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Standard fact sheet.

Business units 

We serve the consumers and traders of NSW through the work of a number of business units, both within NSW Fair Trading and supporting business units within the wider Department of of Finance, Services and Innovation, of which NSW Fair Trading is a Division. Follow the links below to see how each one operates.

Fair Trading business units
Supporting business units

Fair Trading business units 

Building Professionals Board 

The Building Professionals Board is an independent NSW Government authority that oversees building and subdivision certification. The Board accredits and regulates certifiers in NSW. This system helps to ensure that building work is carried out according to the law.   

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Compliance and Enforcement 

Compliance and Enforcement performs the following functions:

  • collects and evaluates marketplace intelligence from internal and external sources in order to identify 'at risk'  trading practices and marketplace sectors
  • conducts investigations into individual businesses and market practices
  • undertakes prosecutions, civil litigation and other disciplinary/enforcement action
  • administers legislation in relation to product safety and consumer electrical and gas appliances
  • contributes to state and national initiatives (including joint investigations) in order to improve marketplace performance.

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Engagement and Complaints 

The Engagement and Complaints group provides the customer, business and trader access pathways to Fair Trading, including:

  • telephone, web enquiry and information services
  • dispute resolution services
  • web and social media information
  • community liaison and education.

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Home Building Service 

The Home Building Service performs the following functions:

  • oversees the licensing, regulation and compliance in the home building sector
  • oversees statewide inspection and approvals of plumbing and drainage works and energy and utility consumer safety
  • co-ordinates ongoing reviews of home building laws and the implementation of building reforms
  • assists industry to improve its standards through training and requirements, programs and initiatives.

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Home Building Mediation Services and Compliance 

Mediation Services and Compliance performs the following functions:

  • provides a dispute resolution system for both consumers and industry
  • conducts compliance and/or technical investigations into licensed and unlicensed home builders and tradespeople and conducts investigations into home building market practices
  • oversees regulatory and compliance operations in the areas of plumbing, electrical and gas consumer safety
  • facilitates prosecutions, civil litigation and other disciplinary enforcement action.  

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Loose-fill Asbestos Taskforce 

The NSW Government is implementing a Voluntary Purchase and Demolition Program as part of its efforts to solve the loose-fill asbestos insulation issue in NSW homes. NSW Fair Trading has established an Implementation Taskforce responsible for overseeing and implementing the Voluntary Purchase and Demolition Program. The Loose-fill Asbestos Implementation Taskforce will be in place until work is completed on the purchase and demolition of all properties that to particiapte in the Program.

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Professional Standards Council 

The Professional Standards Councils are independent statutory bodies established in each state and territory. They have specific responsibilities under professional standards legislation for assessing and approving applications for, and supervising the application of, Professional Standards Schemes.

The agency of the Professional Standards Councils supports this work by:

  • Working with professional associations to help them:
    • develop self-regulation initiatives
    • improve their professional standards
    • meet their self-regulatory commitments
    • comply with their legislative obligations
    • protect Australian consumers of professional services
  • Providing information to help associations apply for a Professional Standards Scheme
  • Providing expert advice and administrative support to the Councils
  • Conducting and promoting research, education and thought leadership in professional standards and regulation
  • Developing policies and guidelines
  • Participating in events to promote debate and change in the areas of professional standards, codes of ethics and conduct, and risk management to improve the standard of services consumers receive. 

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Real Estate and Property 

We serve the consumers and traders of NSW through the work of a number of business units, both within NSW Fair Trading and supporting business units within the wider Department of of Finance, Services and Innovation, of which NSW Fair Trading is a Division. Follow the links below to see how each one operates.

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Registry Services 

Registry Services performs the following functions:

  • registers new co-operatives and funeral funds 
  • incorporates NSW associations 
  • monitors co-operatives, funeral funds, incorporated associations and Co-operative Housing and Starr-Bowkett societies to ensure compliance with the law 
  • maintains a public register of co-operatives, funeral funds and incorporated associations in New South Wales 
  • provides information services for co-operatives, funeral funds and incorporated associations
  • registers limited partnerships.

