Auction sales reform
Status: CLOSED 15 April 2017
A review of the laws covering the licensing and conduct of auctioneers in WA was conducted in 2017 and is now complete.
The purpose of the review was to assess the Act’s relevance and appropriateness in meeting current and future consumer and industry needs.
Four options for regulation were considered in the consultation:
- 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.
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.
As a result, the final report, in the form of a Decision Regulatory Impact Statement (DRIS), recommended a number of reforms for the future regulation of the auction sales industry.
The DRIS final report outlined the options that were consulted on during the review, considered 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 made recommendations for reform.
The DRIS recommends 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.
The DRIS was 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.
The DRIS was certified by the Department of Treasury’s Better Regulation Unit as complying with the Government’s Regulatory Impact Assessment Guidelines.
Enquiries can be made by calling Consumer Protection Advice Line on 1300 30 40 54 or by emailing consultations.
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