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10-year Choice of Repairer campaign set to pay off

The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association’s long-running Choice of Repairer campaign seeking to mandate information sharing between car manufacturers and independent repairers is on the home straight. 

On November 2, Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar announced draft “Right to Repair” legislation that will compel car manufacturers to share their information on “fair and reasonable commercial terms”. This, finally, will allow for the independent auto repair sector to better compete with the main dealer networks.

Sukkar also announced a $250,000 funding package for a new industry-led body that will support the law, resolve disputes and provide information and education. Industry representation will come from the AAAA, Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA), the Australian Automotive Dealer Association (AADA), the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

AAAA Choice of Repairer Code of Practice
AAAA Choice of Repairer Code of Practice

Celebrating what he sad was a “landmark decision,” AAAA CEO Stuart Charity described the campaign as “a long 10-year battle involving literally hundreds of meetings with politicians from all sides, as well as two major inquiries and an 18-month ACCC investigation with two rounds of extensive stakeholder consultation”.

Sukkar, speaking at the AAAA’s recent Industry Leaders Forum, said that the discussion over the past ten years meant that no lengthy consultation period was required before the law goes to Parliament. 

“We are incredibly grateful to the Minister for getting this done,” said Charity, who called for lessons from the United States to be heeded by including access to telematics data in the legislation in order to “only vote once”.

“We believe that if our legislation doesn’t include telematics it could be redundant by the time it passes through the Senate.”