A note from The Bower’s GM, Guido Verbist:
The Bower’s Right to Repair Campaign has achieved an important breakthrough: An announcement by the Productivity Commission of a substantial Inquiry into the ‘Right to Repair’.
Last year I briefed the ACT Minister for Climate Change, Sustainability and Consumer Affairs, Shane Rattenbury MLA, on the Right to Repair. I informed him of the barriers to repair, the costs to consumers and the environment that result, and what can be done about it.
Following this discussion, Minister Rattenbury put the ‘Right to Repair’ on the agenda of the Australian Consumer Affairs Forum, which brings together Consumer Affairs Ministers from around Australia and New Zealand.
The forum then formally requested that the Federal Government refer the matter to the Productivity Commission, to examine the economic and social case for enshrining a Right to Repair in legislation.
The Commission stated: “The focus of this inquiry is on consumers’ ability to repair faulty goods and to access repair services at a competitive price.”
“We have been asked to look at the barriers and enablers of competition in repair markets and the costs and benefits of a regulated ‘right to repair’, including facilitating access to embedded software in consumer and other goods.”
“We have also been asked to look at arrangements for preventing premature or planned product obsolescence and the proliferation of e‑waste, and means of reducing e‑waste through improved access to repairs.”
The Productivity Commission is a body of economic experts highly respected by Government. Once they outline a strong economic case for a Right to Repair, it will be difficult for Government to ignore its recommendations.
This is a great step forward, but we must keep the pressure on.
Thank you, and I look forward to bringing you further updates on our fight for your right to repair!