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

Court penalises SMS Global $85,000 for misleading consumers Issued 10th August 2011 NR 139/11 The Federal Court in Melbourne has imposed penalties totalling $85,000 against SMS Global Pty Ltd (SMS Global) and its Director, Carl Krumins for misleading consumers by falsely representing that it was endorsed by the government. Brazilian Blowout ‘formaldehyde-free’ representations likely to…

Read More ACCC Consumer Protection Enforcement, August 2011

SCAM ALERTS [Visit SCAMwatch at www.scamwatch.gov.au for all SCAMwatch radar alerts] New round of scam scratchie cards in the mail August 2011: SCAMwatch and Carnival Australia are warning Australians to beware of a new spate of scam scratchie cards and travel brochures sent in the mail. http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/867806 Computer remote access scammers now masquerading as Telstra…

Read More New Scam Alerts – ACCC

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Victoria’s peak body for financial counselling, the Financial and Consumer Rights Council (a CFA member) has released a flyer explaining the assistance available to flood affected Victorians. The flyer describes the free, independent, confidential financial counselling services available to all Victorian consumers. It lists the following agencies that have been specifically funded to provide flood…

Read More Help for Victorians with flood related financial problems

There is only one more week to go until the 2011 ACCAN National Conference, a chance to explore and question what universal access to high-speed broadband will mean for Australian consumers. Far from being a meeting of “tech heads”, this conference will offer an in-depth exploration of the bigger picture challenges, opportunities and possibilities presented…

Read More One week to ACCAN Conference: Our Broadband Future

ACCC receives Telstra’s structural separation undertaking and draft migration plan Issued 1st August 2011 NR 133/11 The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has received a structural separation undertaking and a draft migration plan from Telstra. http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/1000404/fromItemId/2332 ACCC finalises fixed line telecommunications prices and delivers pricing certainty and stability to industry Issued 21st July 2011 NR…

Read More ACCC telecommunications update

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission  issued a discussion paper (18 August 2011) seeking submissions on the service description for a Layer 2 bitstream service. The consultation is the first step in issuing a declaration that creates the ACCC’s role in regulating this service. This declaration is intended to cover the ‘last mile’ fibre to…

Read More ACCC begins public consultation on “last mile” fibre to residences