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REIA calls on COAG to agree to mutual recognition solution

12 Dec 13

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) says it is astonished that the Productivity Commission  would propose that COAG adopt a rushed deadline to implement an ineffective legislative scheme that ‘dumbs down’ the real estate profession. 

The President of the REIA, Mr Peter Bushby, said that REIA believes that mutual recognition is the  answer rather than creating a centralized bureaucracy through the National Occupational Licensing  Authority (NOLA) which is wasting millions of taxpayer dollars a year. 

The Commission’s Draft Report on Geographic Labour Mobility recommends that COAG at its meeting on Friday should take remedial action now to ensure national occupational licensing reforms commence in 2014 in opposition to the Commission’s own analysis and reasoning. 

 “The Commission’s key finding is that personal factors, and their interaction with locational factors,  tend to dominate relocation decisions and that it has not identified any policies or distortions  warranting policy intervention that significantly impede geographic labour mobility in Australia”. 

“In any case we should be clear that the skills governments are trying to attract to specific areas of shortages do not include real estate agents, and that the current arrangements of state licensing for the real estate profession acts as a real impediment to mobility. 

 “It is worthwhile noting that the organization established to administer national licensing, the National Occupational Licensing Authority (NOLA), in its submission to the Commission says that the original timeline for implementing the current project was overly optimistic and underestimated the complexity of achieving the national consensus and legislative change required for the project. 

 NOLA also said that there are a number of factors including conduct harmonization that need to be addressed before the benefits of national licensing will be fully achievable. 

“The Productivity Commission should have done its own analysis on the scheme before recommending to COAG that it impose a flawed and ill-conceived model onto the Australian people. Surely it is better to fix the problems rather than impose an artificial deadline?” concluded Mr Bushby. REIA is preparing a submission in response to the Productivity Commission draft report.