At a recent Australian Motor Body Repairers Association (AMBRA) meeting an action was agreed to call for the establishment of a National Inquiry into the impact of the insurance industry on the body repair industry in Australia. This action was initiated due to the current conditions in the industry and growing concerns around the dominance of the insurers and the impacts they are having on the distribution and pricing of work to repairers. There have also been concerns raised in recent times relating to the impact of vertical integration in the insurance industry, the impact of this vertical integration on the broader motor body repair industry, including where insurers have direct interests in repair shops.
Recently the Motor Trades Association of Australia Limited (MTAA) convened a national industry summit in Canberra and this was well received by industry stakeholders, by Parliamentarians and by government. Following this, the Senate Committee also took up an opportunity promoted by the MTAA to inspect businesses in motor body repair and other sectors to provide the Senators a realistic view of the changes that are occurring in the industry. Valuable insights into the motor body repair industry and adjustment occurring to it were raised and discussed.
Following these visits to businesses by the Senate Committee, the state MTA's and MTAA presented further information and answered Senator questions at a formal hearing of the Committee. At this hearing the MTA's again requested the Senators support a deeper inquiry into the role that insurers are currently having on the industry. While the MTA's are confident that key messages are being heard by government and Senators, it is important that our call for an inquiry is strengthened by members directly impacted to reflect the depth of concern from motor body repair businesses across the nation and in order to create a fairer playing field for repairers. It was decided that it would be extremely powerful if repairers signed a petition to help urge government to undertake an inquiry.
MTAA and your MTA are calling for your support to sign a petition, which will then be provided to the Parliament of Australia to call for a full Government inquiry into the Motor Body Repair industry, as outlined above. This is critical to the future of the industry and will mark a watershed point where the reality of structural change will be reported, and hopefully acted on.
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You can sign the petition below.