Most of the usual things we personally own have become advanced in recent years, from refrigerators to cellular telephones to motors or even tractors. But our ability to restore them has end up harder, with many groups insisting that only the manufacturer can do the repair.
That should all be about to change, with the Productivity Commission recommending the federal authorities amend legal guidelines to provide customers extra rights.
The Commission’s ‘Right to Repair’ report, launched on Wednesday, drafted guidelines that consist of adjustments to customer and intellectual copyright laws.
“It’s a really strong message to government that there have serious problems for consumers in competition markets that need to be addressed,” – Professor Leanne Wiseman, Griffith University.
“It’s the first inquiry that’s addressed the broad range of issues that are involved in right to repair, which is the competition and consumer Law aspects, the intellectual property law aspects, as well as the product stewardship and E-waste aspects.”
“What we saw in the United States with the COVID crisis was that we had broken ventilators in hospitals and they weren’t able to be repaired,”
“So it was literally a life and death situation.” she said.
Huge victory for farmers
Farmers had been combating for a changed to legal guidelines with agricultural equipment producers like John Deere, prohibiting people or unbiased repairers from fixing things.
“The scale and complexity of machinery has increased in the last decade and will only increase more,” – Sue Middleton, WA farmer.
“It’s a real cost issue for farmers and it’s also just a time efficiency issue because if you can’t solve a problem in a paddock, when you’re trying to beat the rain or get the crop off, that becomes a real issue.”
“It basically puts you into a market monopoly situation,” she added.
“What we were really seeking is that farmers, and or independent repairers, have the right to access the diagnostic information, and or the right to repair and get parts.”
The Productivity Commission agreed and stated “are significant and unnecessary barriers to repair for some products”.
The Commission additionally endorsed assurance rules be amended to include the right to remedies under consumer regulation to no longer require customers to have formerly used approved repair services or restore parts.
It additionally endorsed that Australia’s customer watchdog, the ACCC, to be given additional powers, which include the ability to enforce fines on agencies that do not comply.
“A failure of a company to make good its consumer guarantee obligations, doesn’t have a penalty associated with it,”
“It would simply require the legislation to be amended to include penalty provisions.
“And we wouldn’t need any extra resources. In fact, it would make our job easier because we would then have some real enforcement potential.” – Chair Mick Keogh, ACCC Deputy.
The Productivity Commission desires to see the guidelines implemented by the end of 2022.
Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar stated that he welcomed the report.
“Given the breadth of matters considered, the government will consider how the report’s recommendations interact with existing policy to ensure costs and benefits are measured and appropriate and provide our response early next year.”
Farmer Sue Middleton hopes that the changes will be implemented before the next harvest season.
“I think this is a really positive outcome. And I’m absolutely certain that the government will want to jump on this and get this in place as quickly as we can,” she said.
Article inspired from abcnews.
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