MTAA and the State Government Small Business Commissioner / Ombudsman / Corporation
New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia have a State Government operated Small Business Ombudsman / Commissioner / Corporation.
MTAA assist affiliated state members to influence state legislation for the benefit of their members. For example, MTAA assisted MTA NSW to sway the NSW state Government to introduce and amend the Motor Vehicle Insurance and Repair Industry Code of Conduct. MTAA is also supporting the introduction of this code in other State and Territory jurisdictions.
Each state body has similar functions and provide advice for small businesses (including automotive businesses) by applying state or territory law.
The activities of each State Government Small Business Ombudsman / Commissioner /Corporation include:
- Supporting those who own and manage a small business through advocacy and the provision of information. For example, by providing information on business permits, licensing requirements, advice on financial management and how to register and run a business to name just some.
- Providing assistance to resolve business to business and business to government disputes. For example, these disputes may relate to contract terms, leasing payments and non-payment or non-performance of goods and services.
- Investigating complaints about unfair market practices. For example; fair trading, franchising arrangements and competition and misuse of market power.
- Advocating to all levels of government. For example, promote policies, legislation and laws that assist small business owners and operators. This may include providing advice to State Ministers for Small Business and other key State Government representatives based on information collected through industry monitoring activities.
Please note: Operating a small business (including automotive businesses) requires compliance to state and Commonwealth legislation which may sometimes have a degree of overlap. This may sometimes be beneficial for businesses as it may provide two avenues for dispute resolution.
Some states have stronger state laws protecting the interests of small businesses than others, whilst the Australian Territories don’t have a Small Business Ombudsman / Commissioner /Corporation to represent them at all. Rather, they are required to act alone in accordance with available Territory and Commonwealth law.
Some states some provide greater automotive related regulation than others. For example in NSW, the Motor Vehicle Insurance and Repair Industry Code of Conduct is legislated in law. In Victoria, the code is voluntarily endorsed by Industry (but not enforced by law) and in South Australia and Western Australia it is not considered by their State Governments. Automotive issues in these states are commonly addressed under general consumer and business law.
For these reasons, the MTAA recommends that businesses seek clarity from their business advisors and financial managers concerning business operations, regardless of the information provided by each State Government website listed below.
To access the websites of the New South Wales, Victorian, South Australian and Western Australian Small Business Ombudsman / Commissioner / Corporation please use the following links.
- New South Wales Government: Small Business Commissioner.
- Government of Victoria: The Victorian Small Business Commission.
- Government of South Australia: Small Business Commissioner.
- Government of Western Australia: Small Business Development Corporation.
For more information on each State Government operated Small Business Ombudsman / Commissioner /Corporation please follow the links provided above or access their website directly.