26 September 2023

New Property Commissioner lands in independence

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Just months after being established, the role of the Property Services Commissioner is to be transformed into an independent Statutory Commissioner.

The current role of Property Services Commissioner, filled by John Minns, was introduced late last year as a senior executive position, independent of Fair Trading and reporting directly to the Secretary of the Department of Customer Service and Minister for Better Regulation.

However, following feedback, Minister for Fair Trading, Eleni Petinos has announced legislation is to be developed to establish an Independent Statutory Property Services Commissioner with more responsibility and investigatory powers.

“We’ve considered the feedback collected during the Property Services Listening Tour,” Ms Petinos said.

“As a result, we will legislate to provide the Property Services Commissioner more responsibility for the regulation of the sector, including managing complaints, direct communication and engagement with consumer groups and industry, and investigating breaches of relevant legislation,” she said.

“Establishing an Independent Statutory Property Services Commissioner will drive future reforms to support both consumers and the property services industry, helping to ensure a strong and professional sector and build a brighter future for the entire industry.”

A Government spokesperson said the statutory Commissioner would report directly to the Minister, independent of the Department of Customer Service.

“The legislation will provide provisions to establish and provide resources to the Office of the PSC, as well as set out the roles and responsibilities of the Commissioner,” the spokesperson said.

“The new statutory role is placing regulatory reform as a priority and, given changes to the position and its purpose, Commissioner Minns will finish his term at the end of July.”

Ms Petinos acknowledged the contribution of inaugural Commissioner Minns, who commenced in the role in December.

“John has contributed greatly to the NSW Government’s modernisation of the property services industry by engaging with stakeholders and providing a platform for the continued journey,” the Minister said.

“I thank John for his efforts and wish him well for the future.”

She said Secretary of the Department of Customer Service, Emma Hogan, would appoint an Acting Property Services Commissioner from 1 August while the NSW Parliament considers the legislation.

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