COVID-19

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The Queensland Office of Fair Trading warns of employment opportunity scams in the following media release. COVID-19 has unleashed literally hundreds of scams across Australia and the next ones the Queensland Office of Fair Trading wants consumers to watch out for are employment opportunity scams. Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said scammers hiding behind…

Read More Consumers urged to look out for employment opportunity scams in the wake of COVID-19

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The Consumers’ Federation of Australia (CFA), the peak body for consumer groups nationally, has made two submissions to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) responding to authorisation applications from Australia’s banks and supermarkets. Businesses can seek authorisation from the ACCC where conduct risks breaching competition laws but is in the public interest. More than…

Read More Consumers’ Federation of Australia responds to COVID19 cooperation proposals from banks & supermarkets

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Australian Banking Association says Australian banks will issue a record number of debit cards (Mastercard or VISA debit) to customers who don’t have them and who may be self-isolating to make sure they can continue to pay for their goods and services online or over the phone throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently there are over…

Read More Record issuance of debit cards to help isolated or vulnerable customers

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The Australian public is attracted by the idea of using technology to assist tracing contacts of people diagnosed with COVID-19. A proximity logging app is proposed. The Australian public, along with scientists and researchers around the world, is also very concerned about gifting future governments the power to impose contact tracing on the populace through…

Read More How to earn public trust before the Contact Tracing App: Australian Privacy Foundation

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Petrol retailers should not use the current pandemic to further increase profits, which the latest ACCC petrol industry report shows have risen in recent years, and should pass on the full benefit of falling oil prices to motorists, the ACCC has said. Weekly average international crude oil prices have decreased by around US$ 50 per barrel since…

Read More Petrol retailers should reduce their prices in line with falls in international petrol prices: ACCC

A gold credit card A gold credit card

Consumer advocate CHOICE is urging Australian banks to go further in their response to COVID-19, flagging that many Australians are still being harmed by high cost credit cards, personal loans and long term debt. “We welcome that many banks have announced initial support packages for customers but we know they can go further. We have…

Read More “Banks need to go further on their coronavirus response”: CHOICE

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NBN Co announced on Friday it will establish a $150 million financial relief and assistance fund to help internet providers to support their residential and small and medium business customers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The relief fund, created following a short industry consultation led by NBN Co, is aimed at helping internet providers connect…

Read More NBN Co creates $150 million COVID-19 relief and assistance package

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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis Consumers International members in 100 countries are calling for a focus on the protection and empowerment of individuals in the marketplace based on consumer rights, and for co-ordinated strategies across nations and intergovernmental bodies to build fair, safe, resilient and sustainable economies through consumer protection. We are calling on G20…

Read More Consumers International calls for COVID-19 response to prioritise consumer protection and empowerment

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The Conexus Institute, Actuaries Institute and Super Consumers Australia have collaborated to produce an Information Sheet addressing early access to super. As you are aware the Government is allowing eligible individuals affected by COVID-19 to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019–20 and a further $10,000 in 2020–21. A challenge for super funds…

Read More An Information Sheet relating to early access to super

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The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has released the following statement urging competition authorities to use all their tools to combat the adverse consequences of COVID-19 in the markets. Under normal circumstances competition is needed in markets to keep prices low, but with the COVID-19 crisis wreaking havoc on markets the world…

Read More Defending competition in the markets during COVID-19

Cans of food stacked on a shelf in a grocery store Cans of food stacked on a shelf in a grocery store

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has released the following statement, calling for authorities to do more to moniter and act on unfair business practices and criminal activities exploiting fears over the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic has opened the floodgates of unfair, misleading and abusive business practices, hitting consumers hard and…

Read More UNCTAD calls for firmer action to better protect consumers during COVID-19

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At the Gartner CEO Forum today, ACCC Chair Rod Sims spoke with a group of 70 CEOs and senior executives from a range of companies across Australasia about how the ACCC’s priorities have shifted to respond to the impact of COVID-19 on consumers and businesses. Below is a transcript of his speech. COVID-19 Taskforce The ACCC…

Read More Managing the impacts of COVID-19 disruption on consumers and business