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ASIC has launched  Health Month Month to encourage consumers to take early action when they spot the signs of mortgage stress. ASIC’s MoneySmart website includes practical information for consumers facing various levels of mortgage stress, short video guides, tools such as a budget planner and mortgage calculator and guides to obtaining help from free financial…

Read More Mortgage health month to help consumers avoid stress

A sunscreen without nano particles was recently forced to tone down its advertising claim that it was safer than alternative products which do contain nano particles. In electronic media advertising the company stated that “Unlike most sunscreens Invisible Zinc is a physical barrier between you and the sun.” Online the ads went further, saying that…

Read More Sunscreens: with or without nano particles

Rod Sims ACCC Chair Rod Sims ACCC Chair

As part of a “Future Directions’ speech the incoming Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Rod Sims, outlined the ACCC’s approach to electricity prices as part of a discussion about how the various tools available to the ACCC will be coordinated. He noted that the Australian Energy Regulator [AER] is looking closely at…

Read More Electricity: ACCC to look at network prices and poor selling practices

ASIC has released a consultation paper and draft regulatory guide containing best practice guidance for the advertising of financial products and financial advice. The work seeks to promote confident and informed investors and financial consumers, noting the important role that advertising can play in helping investors to make important financial decisions. The Chairman of ASIC,…

Read More ASIC releases new advertising guidelines for financial products and advice

Persons with disabilities make up an estimated 10 per cent of the world’s population, eighty per cent of which reside in developing countries. Furthermore, a quarter of the global population is directly affected by disability, as care-givers or family members. [source: UN International day of Persons with Disabilities 2011 Introduction. See www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1561] To support this…

Read More Standards Australia Technical Committee ME-064 Access for People with a Disability

Eleanor Sumner has been the CFA representative on Standards Australia Technical Committee ME-064 Access for People with a Disability for approximately 10 years. Her work as a consumer advocate extends beyond her work with the Consumers Federation of Australia. Eleanor has had a life long commitment to women’s issues. After serving in the Women’s Royal…

Read More Introducing CFA Standards Project representative Eleanor Sumner

Standards Australia has two committees working in this area which include CFA representatives. With recent controversy on claims made by a sunscreen without nano particles, the work of the committees is as important as ever. CS-042 Sunscreen Agents is currently revising AS/NZ 2604:1998 Sunscreen products: evaluation & classification with the aim to bring it more…

Read More Sunscreen and nano tech – safety and consumers’ right to know?

ACCC mandatory product safety reporting triggers recalls Issued 16th August 2011 The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released figures for the first six months of the mandatory reporting product safety requirement under the Australian Consumer Law. http://www.productsafety.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/988537   ACCC institutes proceedings against Trade Quip over labelling of hydraulic trolley jacks Issued 25 July 2011…

Read More August product safety news

The Commonwealth government has announced proposals to limit the exploitation of people desperate for a small loan. According to Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten, draft legislation would improves the rules around payday lenders “These proposals seek to stop payday lenders from overcharging consumers who are desperate for money, by…

Read More Payday lending reforms proposed to protect consumers

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Prices, products, pressures, protections. And politics. A briefing and discussion For legislators, policy makers, industry, consumer advocates. Australian energy prices are rising fast – faster than inflation, faster than wages, and faster than in other advanced economies. The energy market and its products are becoming more complex. Find out why and what this means for…

Read More Energy at home: Current issues for consumers: Tuesday 13 September