By Steve King, President of CHERPA
With the federal election looming, CHERPA has more responsibility than ever to advocate on behalf of our members and ensure our interests are strongly represented to the government.
In seeking how to best protect our members, CHERPA continues to pursue an industry-wide code of practice, modelled largely after our own Code of Conduct. Such a code would take enormous strides towards uniting our industry, and would illustrate strongly to the government our capacity for self-regulation and governance. This, we believe, is one of the main remedies for improving how our industry is perceived by regulators including ASIC, and would inoculate us against many of the false claims of the consumer advocacy industry.
In light of the probable change of government that may occur this time around (at least, based on recent polling), we consider the improvement of our industry’s general respectability as an extremely important key to protecting us all from potentially less favourable political circumstances that may soon arise. We are pleased to report that we have had a number of very positive dialogues improving relations with key industry players outside of our member base, giving us hope that an industry-level code may be closer than we think.
I also want to take this opportunity to remind all industry members to send out their statements of account 90 days prior to lease agreement expiration, and to take care in all wording used when allowing clients to make an offer to purchase their goods. As per this month’s article from our solicitor friend Ronen Atzmon, with regard to lease agreements we cannot infer ownership or the right of ownership or an offer for sale – the client needs to make the offer to purchase – nor can we make a predetermined buyout figure, else the agreement may be seen as a credit contract and we may fall foul of the provisions of the National Credit Code. Recent legal proceedings show us all that these things do really matter!
As for our next AGM, we look forward to the opportunity to meet again in person with our members and guests some time in June or July depending on the election outcome. More information on this soon, so watch this space!
Until then and thereafter, please keep your chin up! We all must keep working with the expectation that we will be able to do business as usual, and that we will surmount all of the obstacles that come our way.
Finally, I wish to express how strongly we recognise and appreciate everyone’s ongoing financial support. On behalf of the board of CHERPA, we look forward to representing your interests and improving our industry conditions for a long time yet.
“We’ve come too far just to come this far.”
Let’s keep going.
President of CHERPA