where the Auction Sales Act 1973 is retained to regulate the conduct of auctioneers through current and additional conduct standards. A person will be required to comply with these standards, but will not be required to obtain a licence to operate as an auctioneer. Most other Australian jurisdictions no longer license auctioneers.

In recommending the reforms, the primary goal was to provide appropriate protections for consumers while at the same time maintaining the commercial viability of the auction sales industry.

Stakeholder consultation

The DRIS represents the final stage of the review.  The first stage invited stakeholder input to the review in December 2016 through the public release of a consultation paper in the form of a Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (CRIS).  The invitation for submissions was open for a 15 week consultation period ending on 31 March 2017. Consumer Protection also conducted a three week online consumer survey. In response to the CRIS, Consumer Protection received a total of 42 submissions and 12 people answered the consumer survey.

Compliance

The DRIS was certified by the Department of Treasury’s Better Regulation Unit as complying with the Government’s Regulatory Impact Assessment Guidelines.

Next steps

The Government will proceed with drafting amendments to the legislation in readiness for consideration by Parliament.

Downloads and resources

The Regulation of the Auction Sales Industry in Western Australia DRIS September 2019 

Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement: Review of the Auction Sales Act 1973 CRIS December 2016

Review of the Auction Sales Act 1973: Final Report July 2007 

Enquiries

Enquiries can be made by calling Consumer Protection Advice Line on 1300 30 40 54 or by emailing consumer@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

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