The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath has opposed the Professional Engineers Registration Bill in State Parliament this week.
Ms Bath’s objection is consistent with views expressed by the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), the Victorian Automobiles Association of Victoria (VACC) and Gippsland businesses.
Ms Bath said the Andrews Labor Government Professional Engineers Registration Bill has placed an unnecessary burden on established regional businesses.
“It duplicates existing processes, increases business costs, creates an administration burden, but provides no tangible outcomes,” said Ms Bath.
“The Bill dismisses the experience of highly skilled and qualified tradespeople and is nothing more than a Labor revenue raising exercise masquerading under the guise of improved governance and safety”.
Under the Bill, engineers will be required to pay and maintain multiple registrations. Some engineers in small rural areas offer broad-based engineering consultancy. The multiple registration requirement will result in multiple payments over several engineering categories.
Ms Bath said the increased registration of engineers will not equate to safer industry or higher quality products and services.
“Regional business will now be forced to hire city based engineers to rubber stamp work they have been undertaking for years and pass the costs onto customers,” said Ms Bath.
The impact of the Bill is demonstrated locally by Moe businessman Chet Cline owner of AIR CTI.
Ms Bath said AIR CTI customises vehicles with a central tyre inflation system allowing drivers to adjust tyre pressure according to road type and conditions from inside the cabin.
“AIR CTI has clients from Australia and internationally, holding accreditation with the Vehicle Assessment Signatory Scheme (VASS) to approve their installations.
“Mr Cline will now lose his VASS accreditation under this Bill despite writing a white paper for the federal government and developing safety standards on central tyre inflation systems.
“Frustratingly Mr Cline’s expertise, multiple trade qualifications and 50 years’ experience in design and safe installation has been deemed not good enough by Labor.
“AIR CTI will now be forced to employee a consultant engineer at great cost.”
Ms Bath said she holds significant concerns for Gippsland businesses who are trying to compete, retain and attract customers.
“Frustrating the Andrews Labor Governments’ Professional Engineers Registration Bill serves little purpose, adds red tape and will now drive up costs,” said Ms Bath.