THE Government's proposed Estate Agents' Authority (EAA), aimed at regulating agents, is unwieldy, unworkable and not practical, according to one group of dissident property agents. The group - led by Anne Connell and Carol West - which represents 16 small to medium-sized companies, has condemned the recently released report. A government and industry working group has called for the compulsory licensing of all agents, salesmen and their companies and the establishment of a statutory governing body. Ms Connell, a partner of Connell and Chan Associates, said: ''These people [the working group] haven't done their homework and if they are going to run the authority then we're in trouble. ''We want them to go back and re-do it.'' This is not the first time Ms Connell has clashed with her contemporaries. As a founding member of the Society of Hong Kong Real Estate Agents, she quit the executive in May after clashing with its president, Michael Choi Ngai-min. Mr Choi is one of the industry representatives on the Government's working group. Ms Connell claimed that Mr Choi was ignoring the views of most of the members and had not kept them informed about important matters being discussed. In its public consultation paper released last week, the working group proposed a self-financing, autonomous authority with its own offices and premises. It would have a staff of 18 with an initial annual operating budget of $8 million, exclusive of start-up costs. It also proposes the authority should have extensive powers to approve and issue licences, mediate in disputes and apply penalties. Ms Connell's renegades criticised the report because it made no mention of precisely who would make up the powerful authority which would be responsible for the licensing and control of estate agents. They were also critical of the report because they said it was unable to accurately explain the cost of establishing and running such an authority, nor the likely staff training costs. ''The authority is a fine idea but we have no idea of the costs to the agent,'' Ms Connell said. ''These have not been announced. ''How can we say what we like, when we don't know who is going to run it and how much it is going to cost?'' she said. Her group, which generally represented companies averaging less than 20 employees, said it was concerned that fees being contemplated by the authority would make it prohibitive for such agencies to continue. The band of agents also criticised the working group for its lack of consultation with the smaller agents in the industry. The agents said that they were also concerned that the regulatory authority would reflect ''only the membership of the working group, which did not have sufficient trade representation to reflect the opinions of the smaller companies within the industry.'' Representatives for the smaller estate agencies also claimed that simple changes to existing legislation would provide better protection for the consumer than the proposed EAA. Carol West, director of Dalgleish West and Associates, said: ''We believe that alternative and more simplified measures exist, or can easily be legislated, at practically no cost to the industry or consumer, and with no cumbersome administrative ramifications. ''Existing legislation does need to be reviewed and strengthened,'' Ms West said. ''This, combined with more public education would meet the goals set by the working group without the necessity for some of the costly, restrictive and authoritarian measures recommended.'' She said that while they agreed with the licensing of agents, these various functions should be handled by existing government bodies. ''To operate a self-financing group would be a continuous, costly exercise, the necessity of which simply has not been established, Ms West said. ''In the long run it is unrealistic to imagine that these costs will not be passed onto the consumer, so we have to seriously consider if such an authority is necessary, and if it is in the best interest of the general public,'' she said.