AADA Welcomes Appointment of Dr Michael Schaper as Independent Reviewer

The Australian Automotive Dealer Association welcomes the appointment of Dr Michael Schaper by the Minister for Small Business, Housing, and Homelessness, the Hon Julie Collins MP, as the independent reviewer of the Franchising Code of Conduct.

As a former Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and former ACT Small Business Commissioner, Dr Schaper brings the necessary expertise and experience to this critical review of Franchising Regulations and the Code of Conduct.

This Franchising Review is a timely and welcome step to examine the regulatory settings in place to support Australia’s franchising sector, including by evaluating the effectiveness of previous reforms such as the New Car Dealerships provisions enacted in 2021.

AADA CEO Mr James Voortman said, “This review will be a significant step in ensuring a fair and transparent business environment for new car and truck Dealers across the nation and the AADA welcomes the government’s commitment to continually improve this vital regulatory framework.”

“In recent years there have been several high-profile automotive franchising disputes, a number of which remain before the courts. Now is an opportune time to review franchising regulations to ensure that that they remain fit for purpose and the Code is effectively protecting new car dealers and their customers,” said Mr Voortman.

“Franchised new car Dealers invest significant sums of capital, employ tens of thousands of Australians, and make significant contributions to their communities. It is important to ensure that elements of our franchising laws, such as termination processes, dispute resolution and contract terms, are fair and reasonable,” he said.

“Additionally, this review provides an opportunity to expand the provisions to encompass truck and other automotive franchised Dealers who are currently not afforded the automotive specific protections the Franchising Code provides,” he said.

The AADA looks forward to working closely with Dr Schaper throughout the review process.