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Thursday, 11 January 2018 09:01

The MTA WA is disappointed to see such a soft fine for an individual who has knowingly breached the Motor Repairers Act by refusing to acquire a license. This is an issue of great concern for the MTA WA and our members and we addressed it in an article in November last year.

When the Motor Vehicle Repairers Act was enacted in 2003, many in the WA automotive industry were relieved, trusting that regulation would help to clean up an industry which had been plagued for too long by dodgy operators and unqualified repairers. Members of the Motor Trade Association of WA (MTA WA) put long, tiring efforts into lobbying to have the licenced introduced, with the end goal being a cleaner sector where consumers were protected. Professional, reputable automotive repairers had seen the dodgy practices of many besmirch the industry’s reputation and take advantage of the motoring public.

Since the introduction of the Act, the Motor Repair Business licence and Motor Repairer’s certificate have been quickly adopted by professional business operators, with over 6000 businesses now licenced. Thanks to the Act, we’ve also seen a significant number of backyard repairers prosecuted and fined, however, like any system, there have been ongoing issues and concerns from members of the automotive industry. MTA WA is calling on the Government to have these issues and concerns addressed, beginning with the seemingly soft fines for breaches of the Act. The Act allows for fines to be awarded up to the value of $150 000, but it’s uncommon to see anything above the $10 000 mark.

Below is a media release from 10 Jan 2018 issued by the Government of Western Australia's Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety:

Media Release

A motor vehicle repair company based in Bellevue has been fined $1,000 by the Midland Magistrates Court for operating without a licence.

Blue Dog Garage Pty Ltd was also ordered to pay costs of $932.74 when the company pleaded guilty to breaching the Motor Vehicle Repairers Act.

The business was informed by Consumer Protection about the requirement to obtain a licence in March 2016 and April 2016, but continued to operate unlicensed until April 2017.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said motor vehicle repair businesses that operate without a licence are undermining the integrity of the industry.

“The licensing laws are designed to ensure that only fit, proper and appropriately skilled people are allowed to carry out repair work, giving consumers the confidence that the person they are dealing with has the right qualifications and training,” Mr Hillyard said.

“Motor vehicle repair work has to be carried out with care and skill to ensure the vehicle is safe to drive and standards in the industry are maintained at a high level.

“Unlicensed repair work undermines these standards so I urge consumers to only do business with licensed repairers and to report any unlicensed activity occurring in the community.”

If you have any queries or concerns please contact your division manager at MTA WA on (08) 9233 9800.

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