Stage 4 lockdown

14 August 2020

­What we want to know

VACC understands that the Victorian Government is trying to protect the community during the coronavirus pandemic. The automotive industry wants to assist these efforts by keeping a safe and functioning vehicle fleet on the road, and to ensure we are ready for all emergencies and primed for a post-COVID-19 era.

Currently, consumers are so worried about being fined for driving anywhere but the shops, they may not have their vehicle repaired when it’s ‘essential and critical’ – the terminology used by government to describe permitted on-site work.

But what constitutes ‘essential and critical’? There is a vagueness to current directives, and it leaves consumers to make a call on what defines ‘essential and critical’.

Vehicle repairers and service shops are also left in a precarious position, having to decide what work – or not – they perform on vehicles.

Its important motorists aren’t driving vehicles with shattered windscreens, ineffective brakes or fuel leaks. In VACC’s view, these are all essential and critical vehicle faults requiring urgent repair.

Premier Andrews is right though, we are in this together and in unchartered waters. VACC and its members support the efforts to combat COVID-19. However, we ask government not to endanger those who want to get their vehicles fixed because, in their view, repairs are essential and critical. In the absence of an absolute definition, let’s rely on common sense, for vehicle repairers and consumers. No one wants to be in this any longer than we have to.

Words: VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym. As featured in the Herald Sun 14 August 2020.

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