MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER

It has been an exceptionally busy period of late for the AAAA as we continue to fight for our industry

Hands of a car mechanic in auto repair service, starting ignition plug, red automobile

Since the last edition of Australian Automotive Aftermarket Magazine, it has certainly been a busy time for everyone in our industry and the AAAA as we work together to keep moving forward despite the uncertain times. Following is a quick summary of just some of the key headlines from this work undertaken over the past month.
JobKeeper extended
At the time of writing, the Federal Government has just announced an extension to the JobKeeper and JobSeeker programs until 28th March 2021.
The extension of JobKeeper in particular is a decision the AAAA welcomes and we know will make an enormous difference to our industry and our employees. Although the scheme will see reduced payment rates from the 28th of September 2020, the extension provides further stability for the industry through these challenging times.
For the full breakdown on the JobKeeper extension, please review our news story posted on the 21st of July at www.aaaa.com.au.
Lobbying for change
In the current economic climate, it is imperative that our automotive manufacturing base and Australian aftermarket companies are supported at all levels.
Currently vehicles purchased or leased by government departments and authorities are imported and some government entities are ordering vehicles with pre-installed accessories and upgrades. This means that optional extras such as roof racks, bull bars, ute canopies and trays and tow bars are often imported products. This is despite having Australian product equivalents that are both cost competitive and generally superior to imported accessories.
This practice is costing the local automotive industry millions of dollars. We are urging the Federal and State Governments to introduce a policy stating that options added to the vehicle should be purchased from Australian producers, where these exist. We are world-class manufacturers of automotive aftermarket products, but the current government practices are shutting us out. Rest assured we are campaigning to change this.
Workshop Health Check
As part of our commitment to the automotive repairers we have produced a Workshop Health Check and this free to industry initiative is already proving popular for the auto service and repair workshop sector.
The confidential Check helps workshops better understand how they are tracking in relation to other workshops across the country. After completion, a report is sent to you that includes your results and preliminary insights into what you can do to achieve your goals and realise your potential.
Importantly your comparative performance is measured against three years’ worth of real-world data at a state and national level. We are finding that just taking the step of completing the Check can inspire thoughts on business improvement. You can take the free Workshop Health Check at survey.aaaa.com.au
Mandatory Data Sharing
Although industry issues around COVID-19 have been a focus for the AAAA in the last few months, we certainly haven’t taken our foot off the pedal when it comes to the mandatory data sharing law.
We recently wrote to the Assistant Treasurer, Michael Sukkar, in relation to several industry issues and asked for an update on mandatory data sharing. It was great to receive a response from him reaffirming that the mandatory scheme is still a priority for him and the government – particularly now with the heightened impact of the pandemic on small businesses.
The Minister also encouraged us to continue working with Treasury to ensure the scheme is fit-for-purpose. Our work on this law will continue as we champion this issue on behalf of the industry and we will share further updates as they come to hand.
Mental health webinar
The mental health of our employees is another critical issue impacting on our industry. The statistics on mental health are hard to ignore and there are significant benefits to be gained from creating a mentally healthy workplace.
Open and constructive dialogue about the issue will also help break down barriers and the stigma that has in the past surrounded mental health. Mental health is always important, but in the current climate we need to remain ever vigilante to look out for each other and educate ourselves about how we can help those who may be struggling.
With this in mind, we were pleased that our most recent webinar on supporting your employees’ mental health was well attended by our industry. The information provided was both educational and practical and we hope will make a tangible difference for workplaces and individuals. We have made this webinar publicly available on the AAAA YouTube Channel and our Facebook page so please take the time to share this with your work colleagues.

Membership rate freeze
Our membership rate freeze has received positive feedback, and we want to thank those who have already renewed their membership – your continued support drives us forward.
We have also extended the membership payment date until the 30th of September, and we also encourage any members to reach out to us confidentially if you would like to discuss your personal situation around membership renewal.
We are here for you
As always, we are here for you, so please contact us if you have any issues or suggestions that we can address. You can contact our team directly at info@aaaa.com.au
For members, our Employer Assist HR/IR and Legal Hotlines continue to field enquiries and provide advice for employers on a range of issues. To contact them, call 1300 735 306 for Employer Assist or 1300 369 703 for the Industry Legal Hotline.
Although it appears we are now facing a protracted period of COVID-19 related impacts, let’s keep pushing forward, stay positive and keep supporting each other.