Victoria Minister for Consumer Affairs Michael O’Brien
More Than 400 Reports Help To Stamp Out Dodgy Dealers
Victor P Taffa
A year on from the launch of Consumer Affairs Victoria’s unlicensed motor car trader campaign, the agency has received hundreds of reports about suspected unlawful trading and launched multiple court actions as a result.
Since May last year, Consumer Affairs Victoria received more than 430 reports about unlicensed motor car trading, Minister for Consumer Affairs Michael O’Brien said today.
“What this shows is that the mechanisms we have put in place to report suspect activity is working.” Mr. O’Brien said.
Mr. O’Brien said the Coalition Government remained committed to targeting motor car traders who operate outside the law, to avoid leaving those who unwittingly purchase from such traders dangerously exposed.
“By using a wide variety of techniques and initiatives, the Victorian Government has made significant progress in efforts to stamp out unlawful conduct amongst motor car traders.” Mr. O’Brien said.
• The establishment of a dedicated unlicensed motor car trader hotline;
• An enhanced electronic detection program which scans advertisements to detect unlicensed motor car traders;
• A comprehensive education, compliance and enforcement program to tackle the issue, including through compliance assistance visits;
• Working with local councils, VicRoads, the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce and Victoria Police to identify and pursue unlicensed traders.
Since May last year, Consumer Affairs has also undertaken compliance and enforcement activities in relation to more than 170 motor car trader cases.
“Stamping out unlawful conduct by motor car traders will not only better protect consumers but also ensure that responsible operators are not placed at a competitive disadvantage by illegal operators.” Mr. O’Brien said.
Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce Executive Director David Purchase said he supported the Minister’s initiative, saying that consumers should always buy from a Licensed Motor Car Trader and therefore obtain the warranty protection under the Motor Car Traders Act and the Guarantee Fund.
“There are too many unscrupulous and unlicensed people trading in motor cars from home or the kerbside that are ripping off unwary and unprotected consumers.” Mr. Purchase said.