Caravanning Industry Slams Media Suggestions that it has Little or No Regulation
Recent media commentary claiming the Australian caravanning industry has little or no regulation demonstrates ignorance and a lack of understanding surrounding how the industry is governed claims Caravan Industry Association of Australia CEO, Stuart Lamont.
The Australian caravanning industry is subject to over 100 Australian Design Rules, Australian Standards and regulations. Regarded around the world as having the toughest construction standards in the industry to comply with (to cater for consumer expectations around use and Government expectations around safety), the Australian industry is overseen by a number of different state and Federal Government departments and authorities with regulatory enforcement based around risk profiles, reported incidences and risk to consumer safety. In addition to compliance, consumers have added rights and protection surrounding unfair contract terms and around warranty and consumer guarantees through the Australian Consumer Law.
“To suggest the industry has little or no regulation or is self-regulated is rubbish,” said Mr Lamont. “The Industry is under constant review by authorities, and while we can argue that some of the regulation is unnecessary and adds additional burden to industry and cost to consumers for no benefit to the travelling public, the law is the law and there is an expectation that businesses abide within the framework provided by the Government.”
“The system is by no means perfect, however with over 615,000 vehicles registered in Australia it would be impossible to suggest that some problems don’t occur, and in these situations we urge industry businesses to make sure they understand and comply with
their legal obligations.”
To complement the regulatory framework and to assist industry businesses understand their compliance and legal obligations, the Industry administers a number of educational forums (both for consumers and industry), has imposed much tougher scrutiny around product being displayed at industry run shows, and has introduced a voluntary accreditation program (RVMAP) which among other things inspects industry product at manufacturing premises, retail dealerships and consumer shows. In 2017 over 1,000 inspections will take place with a full review looking at up to 250 individual items of Federal compliance.
In recent weeks, an announcement by the Federal Government looking to pass through Parliament even tougher enforcement measures surrounding trailers (including caravans and other RV product) was welcomed by Caravan Industry Association of Australia, and represents over four years of hard lobbying on behalf of consumers and industry to generate even better outcomes within the industry.
“The industry is made up of many genuine businesses who employ many Australians and have a strong commitment to manufacturing or importing product which is not only compliant but which seeks to offer the greatest level of satisfaction to their caravanning customer. These changes contemplated will provide tougher and swifter penalties for businesses doing the wrong thing, providing greater consumer protection, and better confidence within those industry businesses committed to doing the right thing by the consumer,” Mr Lamont said.
“Caravanning and camping evokes many positive memories and the opportunity to not only explore this great country but to reconnect with family and loved ones. It is no wonder that overwhelmingly we hear many great stories of people using and enjoying their RV product, leading to new registrations consistently outperforming other vehicle types.”
Stuart Lamont is the CEO of the peak National Industry body for the Caravan Industry – Caravan Industry Association of Australia
Visit their website for more information: www.caravanindustry.com.au