AAAE was the first opportunity to speak in person to the true believers about the reality of Mandatory Data Sharing
What a joy it was to be able to give an update that did not contain the message that the data sharing law is either on its way, waiting for a government commitment, being drafted (18 months), in consultation, or waiting to go through the lower house or the Senate.
Finally, I could deliver a presentation to the industry that the Law is here and on track to commence on 1 July 2022.
This was without doubt probably one of the most satisfying moments in the campaign for me; a moment in time to reflect on what we have done together. We are a fragmented industry that is fiercely independent and competitive and yet we have worked together as a finely tuned machine, with everyone doing what they are best at from meeting with local MPs and speaking with customers to hosting visits of politicians and bureaucrats. We did it all, and we were persistent and resilient.
This is however more than just a moment to reflect on how great we are.
This is a reminder that we will always be the underdog and we have an asset that we may need to use again and again: our unity and our confidence that yes, we can work together to achieve the impossible. We learnt that through this campaign. We learnt a great deal about how influential we can be when we are organised and when we trust each other; staying on message and leveraging our fantastic footprint of workshops in every city and regional, town.
We know what we can do when we have to, and this is an important acknowledgment because Choice of Repairer is more than just our recent win. Yes, we have a Law, but we have much to do. We need to make this Law work and that means once again, working together on any gaps and any access issues.
It is not perfect, and it is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. We want it to work, but goodwill and faith will be critical for the next 12 to 18 months. We need to find a way to make the good parts work for us and if we need to, find the policy pathways to address any gaps in the Law.
I know we can do it. This Law looks good on paper; now whether it works in the field is dependent on two things – is the Law worded well to give us what we want – we won’t know this for a few months – and more importantly, it is up to us to use it and to be constitutive. We will need to do to what’s we have always done – keep the faith, and if that doesn’t work, collect good and solid evidence.
It is clear we have much to do, but for just a short while during Expo it was the time to reflect on what a great achievement we pulled off. The Law commences on 1 July 2022, so get ready everyone, this is going to be an incredible ride!