October 2001


Recently the Minister for Fair Trading John Watkins announced two sets of changes relating to the Department of Fair Trading. The first being the introduction of the Consumer, Trader & Tenancy Tribunal Bill 2001 and the second is reforms to the Property Stock & Business Agents Act 1941.

The Consumer, Trader & Tenancy Tribunal Bill 2001 is designed to repeal the Fair Trading Tribunal Act 1998 and the Residential Tribunal Act 1998 and amend other related Acts. This will enable the amalgamation of the Fair Trading Tribunal with the existing Residential Tribunal to create a new Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT).

The CTTT, which will deal with home building, motor vehicle, general consumer, some commercial, residential tenancy, retirement village, residential park and strata/community scheme disputes, is expected to commence operation early in 2002.

Proposals have been developed following an extensive review of the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 1941 under National Competition Policy. Although the emphasis of the review was on competition-related matters, the opportunity was also taken to fundamentally review the effectiveness of the Act, which is over 50 years old.

The Review recommended that the Government continue to regulate property agents in order to provide an appropriate level of consumer protection. The Review also recommended that the legislation be simplified and updated to reflect today's property services market. Proposed reforms aim to increase the competency of agents, improve customer protection levels, reduce the regulatory burden and improve the way in which the legislation operates.

A Consultation Paper has been prepared and the views of interested parties are sought. New legislation will be drafted, taking into account the views expressed during the consultation process and it is expected that legislation will proceed in late 2001.

Copies of an Explanatory Paper on the CTTT and the associated draft Bill, together with the Consultation Paper relating to the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act can be obtained from my office or downloaded from the Department of Fair Trading website at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.