Fair Trading minister Peter Lawlor’s official reason – put forward in his “Explanatory Notes” to the amending legislation – for axing the absurd PAMDA warning statement and contract presentation provisions from October 1, is to prevent buyers from using “technical breaches” to terminate real estate contracts.

No regret for the chaos caused to consumers and the real estate industry. No remorse for the huge financial cost. No admission that the whole concept was misconceived. No apology for ignoring earlier pleas to fix the mess. No responsibility taken.

The mess has cost the Queensland economy far more than even the waste in the much-maligned federal pink bats and school extension stimulus spend.

As estimated in our March post, the compliance and disputation cost of the PAMDA farce has been at least $12.6 million/month which is more than $1.5 billion over 10 years.

A large proportion of the real estate industry feels that the constant compliance overheads and the relentless lunacy of the red-tape jumble were equally catastrophic as the occasional contract termination.

Are we all supposed to now just forget about it – let it be swept under the carpet – and be grateful that government has finally recanted after ten years of stupidity?

Our July poll recorded 92% of respondents believe the government should pay compensation for the PAMDA calamity.

It is easy to assume that Fair Trading should itself be blamed for these failings. As hard as it is to resist the urge to take the minister by a lynching party, fairness demands he be allowed to put forth the government’s  side of the story.

Clearly, his “Explanatory Notes” fall well short of any reasonable explanation for the chaos, let alone an apology for PAMDA’s failings.


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