A decision on national licensing for the real estate industry is being driven by a deadline to suit bureaucrats rather than a desire to make the most informed decision, the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has said.
According to REIA president Peter Bushby, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) had agreed to a request for state-based consultation on the unreleased Decision Regulatory Impact Statement (DRIS) to better inform decision-makers of stakeholders’ views.
“COAG acknowledged that the views of stakeholders were integral and would be taken into consideration in the decisions made,” he said. "We were told that the consultation would be objective and would be carried out over a three-month period.
“Because of delays in the completion of the DRIS, we are now told by the National Occupational Licensing Authority (NOLA) that the consultation period will be less than half what was initially promised! The consultation is to be completed by the end of August, yet the DRIS has not yet been released.”
Mr Bushby said he wanted the states and territories to provide a three-month period of face-to-face consultation with stakeholders, which would not interfere with COAG’s intent to make its decision in November.
“The decisions made in the coming months will have a lasting impact on the standards of the profession and on consumer protection. These are not decisions to be rushed," he said.
The REIA is calling for a national licensing system, which requires real estate agents to achieve a diploma level for licensing, requires compulsory continuing professional development and requires licensing for commercial agency work.
It also wants real estate to be moved to the second tranche of national licensing with other property occupations.
National licensing has been a hotly contentious issue in the industry for some time.
CEO of the Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA) Greg Troughton earlier this year told Real Estate Business he did not expect good news from the legislation.
“While they’re starting to listen to some of the issues, we’re still not entirely happy with what they’re suggesting with the de-licensing of non-residential agents,” he said.
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.
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