Seeking opinions on future auctioneer laws
Consumer Protection is seeking public comment as part of a review of the laws covering the licensing and conduct of auctioneers in WA.
Currently under the Auction Sales Act, auctioneer licences are issued by local Magistrates Courts with WA Police checks used to determine if applicants are fit and proper people.
Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said the review will look at the licensing issue and to what extent regulation is needed to cover the conduct of auctioneers.
“A consultation paper released by Consumer Protection raises options relating to the conduct of auctioneers, buyers and sellers in the areas of disclosure, vendor bidding, dummy bidding, record keeping, trust accounts, standard conditions of sale, collusive practices as well as online auctions,” Mr Hillyard said.
“The review seeks to ensure that the auction sales industry is operating in a way that is fair and competitive and is meeting market needs. Making WA laws as consistent as possible with other states and territories will also be considered.
“If regulation of auctioneers continues in whatever form, the licensing function will be transferred to Consumer Protection.
“We want to assess the regulatory burden of the licensing system and consider if deregulation may be a valid option. While this option would result in a reduction in costs for business, the community and government; we must ensure that protections for consumers are maintained.
“Analysing the various options for regulation will involve looking at the potential advantages, disadvantages and costs of each option in relation to industry, consumers and government.”
Four options for regulation are being considered in the Consultation-Regulatory Impact Statement:
- retain the status quo – make no changes to the current licensing system and conduct provisions;
- retain licensing and introduce additional conduct provisions;
- replace with a negative licensing system where licences are not required but the Act would continue to regulate conduct and exclude unfit people from the industry; or
- deregulate the auction sales industry and repeal the Act, leaving the Australian Consumer Law and Sales of Goods Act to apply to auction sales.
“I would urge anyone with an interest in the auction sales industry to read the consultation paper and provide feedback in order to help us determine how the industry can best operate in the future,” the acting Commissioner said.
The Consultation-Regulatory Impact Statement can be downloaded from www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consultations. Submissions close at 5pm on Friday, 3 March 2017.
Enquiries can be made by emailing email@example.com or by calling Consumer Protection on 1300 30 40 54.
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