This year has, without doubt, been the most challenging year Australians have experienced for a generation, causing previously unimaginable impacts on our lives, both personally and professionally. Among the casualties of the pandemic are countless industry conventions and seminars, which have been cancelled or postponed until next year, in the hope that a return to some form of normality will have occurred between now and then.
At AADA, we fully expected that we would have to follow suit and much thought and energy was given to deciding the future of the AADA Annual Convention. It was disheartening to contemplate the prospect of cancelling the event at a time when we knew members were suffering badly and were in desperate need of support, advice and guidance. It was also disappointing that with several key issues on the policy agenda poised to be decided upon, we would potentially be cancelling or postponing the most important policy platform we have as an industry.
Given its importance, we decided to explore all options before making a final decision. We soon learned that members and our industry sponsors were eager to offer their full support to an AADA Convention, no matter what the format. With this in mind we set about developing a plan for the AADA 2020 Moving Forward Virtual Convention and Expo, which we are proud to present and which is already receiving support from members through event registrations which are at record levels.
We are also delighted that we have received such strong support from parliamentarians at very senior levels of the Australian Government and those in attendance will hear addresses from Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Deputy PM Michael McCormack, Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers, Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar and Minister for Employment, Skills and Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash, among others. In addition, Senator Deborah O’Neill and Senator David Van will be participating in key speaking roles. We have also continued to build on our strong relationship with NADA and are pleased to have 2020 NADA Chairman, Rhett Ricart presenting at the Keynote session.
As always, the AADA Convention has an important role to play in promoting and publicising important issues in our industry and educating the many external stakeholders around us. Work on the push for a mandatory franchising code for new car Dealers is reaching its zenith and the expanded Senate Inquiry into relations between Dealers and Manufacturers will hopefully create a strong impetus for government intervention and legislation. The 2020 AADA Convention and Expo could not have come at a more important time and the support we have received remains critical to achieving our objectives. We encourage all members who have not already done so, to register and participate. We promise that you will learn from the event and can guarantee that you will be part of a Convention the likes of which you have never experienced before.