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Published on August 4th 2020 in

Auto remains open

Victoria’s automotive industry remains open for business, providing crucial services to the state’s more than five million motorists – albeit with increased restrictions on some sectors, says peak industry body, the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC).

“After consulting the Victorian state government, VACC can assure automotive business owners, and the 111,600 Victorians employed in the sector, that the automotive industry is still open for business,” said VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym.

However, there are important and specific new guidelines for the vehicle and parts sales sectors in metropolitan Melbourne. “Wholesale and retail sales of vehicles and automotive parts are not permitted at a physical site in the metro area, although these businesses can still operate. Service and repair operations at vehicle dealerships can remain open on-site and vehicle sales can still take place, but sales will need to take place online, and trade sales of vehicle parts can continue, meaning service and repair workshops and body repair businesses can continue their work,” said Gwilym.

Aftermarket service and repair, body repair, tyre fitting and all other areas of the automotive industry can remain open on-site, if conducting operations within government safety guidelines. These businesses were required to implement a COVID-19 Safe Plan by midnight Friday, 7 August, with a focus on safety, prevention and response in the event of an outbreak, Therefore, VACC is encouraging automotive businesses needing assistance to consider engaging the services of its specialist OHS&E Unit.

“Logbook servicing, tyre and windscreen replacement, body repairs, and other safety-related work can be conducted by dealerships, aftermarket repairers, and body repair shops,” said Gwilym.

In response to confusion regarding the five kilometre radius restriction, the Chamber is assuring motorists that if a vehicle requires a specialist and/or brand-specific workplace in order to complete repairs, then they can travel outside the five kilometre zone to access these services.

“Importantly, all automotive businesses in regional Victoria, with the exception of public auctions, remain open for business under Stage 3 restrictions,” added Gwilym.

VACC continues to have a strong dialogue with government and is committed to ensuring the automotive supply chain remains open, where it is safe to do so.

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