With the Commonwealth Parliament’s joint committee on corporations and financial services due to report soon, Annette Sampson reports in the SMH on a Queensland court decision that exposes the problems in the payday lending industry.

Read More Stronger hand needed to stop debt traps – committee to report this week

Elaine Attwood photo Elaine Attwood photo

Enabling technologies have the potential to underpin consumer benefits in areas such as medical treatments, energy generation and environmental remediation. But they may also pose new health, safety and environmental risks, CFA is the Council established to provide advice to government on future directions of their strategy on enabling technologies.

Read More National Enabling Technologies Strategy: A national approach

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CFA member the Consumer Action Law Centre has expressed disappointment with the Government’s initial response to the National Disaster Insurance Review (NDIR) Panel’s report which it labelled as ‘indecisive’. While the Centre welcomed moves towards a system which would see more Australians covered by flood insurance, it raised concerns about the proposed ‘opt out’ model and has lamented the lack of tangible interim measures in the Government’s response.

Read More Stronger response needed to ensure consumers are protected in times of disaster

The Commonwealth has accepted a proposal to introduce a standard definition of flood and compel insurers to include a flood cover option in all home and contents insurance. This will mean consumers (generally) get two prices in an insurance contract offer: with and without flood cover.

Read More Standard definition of flood in insurance policies + mandatory offer +/- affordability?

In its submission to the Consumer Affairs Advisory Council’s inquiry into .. the Automobile Association has provided detailed information about the cost of motor vehicle repairs – and there are worrying trends. Repairs have risen much faster than inflation, while new car prices have risen much more slowly.

Read More Auto repair problems get National Interest: service costs out of control; computers to blame?

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The Consumer Action Law Centre has welcomed the Federal Government’s ban on credit providers making unsolicited credit card limit increase offers to customers, but believes that ambiguity in the regulations governing the ban will see credit providers attempt to evade and undermine it. The Centre has also warned that the Government will need to respond quickly to any such attempt if it wants to maintain the integrity and effectiveness of the ban.

Read More Consumer Action warns government that new credit card regulation may require running repairs