The first meeting of the Standards Australia’s reformed Consumer Standing Forum was held in Sydney on 14 September 2011. Representatives attended from CFA, Consumer Affairs Victoria, NSW Fair Trading, QLD Office of Fair Trading, ACCC and Standards Australia. It was chaired by John Furbank from the CFA. The purpose of the CSF is to raise…

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is throwing a spotlight on door-to-door sales practices in the energy retail sector, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims announced on 13 September 2011. In a speech to the ACOSS/ CHOICE ‘Energy at Home’ conference at Parliament House, Mr Sims said “the ACCC is concerned that misleading or deceptive conduct by…

Read More ACCC puts energy retailers on notice over door-to-door practices

Two prominent CFA members  have called to end the current process of appeal for electricity distribution pricing determinations.  Barriers to Fair Network Prices, by Consumer Action and the Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre, shows electricity distribution companies are routinely challenging pricing determinations made by the Australian Energy Regulator, the independent organisation that sets distribution costs. The…

Read More Unfair process leads to higher electricity prices

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CFA member CHOICE is calling for mandatory country of origin labelling on unpackaged beef, sheep and chicken products to help consumers make informed decisions about the meat they’re buying. Currently, only unpackaged pork and seafood are required to carry labels identifying their country of origin, but CHOICE believes this should be extended to beef, chicken…

Read More Country labelling needed for all unpackaged meat

A landmark event in the Standards community is World Standards Day, with this year’s theme of Creating Confidence Globally. It is a means of paying tribute to the collaborative efforts of the thousands of experts worldwide who develop the voluntary technical agreements that are published as international standards, and to raise the importance of standardisation…

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A large number of community and welfare organisations have today signed an open letter to the Minister for Financial Services, Bill Shorten, in support of draft legislation released by the government to Signatories include CFA members Choice, Consumer Credit Legal Centre, Care Financial Counselling, ACT, Consumer Action Law Centre, the Financial and Consumer Rights Council…

Read More Consumer and welfare groups support Govt’s payday lending reforms – open letter to Minister Shorten

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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