Consumers SA has sent an urgent email to all South Australian political leaders today urging them to address five key consumer issues in the course of the State election campaign.
The election date, 15 March, coincides with World Consumer Rights Day – celebrated each year on the anniversary of President John F Kennedy’s 1962 address to the US Congress in which he outlined four key consumer rights: the right to safety, the right to redress, the right to information and the right to be heard.
Consumers SA today released its annual Consumer Policy Agenda and asked all political parties and groups to commit themselves in the election campaign and in government to protecting and advancing consumer rights for the benefit of the whole community.
In its email, the Association’s new President, Ray Dennis, urged the party’s leaders and consumers affairs spokespersons to, “…review the comprehensive Consumer Policy Agenda, engage with consumer advocates on the ideas presented and, if elected, implement enabling policies, regulations and legislation as opportunities arise or where urgency requires swift action.”
The Association specifically asked for straight answers to five key questions drawn from the wider consumer affairs agenda, pointing out that, ‘…they are issues that impact on all consumers and your answers will be of interest to all voters.”
The questions are:
1. Will you maintain the separate portfolio of Minister for Consumer Affairs to ensure that consumers have a strong advocate in the development of government policy?
2. Will you value and protect community voices that speak up for local consumer interests by adequately funding independent South Australian consumer organisations?
3. Will you honour the current government’s commitment to establish and provide ongoing funding for a local independent credit advisory service?
4. Will you ensure that the new Civil and Administrative Tribunal provides informal, affordable, timely and accessible redress in consumer, residential tenancies and related matters?
5. Will you restore concessions for electricity, gas and water to their historic levels in real money terms and ensure that they are indexed to maintain their real value?
For more information about Consumers SA, a copy of the email sent out today and a copy of the 2014 Consumer Policy Agenda visit the Association’s website: www.consumerssa.com.