The new Government has been in place for a number of months and the Ministerial team and their offices are now firmly in place. We always encourage franchised new car Dealers to engage with their local members and when possible Ministers relevant to our industry, but I often have members ask exactly who the people making the key decisions are?
Dealers often have relationships with their local representatives and this remains crucial to making sure your voice is heard in Canberra. However, when talking to local members it is useful to mention to them which Ministers are involved in automotive policy.
There are a number of issues being decided in the next few years which will be crucial for the future of our industry. It is as important as ever that Dealers educate themselves on these issues and use their influence as large employers and generators of economic activity to persuade our lawmakers to pursue rational policies.
Below is a list of the key Ministers including information on why they are so important to the automotive industry and your business:
- Firstly, the Minister for Small Business, Julie Collins who represents the Tasmanian seat of Franklin. Crucially she is responsible for all things franchising policy, including the Automotive-specific part of the Franchising Code of Conduct, which needs to be reviewed before 1 April 2024. Minister Collins will also be keeping a watchful eye on the MoU signed between the AADA, FCAI and the MTAA. In addition the Minister will also have responsibility for other matters affecting small and family business. Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, Andrew Leigh, will assist on issues of Competition which will require consideration of how agency models fit into current competition frameworks.
- Second, there are two Ministers who will be working on the key issue of a vehicle emissions standard. Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King, and Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, share the workload on both a vehicle emissions standard and the announced Electric Vehicle strategy. It will be so important these Ministers hear from the industry on what is actually achievable for the Australian market so we can avoid the unrealistic timeframes we have seen in other jurisdictions across the world.
- Third, Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services, Stephen Jones. The Assistant Treasurer will have responsibility for a number of issues relevant to auto, including the coming review of the Point of Sale exemption; the Government’s consideration of improving indemnification of Dealers; financial services and consumer affairs.
- Finally, one of the key issues affecting our industry is the current skills crisis and the Ministers in charge of this area are Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’ Connor and Minister for Home Affairs, Clare O’ Neil.
AADA is always ready to assist members to arrange meetings with local Members of Parliament and will provide talking points and any other information. One meeting may not seem like it is making the world of difference, but the sum of our 3,100 Dealerships and their 59,000 employees is incredibly powerful and should not be underestimated.