COVID-19

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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

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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

and hand pumping hand sanitiser from a bottle and hand pumping hand sanitiser from a bottle

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

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Scammers are now trying to exploit Australians financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis with new superannuation scams being reported to Scamwatch in recent weeks. Scammers are already trying to take advantage of the Government’s recent announcement that people suffering financial hardship can have partial access to their superannuation from mid-April. “Scammers are cold-calling people claiming…

Read More Scammers targeting superannuation in COVID-19 crisis

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is reminding consumers that there are options available if they are experiencing financial distress and struggling to pay their telco bills. ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said that telcos have financial hardship programs available to support Australian consumers facing difficulties. “Telecommunication services are playing a critical role in keeping Australians connected…

Read More Telco financial hardship policies critical during COVID-19