REINSW resigns from Real Estate Reference Group
26 September 2018
On Monday, 24 September 2018, REINSW respectfully resigned from the Real Estate Reference Group (RERG).

REINSW has been a committed member of RERG since the group was established in 2015 by former Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, The Honourable Victor Dominello. 

In a letter sent to the current Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, The Honourable Matt Kean, REINSW CEO, Tim McKibbin said further involvement with the group would be an exercise in futility. 

Every attempt made

“REINSW has made every reasonable attempt to form a cooperative working relationship with NSW Fair Trading,” says McKibbin. “Unfortunately, and despite our enthusiasm, we have now reluctantly concluded the productive working relationship we enjoy with other State Government agencies and authorities is unachievable with NSW Fair Trading. 

McKibbin maintains REINSW’s policy contributions to RERG were always guided by the belief that what is good for the consumer is good for the market and the property services industry. However, this common-sense approach was often ignored.

“Throughout the term of RERG, NSW Fair Trading has exhibited a demonstrable obedience to misguided philosophical views which have impeded, or entirely restrained, many beneficial outcomes,” he says.

“NSW Fair Trading worships competition as the only relevant market force. While REINSW also supports competition as a healthy market influence, that competition must be among competent professionals.”

The decision to resign from RERG was prompted by the Government’s introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment (Review) Bill 2018 into State Parliament without notifying REINSW, despite REINSW’s contribution to the review.

“REINSW finds itself – all too regularly – the antidote for legislative and regulatory disaster created by bureaucrats who have no industry knowledge,” says McKibbin.

“As evidenced recently, these rescues are rarely acknowledged or respected. REINSW incurred costs of well over $100,000 in providing NSW Fair Trading with free consultancy services for the review of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010.”

More reasons than one

McKibbin says the Residential Tenancies Amendment (Review) Bill 2018 is just one example of the cycle of orchestrated delays and systematic disruption displayed by NSW Fair Trading.

“REINSW’s drive to increase education, service delivery standards, consumer satisfaction and the pursuit of professional recognition has been met with NSW Fair Trading’s go-to phrases: ‘barriers to entry’ and ‘reducing competition’,” says McKibbin.

“A better educated real estate agent who receives relevant and structured continuing professional development will better serve the consumer’s needs and interests. Unfortunately, it seems we’re alone in this belief.”

McKibbin says this is highlighted by NSW Fair Trading’s suggested de-licensing of auctioneers – as outlined in the Easy and Transparent Trading consultation paper released in July 2018 – and its approach to the education and training reforms. 

“NSW Fair Trading advised REINSW the education and training reforms would be implemented in July 2018. We advised our members based on that representation,” says McKibbin. 

“NSW Fair Trading then informed us the reforms would not commence until October 2018. Once again, we advised our members.

“NSW Fair Trading has now advised us the reforms will not commence until mid-2019. This ongoing and unnecessary confusion has damaged REINSW’s credibility and reputation.”

Ceasing involvement

“A responsible regulator and responsible government would want to take guidance from industry stakeholders across the board,” says McKibbin.

Unfortunately, REINSW believes continued involvement with RERG could be incorrectly perceived as support for NSW Fair Trading’s decisions affecting the property services industry.
Want more?