The NSW Government is refusing to back down on its decision to block interstate caravan and RV manufacturers selling products at NSW shows.
The issue came to a head recently at the Lismore Caravan Show as NSW Fair Trading inspectors sent Queensland caravan and RV dealers packing -unless they could show they had a physical address in NSW and a licence to go with it.
The Lismore show is the major annual fundraiser for Westpac rescue helicopter and the life-saving charity missed out an estimated $20,000 in earnings when Queenslanders were forced to leave and their site fees were refunded.
NSW Shadow Minister for Regulation Peter Primrose is calling on the government to explain, saying there has been no recent change to any laws, so there seems to be no basis for the crackdowns.
“It’s always of concern when it appears that free trade is being impeded, and in this case it’s incumbent upon the government to say what those reasons are,” Mr Primrose says.
Legal experts say the NSW Government position could possibly be unconstitutional, with free trade was guaranteed when former colonies came together at Federation.
The crackdown appears to have the support of NSW based businesses. One Northern NSW who asked not to be named says he believes the
crackdown is about giving local dealers a fair go. He says NSW Fair Trading is just trying to create a level playing field.
“Rules are rules, whether you like them or not,” he says.
“The reason Queensland and other exhibitors can’t exhibit here is its just against the law.
“As NSW dealers we have licensing and other requirements, if you don’t meet them you can’t exhibit. Without rules in place, all hell could break loose.”
Loretta Payne, principal of major NSW show promotions firm Rural Scene says while it’s unfortunate for some dealers, she believes it’s the law and her firm is ensuring all exhibitors are registered in NSW.
“Our exhibitors all have fill in exhibitor forms, which include their NSW dealer’s licence,” she says. “We’ve been doing this for several years now.”