New draft legislation for the national licensing of property professionals is due later this month, although one senior industry stakeholder is already predicting the laws will be a major disappointment.
The National Occupational Licensing Authority (NOLA) is expected to announce a decision on what licensing will look like for the real estate industry later this month, however CEO of the Real Estate Institute of SA (REISA), Greg Troughton, said he isn’t expecting good news.
“It doesn’t look that good,” he told Real Estate Business. “While they’re starting to listen to some of the issues, we’re still not entirely happy with what they’re suggesting with the delicensing of non-residential agents.”
NOLA released a consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) in August last year, which sparked industry fury over the proposed removal of continued professional development (CPD), the delicensing of rural and commercial transactions and lower entry level qualifications for some states.
After a period of industry consultation, the RIS was passed behind closed doors to the Occupational Licensing Advisory Committee (OLAC) to iron out the issues.
Sitting on the committee, Andy Madigan, CEO of the Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association, said the process was very productive.
“The OLAC has been good because they’ve realised they messed up in the first place … the committee is there to try and sort out any of the speed bumps that were still there,” he told Real Estate Business.
According to a recent update from NOLA, the only issues that the OLAC discussed were the licensing of stock and station agents, the licensing of livestock auctioneers and minimum age requirements.
Even though Mr Madigan agrees these were the most contentious issues, he said other concerns were raised by the committee.
“Commercial delicensing was discussed, but the misapprehension was that the taskforce initially said all real estate will be unlicensed except for residential, but they didn’t come out with any definitions of what is rural, commercial or residential property," he said.
“CPD has been discussed, but there have been no recommendations as far as I’m aware. But going from the original RIS, things pointed to it probably not being included. But each state has every right to bring it in if they need it.”
But Mr Troughton doesn’t share Mr Madigan’s enthusiasm for a favourable outcome.
“The consumers are going to be screwed; it’s as simple as that," he said.
“In this state we’ve got legislation going through the house to ensure appropriate behaviour from real estate agents, which is absolutely fantastic, but if you’re going to get your licence inside a Wheaties packet like the NOLA is proposing, then disappointment is not a grave enough word to express.”