31st May, 2019 · Policy Viewpoint

Federal Election Policy Implications

2 minutes to read

The 2019 Federal Election has passed and in a result none of the national opinion polls predicted, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Coalition Government has won a majority victory. The result has implications for franchised new car Dealers on a number of policy fronts. Below is a brief summary on the implications for some of our key policy areas. Rest assured the AADA secretariat is working with our members and Government to achieve the best possible outcome on all of these issues.

On the Automotive Code the AADA has been calling for, there is little change to the way forward. The AADA worked hard to win bi-partisan support for this crucial policy and the current government has already started work in this area through the development of a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS). We will be working hard to ensure that this work is finalised by the Minister for Industry Innovation and Science, Karen Andrews.

Another area which is largely unaffected by the election result is the inevitable regulation on the sharing of service and repair information. A draft regulation was close to being finalised before the election was called and the AADA expects that this will gain some momentum in this new term of government.

The changes being proposed to the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), and in particular a proposedLemon Law, are less likely to sail through the Consumer Affairs forum of state and territory ministers given the Coalition’s recent wins federally and in New South Wales. Regardless, the possibility of a Lemon Law cannot be ruled out especially as State Government’s may seek to legislate them independently of the Commonwealth.

There is little change to the Tax Regime for new vehicles following the election. There is an argument that the Coalition is more likely to conclude Free Trade Agreements with the EU and the UK, presenting the best opportunity for the removal of the Luxury Car Tax (LCT) and the Passenger Vehicle Import Tariff. The AADA will also be urging the Federal Government to use its influence to reign in State Governments which are implementing state-based LCTs.

In the finance and insurance space, the Coalition victory is undoubtedly better for the industry. While both Labor and the Coalition have said they will adopt the Financial Services Royal Commission’s recommendation to abolish the Point of Sale exemption, the Coalition committed to a thorough process which considers the impact on business whereas Labor said they would make the change immediately.

Finally, there was a clear contrast in policies on vehicle emissions. Labor committed to a CO2 standard of 105g/km and an electric vehicle target of 50 per cent of new car sales by 2030. The Coalition has no plans to introduce a CO2 standard and has said it will release an Electric Vehicle Strategy at some stage in 2020.