Time to fix problem – Farmers urge Federal Government to introduce right to repair for ag-machinery

The National Farmers’ Federation has welcomed the Productivity Commission’s (PC) inquiry report into the Right to Repair, handed down today, recommending a right to repair for farm machinery.

“Farmers, as small business owners, should have the same right as anyone else to have their machinery repaired by a suitable qualified repairer, without the fear of losing their warranty, and without being locked into needlessly exorbitant repairs by the dealership network and for spare parts,” said NFF CEO Tony Mahar.

The PC report explicitly recommends the introduction of a repair supplies obligation on agricultural machinery that will empower independent repairers and farmers to undertake repairs through the provision of affordable spare parts, diagnostic tools and information, which will create competition with the dealership network for the provision of repairs.

“Maintenance and repairs of farm machinery is not an opportunity for dealers to dip their hands into the pocket of the farmer and to bulk up their profit margins. The introduction of a right to repair will ensure farmers get a good price for any repairs through a more competitive market for aftersales services,” said Mr Mahar.

The NFF seeks to work with manufacturer and dealership representatives to ensure an effective right to repair scheme that creates true competition in the aftersales market for agricultural machinery, while addressing any potential or perceived safety concerns, and ensuring a workable and low impost framework for manufacturers and dealers.

“A right to repair will capture some of the good practice already demonstrated by some machinery suppliers and dealerships, we understand that most manufacturers and dealers want to do the right thing by their customers – a right to repair will remove the perverse financial incentive to use aftersales services to squeeze more money out of farmers,” said Mr Mahar.

The PC recommends that this right to repair scheme should be implemented as a matter of urgency, with design and implementation to begin in 2022.

“We urge the Treasurer to take immediate action and commence the design of a right to repair scheme for agricultural machinery,” said Mr Mahar.

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