Trust funds managed by Consumer Affairs Victoria
We manage eight funds established by Acts of Parliament:
- Domestic Builders Fund
- Motor Car Traders Guarantee Fund
- Residential Bonds Account
- Residential Bonds Investment Income Account
- Residential Tenancies Fund
- Sex Work Regulation Fund
- Victorian Consumer Law Fund
- Victorian Property Fund
For more information, including financial details, see page 31 of the Annual Report 2021-22 (PDF, 762KB).
Statement of Expectations
In September 2021, the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation issued a Statement of Expectations (SOE) to CAV and the BLA for 2021–23.
This SOE set out two-year governance and performance objectives aimed at improving CAV’s administration and enforcement of regulation to reduce its impact on businesses and the community.
The performance objectives identified in the SOE fall under four broad objectives – support economic and social recovery, improved timeliness, risk-based strategies, and compliance related assistance and advice.
Support economic and social recovery
The SOE directed CAV to prioritise regulatory reforms necessary to address the areas of greatest potential consumer harm in a recovering economy, while ensuring businesses have the tools they need to expand and adapt in a changing marketplace.
CAV delivered digital improvements for users of BLA and CAV online licensing and registration systems that supported economic recovery and saved time and effort for Victorian businesses and community groups while addressing consumer harms. Digital improvements included for national licensing and occupational mobility reform (‘automatic mutual recognition’) readiness and streamlining online compliance functions such as allowing rooming house operators to upload gas and electrical safety checks online
The SOE also directed CAV to promote and advance national harmonisation of regulation to reduce business costs and increase community understanding of their consumer rights and responsibilities.
To achieve this, CAV implemented the national automatic mutual recognition of licensed occupations and made improvements to its online systems to allow interstate licensees to notify the BLA of their commencement in Victoria, plus update appropriate public registers.
Additionally, CAV was directed to implement ongoing digital improvements to make licensing and registration interactions quicker and easier for businesses, professionals, and community groups. As part of delivering digital improvements for users of BLA’s and CAV’s online licensing and registration systems, CAV implemented improved online identity verification capabilities, with professional engineers as the first sector to receive this benefit.
Another priority for CAV was to put consumers at the centre of the design and enforcement of regulation, with a focus on consumer wellbeing, accessibility, engagement with diverse communities, and minimising the risk of consumer harm and supporting the confident participation of consumers in the market.
CAV continued to develop its community engagement and apply a risk-based, intelligence-led and outcomes-focused regulatory approach with an emphasis on its current regulatory priorities. These priorities include better housing services, fair and safe trading in a COVID world, protecting consumers in financial stress, and trust account obligations and defalcations. In line with our current regulatory priorities, CAV focused on enhanced compliance in the rooming house sector and with the laws regulating the use and management of trust accounts by estate agents and conveyancers.
Compliance related assistance and advice
CAV was directed to help businesses to acquit their regulatory obligations effectively and efficiently, whilst also ensuring that businesses do not undertake poor trading conduct or predatory practices.
A key initiative in 2021–22 to support this mandate was the commencement of the professional engineers registration scheme. Over the year, CAV monitored registration operations and reviewed and maintained online content to support professional engineers’ compliance with the scheme and ensure appropriate protections are in place for consumers of engineering services throughout
the two-and-a-half year phase-in period. To promote compliance in the residential rental industry, CAV provided more efficient digital mechanisms for agents and rental providers to submit data to the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority.