Welcome to the September edition of the Smart Business Bulletin, linking Queensland businesses with fair trading information and tips.
Message from the Minister
In August I released the Body Corporate and Community Management Amendment Bill 2010 for public consultation (submissions close 23 September 2010).
The proposed amendments will provide certainty around the proportion of total body corporate fees a unit owner must pay and will increase the affordability of unit living as an accommodation and lifestyle choice for the majority of Queensland unit owners.
The Bill also provides new and expanded principles for deciding the contribution schedule lot entitlements for owners of lots in new community title schemes. The Bill also provides lot owners adversely affected by adjustment orders the right to have their contribution schedule revert to the original settings as they were prior to any adjustment orders.
The Honourable Peter Lawlor MP
Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading
Member for Southport
What's in the news?
Find out about changes to the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000
Changes to the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 designed to cut red tape and streamline the residential real estate contract process will come into effect on 1 October 2010.
The Office of Fair Trading will hold information sessions for real estate agents and solicitors about the amendments.
Fair Trading launches dodgy motor dealer hotline
Fair Trading has today launched a hotline for consumers to report unlicensed motor dealers who are not operating within the law.
Gold Coast shed firm charged with hundreds of fair trading offences
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has laid more than 400 charges against Gold Coast company, the Shed Warehouse, and its directors for alleged breaches of Queensland´s consumer protection law.
You just can´t fake it
A Brisbane man has been fined $1600 for selling a Gold Coast Titan´s jersey complete with fake autographs.
Safety reminder about motor vehicle recovery straps
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is reminding Queensland consumers about the potential dangers of ´recovery´ or ´snatch´ straps used to tow bogged cars.
Watch out for ´bank fee´ scammers posing as Fair Trading officers
Queenslanders are being warned about scammers posing as a government or company representative saying they can get back money for overcharged bank fees.
Working with other businesses
Most businesses have a network of suppliers and other businesses that they rely on to help them achieve their goals. However, not all business relationships go smoothly or result in a happy ending. The Office of Fair Trading provides helpful tips for dealing with supplier failure, consultants and complaints about another business.
Smart Regulation Reform
The Smart Regulation Reform Agenda is about reducing unnecessary regulation and legislation, while keeping communities safe with best practice regulation and legislation.
It aims to ´free up´ productivity, innovation and competitiveness, making Queensland more attractive to individuals, business and investors.
Read more about the Smart Regulation Reform Agenda and the Queensland Office for Regulatory Efficiency.
Add your fax number to the do not call register
A number of amendments have been made to the Do Not Call Register Act 2006. The amendments include increasing the registration period from three year to five years, allowing government bodies and emergency services to register their number, and allowing fax numbers to be registered.
Have your say on the property agents and motor dealers law
The consultation process for proposed amendments to property agents and motor dealers law is underway.
The proposed changes will split the existing Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 (PAMDA) into four separate pieces of legislation:
- Property Agents Bill 2010
- Motor Dealers and Chattel Auctioneers Bill 2010
- Commercial Agents Bill 2010
- Agents Financial Administration Bill 2010
Submissions must be received by 16 September 2010.
For more information, email email@example.com.
Odometer cheats get their turn
In March 2010, Office of Fair Trading (OFT) commenced Operation Turner, a special investigation taskforce targeting backyard motor dealers and individuals selling vehicles with replaced or altered odometers.
Operation Turner began after investigators noticed an increase in the number of complaints about unlicensed motor dealers. Under Queensland legislation anyone who is in the business of buying and selling used motor vehicles must be licensed.
Unlicensed motor dealers and odometer tamperers put consumers at serious risk and cost reputable dealers thousands of dollars each year. More importantly, the types of vehicles sold are often of a lower quality and may be repairable write-off vehicles that have been significantly damaged in accidents, repaired and sold to consumers.
Consumers are not aware of the vehicle´s true history could be paying top dollar for a car which doesn´t even come with a statutory warranty.
Since the operation began OFT have successfully prosecuted 3 individuals for this conduct and another 5 individuals have been charged.
The operation is continuing with OFT following up on a number of leads.
OFT has established a hotline, 07 3115 1726, for people who want to provide information about rogue motor dealers. The information will be treated in confidence and will assist OFT with future investigations.
For more information about motor dealers´ rights and responsibilities, visit our 'legal requirements' page.
Make sure you´re on the money when it comes to credit
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has produced a series of guides to help you through the new credit licensing process and regulations.
If you provide credit services and have not yet registered for a credit license with ASIC you will need to stop providing or facilitating consumer credit immediately and contact them for advice.
If you have registered you can continue to engage in credit activities, but you must complete the licence application process by 31 December 2010.
Last reviewed 03/09/2010