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Consumers left wanting more from energy retail markets

CFA member Energy Consumers Australia has published the results of its second bi-annual survey of the attitudes and activity of household and small business energy consumers. Energy Consumers Australia CEO Rosemary Sinclair said the survey of 2,300 consumers, undertaken during August and September 2016, showed that energy consumers are seeing mixed results. “As we found […]

Australians need a one-stop-shop ombudsman to deal with banking & finance complaints

Getting problems with your bank, insurance or finance company solved fairly and quickly is too hard and Australia needs a one-stop-shop ombudsman for financial service problems, say leading consumer advocates. In a submission endorsed by eight consumer organisations provided to the Ramsay Review into External Dispute Resolution in the banking and finance sector, advocates have […]

Products safety handbook protects consumers

All businesses who supply products to Australian consumers must comply with Australian product safety laws as outlined by ACCC Product Safety. Consumers Federation of Australia representative Gail Greatorex is a member of the Standards Australia Technical Committee which completed a review of four key parts of the product safety framework set of documents. One of […]

ACCAN urges Government to allocate budget funds to mobile expansion, USO and broadband monitoring

In its Pre-Budget Submission for the 2017-18 Budget, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has urged the Federal Government to allocate funding to telecommunications initiatives that will benefit consumers. ACCAN’s recommendations include ongoing funding for the Mobile Black Spot Program, ongoing funding to ensure that the Universal Service Obligation (USO) continues until new safeguards […]

Financial Counsellors Welcome “Better Banking” … but Where’s the Funding for Financial Counselling?

Financial counsellors welcome today’s commitment by the banking industry to better banking, including making financial hardship support programs more accessible and setting up a debt repayment service. But the big question remains: why is there still no funding for financial counselling? Most of the clients seen by financial counsellors have debts with banks, yet the […]

Veda to refund consumers after breaching privacy rules

Veda Advantage Information Services and Solutions Ltd (Veda) is being forced to refund thousands of consumers who paid to obtain credit reports under Veda’s expedited delivery deal, according to a decision handed down today by the Australian Privacy Commissioner. The Commissioner found that Veda breached a series of privacy rules when they: charged for “expedited […]

CFA representative attends FSANZ Packing Advisory Group meeting

Elaine Attwood, a CFA representative on the Food Standards Australia New Zealand, Packing Advisory Group recently attended the 5th meeting this December. The meeting involved discussion around FSANZ’s conclusions following the first Call for Submissions made. Members within the meeting heard on the issues raised within the submissions. Whilst submissions were minimal, the general caliber […]

ASIC CAP Applications Open

Consumers’ Federation of Australia is seeking a volunteer consumer representative for the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) Consumer Advisory Panel. CAP was established in 1999. CAP advises ASIC on current issues faced by retail investors and consumers in the financial services and credit industries. CAP also informs ASIC’s surveillance, enforcement, policy and financial education […]

CFA asked to prepare submission for Senate on electrical infrastructure resilience

In October this year, the Australian Senate created the Select Committee into the Resilience of Electricity Infrastructure in a Warming World. The purpose of the committee is to examine the current role of various storage technologies and localised distributed generation to provide Australia’s electricity networks, and assessing their resilience in withstanding the growing intensity and frequency […]

WMCA gains two new members and further news.

Minh Nguyen, a CFA representative on the Weight Management Council of Australia has provided CFA with an update on their activities. CFA are happy to report that WMCA has two new members including Weight Watchers and Nestle. The independent chair for WMCA has been working to engage with Australian federal government to highlight the role […]

Productivity Commission calls for greater investment in consumer advocacy

Australia’s peak consumer body, the Consumers’ Federation of Australia,  welcomed a finding from the Productivity Commission that additional public funding be provided to support consumer advocacy. The finding, made in the Commission’s Draft Report on Consumer Law Enforcement and Administration, recognised there is considerable unmet demand from policy makers for input from informed consumer advocates. […]

Doubts about the value of car sale add-ons

Car buyers are being advised to exercise caution before agreeing to purchase ‘after sale add-ons’ and to get multiple quotes before accepting any finance offered by motor vehicle dealers. The advice follows a recent increase in complaints to Consumer Protection about the ‘extras’ sold at the point of sale of a vehicle which can include […]