Caravan Industry Association of Australia warmly welcomed the Road Vehicle Standards Act (RVSA) navigating its final hurdle through the Senate on Tuesday evening.
The Association’s CEO, Stuart Lamont, commented that this legislation will see safer caravanning products for Australians, and provide better conditions for industry businesses currently burdened with competing with cheap imported product which in many cases do not meet the tough Australian Standards and Design Rules designed to cater for Australian caravanning conditions.
“I therefore congratulate the Federal Government and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, in particular, on all their hard work, to ensure that the 1989 Motor Vehicle Standards Act has been brought into the modern age. We also appreciate the work undertaken by Minister Fletcher previously in advancing this legislation for the benefit of all those who go caravanning and camping.”
“Australians will be better protected through the strengthening of the laws governing all vehicles, including trailers in the Australian market through the Act. Increased powers for the Government to bring penalty on businesses doing the wrong thing are also welcomed.”
“The RVSA will provide much safer and compliant caravans and campers (as well as other light trailers), while maintaining consumer choice of both products manufactured locally as well as those sourced overseas.”
“There were over 57 million nights spent caravanning and camping last year and when the RVSA takes effect those purchasing caravanning product can have even greater confidence in terms of safety, environmental and anti-theft performance of all vehicles (including trailers) entering the Australian market for the first time – whether new or used.” Mr Lamont said.
The new legislation will also see better identification of caravanning product and a consistent approach to both locally manufactured and imported product.
Importantly it will also see improved enforcement provisions surrounding what is already one of the toughest compliance standards globally within the industry.
The CEO further remarked that “the increasing demand for the caravanning and camping lifestyle in Australia, which has an estimated annual value of $20.4 billion to the Australian economy, is built around consumer confidence in the product and having the highest safety standards.”
“One caravan accident is one caravan accident too many, and the more steps we can put in place to provide better outcomes for Australian caravanners the better. Industry businesses who consistently ignore their obligations under Australian Design Rules should not be supplying product to the market, and they are put on notice of increased scrutiny against any such practices.” Mr Lamont said.
The passing of the bill is after five years of strong and active Federal lobbying by Caravan Industry Association of Australia for better outcomes for the caravanning industry.
“As an industry we are committed to being heavily involved in the RVSA roll out, and are participating in the four consultation groups, formed by the government to provide feedback on all aspects of the proposed methods of implementation. A caravan is one of the most rewarding investments that you will make in your lifetime and it is important that we collectively work hard to ensure that Australians receive the safe and compliant product that they deserve.”
“Caravan Industry Association of Australia therefore looks forward to continuing to work closely with the Government and Industry throughout the implementation of the reforms.” Mr Lamont concluded.
What does this mean for industry businesses?
- All manufacturers and importers (over four units annually) will be required to obtain an approval from the Federal Government to supply RV product under 4.5 tonne to the market;
- All products manufactured or imported (first supplied to market – new or used and above four units annually) within three weight ranges will be required to be covered by a model approval;
- All products supplied to market (below four units per made) will be required to be physically inspected by a Government approved facility against Federal compliance;
- All products manufactured or imported will be required to be logged onto a Register of Approved Vehicles (an electronic database) prior for individual products will be able to be registered through a state based registration system. This database will be able to be searchable by Government authorities and consumers alike;
- The Federal Department will have increased powers which include removing approval to supply to market, fines, or the issuing of a recall (which includes for non-safety related matters);
- The rules and logistics which sit below the legislation are still being worked out through consultative groups, which Caravan Industry Association of Australia is an active participant within; and
- The Bill will be fully operational twelve months from today.
Caravan Industry Association of Australia will work with state associations and industry businesses to ensure that industry is both fully aware of their obligations and are compliant by the time the law comes into effect. It will also continue to provide information as it comes to hand of the rules which sit below the legislation passed today.
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