The Fair Trading Amendment (Commercial Agents) Bill 2016, introduced by the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, will transfer oversight of debt collectors, known as Commercial Agents, from NSW Police to NSW Fair Trading and removes the need for a license to operate as a face-to-face debt collector in NSW.


The legislation looks to remove current ‘positive’ licensing requirements for face-to-face debt collectors, process servers and repossession agents.


The Opposition is concerned that this will open a Pandora’s Box of problems where anyone can set up a debt collection business and start knocking on people’s doors.


The Labor Opposition accused the Government of paving the way for cowboy operators to flood the industry and put the most vulnerable in our community at risk.


Labor said although it failed to get the Government to accept its amendments, it was hoping that common sense would prevail in the Upper House.


Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Yasmin Catley:


“In 2014, the bipartisan and respected Legal Affairs committee undertook an inquiry into debt recovery which recommended retaining licensing for face-to-face debt collectors.


“The Baird government has ignored the critical part of this report – and wants to deregulate the entire industry.


“This fails the pub test – and we need to ensure there are protections for some of the most vulnerable in our society.


“The Government is doing this to hit their red tape targets – which the Auditor General recently found was filled with dodgy assumptions and actually added $16 million in burden to business and the community.


“This is not the sort of start-up business that the NSW Government should be encouraging.