The 2011-12 Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee will begin a series of public consultations around Australia as it examines telecommunications services in regional, rural and remote parts of the country. The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, today welcomed the beginning of the consultation process and the release of the…

Read More Public consultations begin for 2011-12 Regional Telecommunications Review

The first meeting of the 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 a. raise with…

Read More Of Eggs, Cots and Insurance Claims: Standards AustraliaConsumer Standing Forum

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Premier Anna Bligh wants insurance companies forced to pay their clients’ full claims if they are not dealt with in a reasonable time. This proposal, which would require Federal legislation, is contained in the Queensland Government’s submission to the federal parliamentary inquiry into the insurance response to natural disasters. “We also want to see insurance…

Read More Queensland Government wants insurers to pay up

New research shows welfare recipients are using payday lenders to meet regular living expenses and are then trapped in a debt spiral, continuously indebted to one or more loan companies for considerable periods according to Caught Short an Interim Report by RMIT University and the University of Queensland and funded by National Australia Bank and…

Read More RMIT & UQ research: Payday loans a debt trap for welfare recipients

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As long ago as 2006 CFA member Choice called attention to the huge losses suffered by consumers through fees and administrative costs on lost and multiple superannuation accounts. With input from data from Rice Walker actuaries Choice estimated consumers lost between $1.2 and $2 billion per annum in unnecessary fees and charges At that time…

Read More Welcome action on billion dollar multiple super fund problem

AAP The Federal Government has taken significant steps in recent years to protect consumers from predatory lending practices, such as very high-interest “payday loans”. An unfortunate, though surely unintentional, consequence of lending regulation is that people on low incomes or with poor credit records may find it difficult to secure loans. Under our National Consumer…

Read More Responsible lending doesn’t have to be restrictive

Measurement and product specification testing is an all important phase in ensuring quality, consumer confidence and brand reputation.  There are several sets of requirements that might be specified in standards, with conformity assessment a significant part of this.  The CFA Standards representative on Standards Australia Technical Committee QR-010 Conformity Assessment  is involved in the project…

Read More Conformity Assessment – a significant part of standards development

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A coalition of consumer and financial counselling organisations has launched a new website to ensure the hard truths are heard in the debate about the future of short term high cost loans – www.debttrap.org.au. The new website delivers the confronting facts about payday loans, busts myths currently being spread by payday lenders, and outlines safer…

Read More Consumer groups launch ‘debt trap’ web site

CI Food manual cover - cute kid CI Food manual cover - cute kid

A new global tool for tracking junk food marketing looks to get governments moving on obesity. The tool, prepared by Consumers International, the global peak for national consumer organisations includes a manual for monitoring children’s exposure to unhealthy food and drink promotions launches worldwide interactive TV commercials and child-friendly websites targeted alongside traditional mediay Consumers…

Read More Global action on junk food marketing and obesity

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CFA member CHOICE has launched a Better Food Labelling Campaign. The campaign invites consumers around Australia to ‘Shame the Claim‘, a call to to send to Choice food labels which make dodgy nutrition claims that hide the unhealthy reality. Choice says claims like ‘reduced fat,’ ‘low carb’ and ‘high in fibre’ are often used selectively…

Read More Wall of shame for dodgy claims on food labels

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…

Read More Standards Australia Consumer Standing Forum