MTA NSW urges caution with Harper Review Recommendations

The peak NSW Motor Industry Body, MTA NSW, has urged caution with a number of the Harper Review recommendations. Association CEO, Greg Patten, said the Competition Policy Review, delivered by Panel Chair, Professor Ian Harper, has failed to understand the negative impacts that are likely from relaxing regulations on the importation of second hand cars and light commercial vehicles from overseas.

“The Review’s recommendation to progressively relax restrictions on the importation of second-hand vehicles, whilst being of appeal to used car buyers, may have a detrimental impact not only on the existing value of vehicles but also on the safety standards of motor vehicles.” Mr Patten said.

“Individual imports of second hand vehicles raise issues such as compliance standards, particularly in relation to safety which also appear to have been missed or ignored by the review.”

“Many individuals fail to understand that vehicles sold in Australia have, in the majority of cases, been specifically engineered for Australian conditions such as the poorer quality of fuels sold here and our harsh environment” said Mr Patten, “if these modifications aren’t made consumers purchasing imported used vehicles could experience significant maintenance issues.”

Mr Patten also has concerns over the Review’s recommendation to allow internet based service providers such as Uber greater unrestricted access to the Australian market.

“The review fails to recognise that regulation exists predominately to protect consumers when accessing services such as a taxi or chauffeured limousine. The existing regulations set minimum standards of quality for vehicles and driver integrity that provide protection, confidence and assurance for the public” said Mr Patten.

“If Government intends to allow unrestricted access to Uber and other app providers then it needs to be a level playing field and all regulatory obligations and costs for existing taxi and limousine operators should be removed.”

“If these operators are allowed to operate without regulation, then the Government must be prepared to wear the cost of lost revenue from fees and charges and also accept the risks associated with allowing any member of the public to start operating as a public transport provider.”

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