Fair Trading minister Anthony Roberts has said the performance of licensed motor vehicle repairers and auto dismantlers in the Tweed-Byron region is inadquate. He made the comments today in announcing the results of Fair Trading checks on businesses in the area.
The Minister said that an overall 60 per cent rate of non-compliance was a disappointing result and called on the motor vehicle industry to lift its game.
One auto dismantler alone had 175 breaches and was issued with 10 penalty infringement notices.
Inspections were conducted in Byron Bay, Suffolk Park, Tyagarah, Mullumbimby, Tweed Heads, Chinderah, Cudgen, Duranbah, Bogangar, Hastings Point, Pottsville and South Golden Beach.
Twenty-six licensees were found to have serious breaches and were issued with 45 penalty infringement notices totalling $25,540.
Mr Roberts said motor repairers were particularly in the firing line because failure to adequately carry out repairs could have potentially fatal consequences.
The aptly named Operation Grime detected 64 licensees with 270 breaches of Fair Trading legislation including the Motor Dealers Act 1974, the Motor Vehicle Repairs Act 1980 and regulations as well as the Business Names Act 2002.
‘Serious offences relating to unlicensed conduct, non-certificated tradesmen, not entering prescribed particulars in the register, failing to mark prescribed parts and not surrendering number plates to Roads and Maritime Services were detected as part of the inspections,’ he said.
‘Forty-four licensees were issued with rectification notices, with 233 breaches detected for less serious offences relating to signage, licence particulars and licence number display.’
‘The motor vehicle industry must abide by the law. Fair Trading inspections will continue to catch out any non-compliance in the sector, for which there may be fines,’ he said.
Inspections in the region in June 2011 as part of a Fair Trading Regional Access Program found an unacceptable level of non-compliance, so between 29 August and 2 September last year, Fair Trading inspected 106 licensees, including 19 follow ups from June.
The Minister said Fair Trading checks helped to educate the motor vehicle industry and reinforce the role of Fair Trading as a vigilant regulator, ensuring protection of consumers and traders.
Motor Traders’ Association of NSW CEO James McCall said the results were a sober reminder to traders that they must adhere strictly to the letter of the law.