Feed­back sought on auc­tion­eer laws

Pilbara News - - Lifestyle - Gwyn­neth Hay­wood Gwyn­neth Hay­wood is the se­nior re­gional of­fi­cer at Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion.

Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion is seek­ing pub­lic com­ment as part of a re­view of the laws cov­er­ing the li­cens­ing and con­duct of auc­tion­eers in WA.

Un­der the Auc­tion Sales Act, auc­tion­eer li­cences are is­sued by lo­cal mag­is­trate’s courts and WA Po­lice checks are used to de­ter­mine if ap­pli­cants are fit and proper peo­ple.

The re­view will look at the li­cens­ing is­sue and to what ex­tent regulation is needed to cover the con­duct of auc­tion­eers.

A con­sul­ta­tion pa­per re­leased by Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion raises op­tions re­lat­ing to the con­duct of auc­tion­eers, buy­ers and sell­ers in the ar­eas of dis­clo­sure, ven­dor bid­ding, dummy bid­ding, record keep­ing, trust ac­counts, stan­dard con­di­tions of sale, col­lu­sive prac­tices as well as on­line auc­tions.

The re­view seeks to en­sure the auc­tion sales in­dus­try is op­er­at­ing in a way that is fair and com­pet­i­tive and is meet­ing mar­ket needs. Mak­ing WA laws as con­sis­tent as pos­si­ble with other States and Ter­ri­to­ries will also be con­sid­ered.

If regulation of auc­tion­eers con­tin­ues in what­ever form, the li­cens­ing func­tion will be trans­ferred to Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion.

We want to as­sess the reg­u­la­tory bur­den of the li­cens­ing sys­tem and con­sider if dereg­u­la­tion may be a valid op­tion.

While this op­tion would re­sult in a re­duc­tion in costs for busi­ness, the com­mu­nity and gov­ern­ment, we must en­sure that pro­tec­tions for con­sumers are main­tained.

Analysing the var­i­ous op­tions for regulation will in­volve look­ing at the po­ten­tial ad­van­tages, dis­ad­van­tages and costs of each op­tion in re­la­tion to in­dus­try, con­sumers and gov­ern­ment.

I would urge any­one with an in­ter­est in the auc­tion sales in­dus­try to read the con­sul­ta­tion pa­per by down­load­ing it from www.com­merce.wa.gov.au/ con­sul­ta­tions and pro­vide feed­back in or­der to help us de­ter­mine how the in­dus­try can best op­er­ate in the fu­ture.

Submissions close at 5pm on Fri­day, March 3.

In­quiries can be made by email­ing con­sul­ta­tions@com­merce.wa.gov.au or by call­ing Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion on 1300 30 40 54.

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