Tasmanian Minister for Workplace Safety and Consumer Affairs Elise Archer has formally requested the development and mandatory implementation of a code of practice specifically for the Tasmanian motor vehicle insurance and body repair industry.
According to the Tasmanian Automotive Chamber of Commerce (TACC), Archer recently raised concerns about allegations of anti-competitive conduct by insurance companies against motor vehicle repairers, and ongoing conflicts between insurers and smaller motor vehicle repairers.
“In line with the requirements of the Australian Consumer Law (Tasmania) Act 2010 (the Act), the minister considers that a mandatory code to regulate conduct in the Tasmanian motor vehicle repair industry is in the public interest,” the TACC said. “Before a code of practice is prescribed under section 37(1) of the Act, the Minister has invited the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) to prepare, in consultation with TACC and other appropriate bodies or organisations, a draft code of practice.”
Currently, commercial conduct in the industry is self-regulated by the voluntary Motor Vehicle Insurance and Repair Industry Code of Conduct.
As part of the development of a code of practice, the TACC has engaged with the TCCI and other stakeholders to ensure a code in Tasmania is specifically developed which is exclusive, fair, and representative of the Tasmanian industry requirements to ensure fairer competition.
The TACC will participate in the first official meeting of relevant stakeholders in late October.
“TACC wishes to acknowledge that this announcement would not have been possible had it not been for the culmination of many years of heavy advocacy by Kate Presnell, Managing Director of Kate Presnell Bodyworks. It is an historic moment for the repair and insurer industry in Tasmania, which will ideally pave the way for fairer engagement between business and insurers,” the TACC said.