THE RIGHT DECISION

Amongst ongoing uncertainty the AAAA Board has made the tough call to cancel Autocare 2020

We have seen some positive signs and stabilisation in Australia of the COVID-19 pandemic since I wrote in the June issue
However, the recent Victorian flare up of cases (at the time of writing) is a good reminder that COVID-19 uncertainty remains a part of our business and personal life, at least in the medium term.
It is with this ongoing uncertainty in mind that we have made the difficult decision to cancel Autocare 2020. As hard as it was, we believe it was the right decision to make.
The continued implementation of travel, social distancing and public gathering restrictions in each state, and how these might exist in coming months, prompted us to make a decision now.
We acknowledge the commitment and understanding of our stakeholders through the earlier rescheduling process and now cancellation of Autocare 2020. I can announce that Autocare will return in 2022, with planning already underway.
All Autocare 2020 conference stream registrations, exhibitors and sponsors are entitled to a full refund. Alternatively, our event management partner, IEC, can facilitate a roll-over toward the Australian Auto Aftermarket Expo (AAAExpo) scheduled for 29 April – 1 May, 2021.
Looking forward, we will now focus our efforts on the upcoming AAAExpo ’21, an event that is primed to become our biggest Expo yet. We are confident that we can deliver a safe, world class event for our industry in 2021.
AAAExpo is the nation’s most comprehensive exhibition of vehicle repair and servicing equipment, replacement parts, tools, and accessories. AAAExpo hosts leading industry experts, seminars and more than 350 top Australian and international brands on display. Don’t miss the opportunity to showcase your business at AAAExpo.

In addition to adjusting our events calendar to COVID-19 developments, we have been receiving great feedback on our nation-wide Workshop Impact Survey.
The survey results provided a valuable insight into the health and sentiment of our industry through the depths of the COVID-19 slowdown. All indications are that the positive outlook shown by workshops in the study has continued as the COVID-19 pandemic has stabilised. The full Workshop Impact Survey is available to review at https://bit.ly/workshopimpactsurvey
I have commenced an important dialogue with Senator Michaelia Cash, the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, to provide her with critical employment insights from our COVID-19 Workshop Impact Survey. During this dialogue, I have also thanked her for the Government’s quick action and economic support throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
I know that the government is as concerned as we are about the ongoing structural issues in which people want jobs and yet we can’t fill vacancies for skilled technicians. We have additional research on the labour shortages in our industry and our Automotive Repairers Council of Australia (ARCA) has generated a number of initiatives and ideas for addressing the skills shortage. We are looking for constructive ways to engage in a National conversation with government about how we could be involved in developing solutions that address both our labour needs and Australia’s increasing rate of unemployment.
Since the onset of COVID-19, our communications levels have markedly increased to serve and support our members and the broader industry. Our communication channels span social media, our website, e-mail and this magazine. We are an important conduit for industry news so please stay tuned in.
Some of our initiatives, including our AAAA webinars, will become a more permanent part of our communication platform moving forward. As we reduce our focus on COVID-19 support, we are expanding into educational topics that can foster busines growth. Some of our recent and upcoming topics include cash flow and business planning, vehicle technology, government regulation and aftermarket product development, how the AIC can benefit your business, supporting employees’ mental health and mandatory data sharing.
Our ability to support your business and the broader industry cannot be done without a strong and growing membership base. We thank our members for their support and loyalty.
We have recently sent AAAA membership renewal invoice information to our members via email. Many members tell us directly about the great value they experience from their membership, especially throughout this crisis. Membership renewal and welcoming new members to the AAAA helps us to continue to provide the support services, resources and information that benefit your business and assist the industry to succeed into the future.