Manufacturers reviewing right to repair recommendations

Manufacturers and dealers remain willing to work with government on right to repair

Machinery
The Productivity Commission's right to repair report examines challenges consumers face with repairs and warranties on a range of products from mobile phones and tablets to whitegoods and agricultural machinery.

The Productivity Commission's right to repair report examines challenges consumers face with repairs and warranties on a range of products from mobile phones and tablets to whitegoods and agricultural machinery.

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Global machinery giant John Deere has said it remains committed to supporting the Australian agricultural industry in response to proposed changes to the machinery service sector.

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Global machinery giant John Deere has said it remains committed to supporting the Australian agricultural industry in response to proposed changes to the machinery service sector.

The Productivity Commission's right to repair report has found harm is being caused to farmers as a result of limited competition and higher prices.

The commission has recommended the federal government introduce a repair supplies obligation for agricultural machinery.

This would require manufacturers to provide machinery owners and independent repairers with access to repair information and diagnostic software tools.

In a statement, John Deere said it was currently reviewing the Productivity Commission's report and evaluating its recommendations.

"We are dedicated to supporting industry and working together to achieve a prosperous agriculture sector," the statement reads.

"John Deere Australia/New Zealand understands right to repair is an important conversation for the Australian agriculture industry and is committed to supporting our customer's ability to repair and maintain their farm equipment.

"This is a commitment we take very seriously at a global level and we are eager to work with industry to provide solutions that support our customers' needs while ensuring we uphold our responsibility to safety and sustainability."

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Tractor and Machinery Association of Australia executive director Gary Northover said the association is not concerned the proposed changes will threaten the business model of dealers at this stage.

"Throughout the Productivity Commission's consultation process, the TMA and its members have been very clear that they fully support a farmer's right to repair their own machines, what we don't support is the right to modify machines," Mr Northover said.

"To this end, farmers have been able to purchase diagnostic equipment to perform these repairs for some time so a repair supplies obligation as proposed simply 'qualifies' this fact in our view."

Another recommendation was to amend Australia's copyright laws to include fair dealing exceptions, which would allow for the reproduction and sharing of repair information.

Mr Northover said they had yet to determine the extent to which this would impact supply of agricultural machinery.

He said service and repair manuals had also been readily available from most, if not all suppliers for some time.

"We are, and always have been very supportive of working with government and stakeholders on these recommendations," Mr Northover said.

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The story Manufacturers reviewing right to repair recommendations first appeared on Farm Online.

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