Consumer Affairs Victoria's work in 2018-19 has been underpinned by the introduction of our three-year Strategic Plan, focused on achieving our vision of a fair and competitive marketplace in Victoria, and delivering key outcomes for the community. We have also introduced a regulatory excellence framework to embed the principles of 'we serve the public, we connect, we lead and we excel' in everything we do.
We began implementing the Victorian Government's ambitious reforms to the Victorian rental market, to strengthen the rights of renters in houses, caravan parks and crisis accommodation across the state.
The package of more than 130 reforms under the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2018 is the culmination of three years' work, and will change the rental landscape for the more than one in four Victorians who currently rent their home.
Some reforms have already been implemented. These include:
- suppression of crisis accommodation addresses to protect family violence victim survivors
- introduction of long-term lease agreements, and
- compensation rights for caravan park residents.
Over the next 12 months, we will focus our efforts on delivering the full package of reforms by July 2020.
This year, we continued to make it easier for Victorian businesses to interact with us and comply with the law by expanding our myCAV online registration and licensing platform to owners corporation managers and conveyancers. We also continued to focus on educating the Victorian community, responding to 296,000 calls and assisting more than 3.6 million website visitors.
We acted strongly to hold businesses and individuals accountable when they broke the law. We achieved significant court outcomes in matters involving estate agent underquoting, misuse of real estate trust account money, and unlicensed motor car trading. We also removed more than 45,700 dangerous products from sale and took enforcement action against the businesses selling them.
The projects and work highlighted in this year's annual report reflect our staff's passion and commitment to regulatory excellence and achieving our vision under our Strategic Plan. I would like to take this opportunity to recognise their integral role in our achievements over the past 12 months.
In what is my first annual report as Director, I would also like to acknowledge the significant role of my predecessor - Simon Cohen, Deputy Secretary, Regulation (Department of Justice and Community Safety) - in our success in 2018-19. His vision while Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria will continue to guide our work for years to come.
Sam Jenkin, Executive Director Regulatory Services
& Director, Consumer Affairs Victoria