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Labor backs REINSW in replacing Fair Trading with property commissioner

14 March 2019 Tim Neary
REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin

Labor has said that it will place property services in the first instance within Property NSW if it forms government this month, and place the NSW Building Authority under the expanded Property NSW agency.

In a letter to REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin, Shadow Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Yasmin Catley, on behalf of Michael Daley, said that Labor believes REINSW’s argument for a commissioner for the property services industry has merit.

Ms Catley said the move to a property-focused agency will improve the relationship with industry and government while achieving economies of scale.

REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin said this is good news for the industry. 

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“We support NSW Labor’s policy to establish a government agency that has the experience in, and understanding of, the property industry,” he said. 

“Fair Trading’s regulatory competencies exist in the high-frequency, low-dollar value, minimal legal complexity transactions. Property transactions by comparison are low-frequency, high-dollar value and by their very nature inherently complex.”

Mr McKibbin said that a regulatory authority seeking to adequately support the property industry must be well educated and experienced in the industry, and be exclusively focused on it.

“Consumers making home purchases in the hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars require specialist service providers and an experienced and competent regulatory authority that can maintain a regulatory environment for consumer protection.

“Expecting the same people at Fair Trading who represent consumers when buying a toaster or getting a haircut to then step up into complexities of a property transaction is ludicrous.”

He said there is no room for the ill-equipped.

“REINSW believes a property services commissioner would provide a centralised overview of legislation and regulation that impacts residential, commercial, strata and rural property; support the drive to increase education and service delivery standards in the industries; and advise government on the best outcomes to remove legislative red tape and improve consumer protection across the industry.”

Labor backs REINSW in replacing Fair Trading with property commissioner
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