Queenslanders to benefit from legislation overhaul

Buying a property or car in Queensland just got whole lot easier thanks to new laws introduced in parliament last week by the Newman government.

Attorney-general Jarrod Bleijie said the overhaul of the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act will allow Queenslanders to make big purchases without the unnecessary burden of red tape and regulation that existed under Labor.

The Queensland Parliament introduced four new Bills last week to split the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 into occupational specific acts with the requirements relating to the administration of trust accounts to be outlined in a separate administration act.

The Property Occupations Act will regulate the licensing, activities and conduct of Queensland property agents, residential letting agents and their employees.

The Debt Collectors (Field Agents and Collection Agents) Act deals exclusively with the licensing, registration and conduct of businesses and individuals performing debt collection, repossession and process serving activities as an agent for others for reward.

The Motor Dealings and Chattels Auctioneers Act will regulate activities, licensing and conduct of motor dealers and chattel auctioneers and their employees.

The Agents Financial Administration Act will provide common provisions to apply across the occupation specific Acts to regulate the opening and maintenance of trust accounts and will establish a compensation claim fund for consumers who suffer financial loss resulting from non-compliance with the acts.

“Queenslanders will have a far simpler and streamlined system under this Government,” Mr Bleijie said. “Lengthy contracts can often do more harm than good, with many people either skimming over important information or in some cases people are not reading the finer detail at all.

“Buying a house or car is one of the biggest decisions we can make in our life time and the simpler we can make the process, the greater Queenslanders are protected. By reducing the number of approved government forms and incorporating warning statements into contracts, we can achieve this.

“Cutting waste and red tape is also delivering on a key election commitment.”

Mr Bleijie said Queenslanders would also benefit from a range of other changes to the Act including:

• Remove the requirement for agents to disclose to a buyer the commission the agent is receiving from the seller

• Streamline the claim fund processes to reduce red tape for government and reduce the time taken to assess, decide and pay claims

• Deregulate agents’ commissions aligning Queensland with other states

• Extend the statutory limit on lengths of appointments for a sole or exclusive agency from 60 days to 90 days

• Reduce the number of forms required for motor vehicle transactions

“In the interest of consumer protection, the existing cooling off period of five days will be maintained.

“These changes are a win-win for all Queenslanders.

“Through splitting the current act into industry specific acts, respective industries can perform more effectively because they will have legislation which is tailored to their business.”

CEO of REIQ Anton Kardash said he was thrilled about the changes, most significantly to the Property Occupations Bill.

“The government’s willingness to actively engage with the REIQ as the true authoritative voice for the Queensland real estate profession has resulted in a significant number of positive changes for the real estate sector,” Mr Kardash said.

“The majority of the changes also allow for the real estate industry to become more professional and ultimately more accountable and that is good news for everyone as well as for the property market.”

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