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Rental Bonds Administration 

Licensing and Bonds performs the following functions: 

  • provides a rental bond lodgement, custody and refund service for tenants, landlords and real estate agents
  • manages a licensing system for a range of property licences and other business licences.

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Supporting business units 

Education and Information Services 

Education and Information Services undertakes central co-ordination of Fair Trading's external communications, encompassing:

  • information campaigns
  • print publications
  • Fair Trading website management
  • social media communications
  • ThinkSmart program for culturally and linguistically diverse communities
  • sponsorship
  • advertising.

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Fair Trading Contact Centre 

The Fair Trading Contact Centre provides information and telephone enquiry services to:

  • consumers and traders in relation to their rights and responsibilities under fair trading laws
  • tenants, landlords and real estate agents under residential tenancy laws
  • residents, managers and owners under residential park laws 
  • operators, people living in or owning strata schemes or community schemes under retirement villages laws
  • property owners, owners corporations and strata managing agents under strata and community title laws.

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Legal Services 

The Legal Services unit performs the following functions:

  • conducts and reviews criminal prosecutions; disciplinary and licensing proceedings; and civil litigation for NSW Fair Trading 
  • provides legal advice services to Fair Trading
  • maintains legal records and statistical reporting services
  • provides Fair Trading library information and research services.

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Ministerial and Executive Services 

Ministerial and Executive Services is the central liaison point between NSW Fair Trading and the Minister’s office. The unit performs the following functions:

  • executive and administrative support for the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, Secretary and Commissioner for Fair Trading
  • management of Ministerial, the Secretary and Commissioner correspondence, information requests from the Minister’s office and Parliamentary activities/operations
  • preparation of the Minister’s House folder, responses to Parliamentary Questions and co-ordination and review of the Minister’s Parliamentary Estimates Committee briefing folder
  • co-ordination of Ministerial events and meetings including briefing, speech notes and contentious issues briefing notes as required
  • secretariat services to the Minister’s five Advisory Councils (Fair Trading, Motor Vehicle Industry, Property Services, Home Building and Retirement Villages) and the Rental Bond Board
  • co-ordination of Fair Trading’s input into the COAG Legislative and Governance Forum on Consumer Affairs (CAF) and the Consumer Affairs Australia New Zealand (CAANZ)
  • determination of applications made to Fair Trading under Government Information Public Access Act.

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Performance Review 

Performance Review unit performs the following functions:

  • corporate planning - coordinating Fair Trading’s strategic and corporate planning as well as assisting business units with business planning
  • risk management - coordinating the identification, assessment and monitoring of Fair Trading’s strategic risk registers and providing advice to business units on risk management practices
  • business continuity - managing and coordinating Fair Trading’s business continuity plan
  • annual reporting - coordinating and publishing Fair Trading’s various annual reports and summaries
  • statutory reporting - providing an effective evaluation and performance reporting framework, ensuring Fair Trading meets statutory reporting requirements 
  • customer feedback - managing and implementing Fair Trading's customer feedback management policy
  • annual surveys - coordinating and reporting on annual customer satisfaction, shadow shopping, consumer and trader confidence surveys to assess Fair Trading's effectiveness in the marketplace and as a regulator
  • developing and monitoring key performance indicators and guarantees of service
  • customer profile - monitoring and reporting on the profile of Fair Trading customers
  • monitoring of recommendations arising from audits, coronial inquiries and other reviews.

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Policy, Strategy and Legislation 

Policy, Strategy and Legislation performs the following functions:

  • undertakes policy and legislative review and development on fair trading and consumer protection issues
  • undertakes strategic policy projects and initiatives with a whole of Fair Trading or whole of Government focus and brings a consumer protection perspective to across-Government initiatives
  • contributes to the development and implementation of nationally consistent consumer protection and fair trading policies and legislation
  • develops policy on emerging issues, including working with other states and territories on matters of mutual interest
  • undertakes legislative reviews, development of legislation, management of parliamentary process and implementation of legislation
  • analyses and responds to legislative proposals and other Government initiatives
  • provides rapid response work such as analysis of matters being considered by Cabinet or briefings for the Minister's meetings with consumer or industry groups
  • consults with industry, consumers and stakeholder groups on fair trading matters.

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