28 April 2020
DE GRUSSA WELCOMES ACCC ACTION ON RIGHT TO REPAIR
The Nationals WA agriculture spokesperson Colin de Grussa has welcomed the work currently being undertaken by the ACCC to investigate the issues around what is now commonly termed as ‘right to repair’ in the agricultural sector.
The Nationals WA have been calling on the Federal Government to take action on ‘right to repair’ legislation since the issue was raised at its 2018 State Conference.
In February 2020 the ACCC published its discussion paper which identified a range of issues needing further investigation and input from key stakeholders, industry groups and consumers. The issues identified include:
- access to independent agricultural machinery repairs is limited
- farmers may lack recourse in the event of a problem with their machinery
- agreements between manufacturers and dealers may limit access to repairs
- data ownership and management may raise privacy and competition concerns.
“This is an issue which extends across technology, vehicle repairs and machinery, but is acutely felt within the agriculture sector, where significant time delays and costs can be incurred by farmers being forced to use ‘authorised agents’” Mr de Grussa said.
“Farmers should be able to choose their preferred technicians or mechanics, but big companies have dictated who they provide the necessary service and repair information to, effectively removing a consumers’ right to choice”
Mr DeGrussa said that it would not be at all surprising if the ACCC investigation identifies that the current practices have resulted in farmers paying too much as well as suffering significant losses in productivity, by being tied to anti-competitive warranty and repair arrangements.
It is absolutely vital that farmers or other purchasers of agricultural machinery make a submission in response to the discussion paper by following the links on the ACCC website https://www.accc.gov.au/focus-areas/agriculture/agricultural-machinery-after-sales-markets/discussion-paper-consultation
Submissions close Sunday 31 May 2020.