Auction Sales Act review Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement

This publication is for: 
Business / company

The key focus of the review of the Auction Sales Act 1973 (WA) is to obtain stakeholder feedback to assist in assessing proposals for the overall regulation of the auction sales industry. In analysing the various options for regulation, the potential advantages, disadvantages and costs of the options will be considered in relation to industry, consumers and government.

This paper discusses nine recommendations contained in the 2008 position paper. The recommendations sought to address various issues relating to the conduct and practices by auctioneers and participants at auctions. For example, recommendations to address matters relating to disclosure, vendor and dummy bidding, recordkeeping, trust accounts, standard conditions of sale, collusive practices and online auctions were made. The extent to which these recommendations will be implemented will depend on feedback in response to this paper and which option is adopted. This paper outlines the following four options for regulation:

  • Option A: Retain the status quo, that is, make no changes to the current licensing system and conduct provisions.
  • Option B: Retain licensing and introduce additional conduct provisions. This was the recommendation of the 2008 position paper.
  • Option C: Introduce a negative licensing system – the Auction Sales Act will be retained, but auctioneers would not require a licence to operate. The Auction Sales Act would continue to regulate the conduct of auctioneers and unfit persons could be excluded from practising in the industry.
  • Option D: Deregulate the auction sales industry and repeal the Auction Sales Act. The protections of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and Sale of Goods Act 1895 would continue to apply to auction sales.
     

CONTENTS

  • MESSAGE FROM THE MINISTER 
  • HOW TO MAKE A SUBMISSION 
  • TERMINOLOGY 
  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 
  • 1 INTRODUCTION 
    • 1.1 The origin of legislation to regulate auction sales 
    • 1.2 The role of auctions 
    • 1.3 Scope of the auction sales industry 
    • 1.4 Recent developments 
    • 1.5 Number of licensed auctioneers in Western Australia
    • 1.6 The risks that regulation seeks to address 
    • 1.7 Previous reviews 
    • 1.8 Complaints and enquiries in relation to auctions 
  • 2 CURRENT REGULATORY FRAMEWORK 
    • 2.1 Objectives of the Auction Sales Act 
    • 2.2 Overview of the Auction Sales Act 
    • 2.3 General conduct provisions of the Australian Consumer Law 
    • 2.4 The Australian Consumer Law as it applies to goods bought at auction 
    • 2.5 Other legislation impacting on the operations of auctioneers in Western Australia 
    • 2.6 Recent amendments to the Auction Sales Act
    • 2.7 The regulation of auction sales in other jurisdictions 
  • 3 PREVIOUS RECOMMENDATIONS ON CONDUCT PROVISIONS
    • 3.1 Vendor bidding and dummy bidding
    • 3.2 Collusion
    • 3.3 Charging a buyer’s premium
    • 3.4 Disclosure of sale or purchase by auctioneers 
    • 3.5 Harassment and disruptive behaviour 
    • 3.6 Standard conditions or rules of conduct 
    • 3.7 Recordkeeping and reporting
    • 3.8 Holding vendor funds in a trust account 
    • 3.9 Conducting online auctions 
    • 3.10 Questions - regulation of the conduct of auctioneers 
  • 4 OPTIONS FOR FUTURE REGULATION
    • 4.1 Option A: Retain status quo 
    • 4.2 Option B: Retain licensing for those not already licensed under the Real Estate and Business Agents Act 1978 or the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act 1973 and introduce additional conduct provisions 
    • 4.3 Option C: Introduce a negative licensing system and additional conduct provisions 
    • 4.4 Option D: Deregulate the auction sales industry 
    • 4.5 Questions – options for future regulation 
  • 5 COSTS OF LICENSING - MAGISTRATES COURT AND CONSUMER PROTECTION .
    • 5.1 Licensing by the Magistrates Court
    • 5.2 Licensing by Consumer Protection
  • 6 IMPLEMENTATION AND EVALUATION 
    • 6.1 Implementation 
    • 6.2 Evaluation 

 

Consumer Protection
Consultations / public comment
Last updated 10 Mar 2022

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