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What’s behind the sign?

6 June 2022

Guilty as charged: I have my fingers in a lot of pies.

One is acting as the Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce (VACC) ambassador – and that includes its Tassie arm too.

Now, as a self-confessed car lover – I even have a book called Rev Head – I jumped at the chance to join the VACC team. I want to make the community more aware of what VACC does for its members – several of which are my friends. And that includes motorists and non-member business owners who (dare I say!) are missing out.

That’s my job. But what about VACC’s role?

Some people think VACC is a regulator or part of a government service. This is understandable. Given its branding has been around for 100 plus years, and orange ‘accredited’ signs are dotted about the place, you’d be forgiven for assuming the association has more of a policing role in the industry.

Not the case.

In reality, VACC is an employer association that supports its members with business tools, advice and advocacy work. Automotive business owners across all sectors – dealerships, independent mechanics, panel beaters, and specialist operations, like tyre retailing and engine reconditioning – reap the rewards of Chamber resources.

Just to name a few…

VACC MotorTech is the Chamber’s cutting-edge technical offering that combines the best of in-house products with the might of Haynes’ global reach. This best practice comprehensive solution is available to everyone, but members get a hefty discount.

An expert Workplace Relations team is on call to advise on wages and conditions, workplace policies and procedures, unfair dismissals and general protection claims. There are also OHS experts to ensure compliance with health and safety obligations, workers’ compensation and environmental law. Better them, than me!

VACC Automotive Apprenticeships selects and places apprentices with member-businesses, providing tools (literally) and technical training, along with ongoing mentor support.

Then there’s a commercial arm, OurAuto. It offers tailored products and services including business insurance, website development and digital marketing, and workshop diagnostic tools.

VACC also spends a lot of time talking to government and preparing policy documents that help inform governments and regulators about the industry and the potential effects of any proposed policies. A large part of the industry is made up of small businesses, so it doesn’t take much for government intervention to profoundly impact ‘mum and dad’ operations. Big business can be badly impacted as well.

Many things VACC achieves for its members have a positive knock-on effect for consumers, like being able to pay vehicle registration fees in instalments.

While we live in a world of individualism, sometimes a collective voice can’t be beaten when it’s time to get something done.

Sounds pretty good, right?

My role as VACC ambassador gives me the keys to the all-encompassing world of automotive. Now I’m spreading the word because all businesses should have a chance to unlock the benefits of a VACC and TACC membership.

To learn more, visit vacc.com.au or call 1300 013 341.

See ya on the road folks!

Words: VACC ambassador Shane Jacobson.

Want to hear more from Shane? Catch him – along with co-hosts Greg Rust and VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym – on THE GRILLE podcast each month. There'll be auto news and views, industry insights and trends, special guests, and plenty of laughs along the way. Visit: thegrillepodcast.com.au 

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