The appointment of a new CEO for NOLA during an election campaign is very surprising: Peter Bushby

The National Occupational Licensing Authority’s (NOLA) proposed appointment of a chief executive officer to its ranks during the election campaign is very surprising and alarming.

While acknowledging that NOLA is a statutory authority, the timing of this appointment beggars belief with the Government in caretaker mode and the future of NOLA uncertain.

With the first tranche occupations committing to ensuring that national licensing is implemented in a well thought out and intelligent way, NOLA makes the very odd choice with its advertisement for a CEO just before a decision is made on whether national licensing is to go ahead – something to be decided by state Treasurers in November.

To call for nominations for a permanent position before a decision is made on national licensing and to do this during the federal election smacks of a push for a pre-conceived outcome.

The closing date for applicants is 6 September - the day before the federal election. Another cynical NOLA move if I ever saw one.

REIA has been disappointed with NOLA’s handling of the national licensing process from the beginning.

Various information sessions conducted around Australia have shown NOLA representatives to be aggressive advocates for the COAG recommendations and the attitude to any industry or small business feedback indicated that a foregone conclusion had already been reached as to how the real estate profession would be licensed in Australia.

The Steering Committee released its Decision Regulation Impact Statement (DRIS) on national licensing for the property professions last month.

REIA will submit a formal response to the DRIS and most states and territories will provide their own consultation sessions with stakeholders in coming weeks.

It’s time NOLA listened to the views of small business on the need for adequate standards and training.

Peter Bushby is president of the Real Estate Institute of Australia.

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