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Deputy CEO Monthly Message

Kellie Dewar

September, 2017

This is one of my favourite times of the MTA Queensland year.  It is when I meet with Divisional Chairs to reflect on the past year of activities for content for the various annual reports. Each has the bread and butter issues that they process as a matter of course, and each has major, and sometimes complex, matters which demands attention of the corporate office.  Without stealing their content, I’ll mention some topics that the divisions have grappled with in the interest of their members and indeed for the wider automotive value chain.

The biofuels mandate came into effect on 1 January 2017. Prior to this, the Service Station and Convenience Store Association was engaged fully in the policy processes and the discussions on the implementation of the mandate. For the Australian Automobile Dealer Association Queensland members it was the proposed seven-day trading for the retail motor vehicle and caravan sector that consumed many hours of deliberations. It was through strategic advocacy and broad-based collaboration that the existing trading hours were retained.

Each division has addressed its various industry issues - minor to critical - with the intent of resolving them in the best interests of the workplace and the sector. This specific divisional approach to industry matters, coupled with the corporate office’s advocacy support, underpins the value of MTA Queensland membership. It is timely to reflect that the Association is the state’s motor trade’s peak body and is recognised  as such by all levels of government  and industry stakeholders.   


Members in the recent past have provided feedback on the incidence of too frequent industry bulletins.  We’ve responded to these views with one industry weekly bulletin sent electronically at 11am each Thursday directly to your inbox. It is inclusive of all corporate office, industry and MTA Institute advice. Make a date with yourself to catch up with the latest industry and Association news, it's easy to read! If you have any problems logging in to the members-only sections of the bulletin, please contact member services. If you are not getting our bulletin directly through your email please call us to add your email to our distribution list.

Divisional news

The Tyre and Undercar Division invited the officers from the vehicle standards transport regulation branch of the Department of Transport and Main Road (TMR) to its annual general meeting. The purpose was to discuss all requirements relevant to tyres, wheels and suspension under the legislation and regulations.  From the Division’s perspective, several requirements were open to interpretation and clarification was needed on what was regarded as ‘the regulatory grey areas.’  TMR will host a presentation and open forum on 11 September to provide further amplification on requirements.
Our Rental Vehicle Industry and Mechanical Divisions have interest in TMR’s advices that the Personalised Transport Reforms will come into effect later this year. With these reforms, TMR anticipates a large number of light vehicles (4.5t GVM or less) will need to be inspected every 12 months and be issued with a certificate of inspection (COI) e.g. taxis, limousines and vehicles used to provide booked hire services such as Uber. To accommodate the increase in the number of vehicles requiring an annual COI, TMR has approved the outsourcing of COIs for light personalised transport vehicles to Approved Inspection Stations (AIS).  Vehicle owners will have a choice of obtaining their annual COI from TMR or from an AIS approved to inspect these types of vehicles.

Of particular interest to our members with AIS Approvals are the requirements they must meet to issue the light vehicle COI. These include additional brake testing equipment capability for the new inspection type.  We have been advised the VBOX device the Motorcycle Division researched and recommended has had the appropriate updates and complies with the new requirement.

Members in the Australian Automotive Dealer Association and the Automotive Remarketing Divisions should note the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) media statement in this edition of the Motor Trader. It warns that the OFT’s 2017-18 compliance programme is in ‘full swing’.  This means that there will be unscheduled visits to check compliance with the Motor Dealers and Chattel Auctioneers Act and detect breaches of the fair trading legislation.

Vacancies arising from the resignations of the Chair of the Rental Vehicle Industry division Chris Ching and the Acting Chair of the Automotive Remarketing Division Rod Pether have been filled with the election of Grant Harrison (Nationwide Hire) and Peter Dever (Supamerc Prestige Cars) respectively. I welcome Grant Harrison and Peter Dever to their leadership roles and thank Chris Ching and the Acting Chair Rod Pether for their contributions to their individual divisions over the past year.


On my schedule are two consultative documents to which responses will be made.  The priority is the draft report to the ‘New Car Retailing Industry - a market study’ by the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC).  I’ve been reading and discussing the approach we should adopt for our submission. Initially, the view is that the draft recommendations relating to the Australian Consumer Law are proposals to which we will support. There is one draft recommendation that has some industry resistance and that refers to the introduction of a mandatory scheme for car manufactures to share with independent repairers technical information on commercially fair and reasonable terms. The submission will represent that view. It is due on 7th September to be followed by a stakeholder roundtable on 25th September to which the MTA Queensland has been invited.

Corporate partners

On a regular basis I meet with officers from our corporate partners for a general discussion on issues of mutual interest. Recently I liaised with officers from our long term corporate partner Capricorn on the broad range of services they on offer to members. 

I also joined MTAA Super on a site tour of the Triple Eight Race Engineering facility, we certainly value the opportunities our partnership offers.
We have had some exciting opportunities for our apprentices at the GC 600, which was featured in our 2016 November Motor Trader magazine and our Apprentice of The Year, Jamahl Byrne, recently at the Watpac Townsville 400 which we covered in the last edition of Motor Trader.


The Motor Trades 68th Annual Golf Tournament is on Thursday 19th October at the Nudgee Golf Club (1207 Nudgee Road, Nudgee). The event is open exclusively to those who are currently or previously involved within the motor trades, making it a great networking opportunity. Further details are in the Industry Weekly bulletin.
Group Chief Executive Dr Brett Dale is still practicing his swing - I’ve given up in favour of being dancing ready for the Ball!

Organisational details for the fifth Annual President’s Ball themed ‘Advancing Industry’ are in place.  
The guest speaker is Craig Lowndes OAM of Supercars' Team Vortex.  As said in previous editions of Viewpoint, the talented and humorous Shane Jacobson is the master of ceremonies.  Don’t leave it to the last minute to get your tickets for the 28 October 2017 at the Brisbane Hilton Hotel. 
It is an evening of networking, celebrating achievement accompanied by an excellent menu and live dance music. 

Finally, My focus for the coming month will be to maintain service delivery to the membership, meet the Annual Report deadlines for publication and finalise the submissions to federal agencies.
Until next month, take care and stay safe.  

Archive Deputy CEO Monthly Message


Deputy CEO August 2017 Monthly Message

Deputy CEO July 2017 Monthly Message


The Motor Trades Association of Queensland (MTA Queensland) is the peak body representing the interests of over 2,500 employers in the retail service and repair sectors of Queensland's automotive industry.

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