The Productivity Commission will hold public hearings in Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne from 19 July as part of its “right to repair” inquiry.
The commission has 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.
It has 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.
Late last year, the PC published an inquiry issues paper (to which ALGA responded with a submission), and last month it published a draft report proposing some practical steps that could make it easier for consumers to get items repaired and enforce their guarantees.
ALGA’s submission noted that community-based repair has the potential to contribute significantly to overall rates of repair which “will potentially lead to improved environmental outcomes due to less resource use and waste”.
“The partnership between 21 Sydney metropolitan local government councils and the product-repair social enterprise Bower provides a model and useful case study for successful community-based repair,” the submission said.
“With state, territory and Commonwealth funding support, local governments could conceivably roll out the Bower model nationally, adding significantly to the estimated $15.6 billion that repair and maintenance already adds to Australia’s annual GDP.”
Check the PC’s website for registration details for the Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne hearings.