Auctioneer industry laws under review: Real estate bulletin issue 134 (February 2017)

This publication is for: 
Property industry

15 February 2016

A review of the Auction Sales Act 1973 (the Act) has been commenced by the Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Commerce (Consumer Protection).  The purpose of this review is to assess the operation and effectiveness of auction sales laws, to ensure that the auction sales industry operates in a manner that is fair and competitive.

Currently three government agencies share the regulation of the auctioneer industry, the local Magistrates Courts, the Western Australia Police and Consumer Protection.  If regulation of the auctioneer industry continues, full responsibility for the regulation would shift to Consumer Protection.

Consumer Protection has issued a consultation paper focused on determining the most appropriate form of regulation for the auction sales industry.

Four options for regulation being considered are to:

  • retain the status quo;
  • 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 Act has been amended in advance of the review through the Licensing Provisions Amendment Act 2015. The amendments allow for three year licensing and licence renewals, as well as other red tape reduction reforms, such as requiring only one copy of a character testimonial when applying for a licence, and not requiring an application to be advertised in a newspaper.  These changes will be introduced once supporting regulations have been developed.

Agents with an interest in the auction sales industry should review the various options for regulation and the proposed conduct reforms presented in the consultation paper (C-RIS) and make a submission.

There is no specified format for submissions.  Agents are welcome to make a formal submission, write a letter or email outlining their views and/or respond to the questions in the paper.

Questions have been provided to make it easier for agents to present their views and they are also encouraged to raise any additional issues and to suggest alternative options for resolving issues of concern.

The closing date for submissions is 3 March 2017 and can be made by email or by mail to:

Review of the Auction Sales Act 1973
Department of Commerce (Consumer Protection Division)
Locked Bag 14
Cloisters Square PO WA 6850

Consumer Protection
Last updated 16 Feb 2017

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