WA Agents slam federal plan

The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia has expressed great disappointment that the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), appears determined to water-down professional standards within the real estate industry.

The COAG National Licensing Steering Committee last week released its impact statement on a proposal for national licensing and which calls for a lowering of education standards.

REIWA president David Airey said the federal government’s push for this outcome was not sensible and the long term effect would be to make consumers vulnerable.

“COAG is calling for a lowering of educational standards, dropping from a Diploma in four states to Certificate IV, while auctioneers would plummet from a required 12 education units to just three,” Mr Airey said.

Mr Airey said it was even more concerning that the mandatory Compulsory Professional Development that existed in WA and three other states was not guaranteed under the COAG proposal. “If COAG continues down this path the biggest risk is to those members of the public who use the services of real estate agents. I believe the people of Western Australia want the highest standards of education and training in their agents, not the lowest,” Mr Airey said.

Mr Airey said he wanted to see a national licensing system that required real estate agents across the country to achieve a diploma level for licensing and to attend compulsory continuing professional development.

Mr Airey said he supported calls by the Real Estate Institute of Australia in Canberra to delay implementing the proposals until after further consultation and also to move discussion of the property industry to the second wave of national licensing.

“I am not convinced that the powers that be fully understand this issue or the repercussions of getting it wrong,” Mr Airey said.

Mr Airey said that less than 1 per cent of West Australian real agents conducted business interstate, meaning that a national licensing scheme was completely unwarranted for our state.

“More concerning is that the government’s benefit analysis takes no account of the increased costs of managing common complaints from buyers and sellers which will be inevitable if CPD is removed from the industry.”

“It is quite ridiculous to propose such a large and hugely unpopular change to the licensing scheme and education standards for real estate professionals when the alleged benefit impacts on less than 1 per cent of the local industry,” Mr Airey said.

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