Rod Sims, the Chair of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) in NSW, expressed his support for better consumer engagement in regulatory decisions and said more funding was required to help consumers participate. He noted that this was a challenge he will carry into his new role as Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Chair,…Read More Incoming ACCC Chair supports better funded consumer advocacy
After a year-long inquiry telco customer service and complaints-handling, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) released its draft [ilink url=”http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_312222″]Reconnecting the Customer[/ilink] (RTC) report in early June 2011. It is a well considered report based on extensive evidence-based research. Five research reports commissioned by the ACMA were launched at the same time. The ACMA’s…Read More Time’s up on telco self-regulation: ACMA to act
CFA member CHOICE is calling for better regulation of pesticides and hazardous chemicals. More than 80 chemicals and pesticides no longer registered for use in Europe are available for every day agricultural and veterinary use in Australia. If that’s not alarming enough, about 75% were included in our current system 15 years ago as a…Read More Better regulation for pesticides and hazardous chemicals
To use an American phrase – it seems like a “no brainer”. Consumer groups from around Australia are calling on the Federal Government to cap interest rates at 48%. This cap is currently in place in three jurisdictions: New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT. However credit legislation is now a Federal Government responsibility; whether…Read More 48% is Enough: Keep the Cap!
CFA member Financial Counselling Australia today released the results of a survey of financial counsellors about their clients’ experiences with 1800 and 13/1300 numbers. Nearly every financial counsellor (98%) reported clients who have difficulty contacting services that use 1800 or 13 numbers due to the cost of the call from their mobiles. At the May…Read More Financial counselling clients suffer from timed 1800 calls
The Mutual Banking Code of Practice sets out standards of good practice for credit unions and mutual building societies. The Code Compliance Committee (CCC) has a new Executive Manager, and is conducting a number of reviews. This update also sets out current governance and investigation arrangements and provides information about this years’ annual compliance statements.…Read More What’s new with the Mutual Banking Code of Practice Code Compliance Committee?
With the creation of a National Energy Market, and establishment of the National Electricity and Gas Rules and Law, members of the CFA and other consumer advocates have been working to influence the design of the market, the development of strong consumer protections (the National Energy Customer Framework) and government policy to ensure that consumers…Read More National Energy Advocacy
Last week the Age reported that the ACCC had successfully had the assets of diet pill manufacturer SensaSlim frozen. The Age reports a number of worrying irregularities in the way Sensaslim goes about its business: it emerged that the research used as the basis for the product’s marketing appears to have been fabricated. CFA member…Read More Weight loss or loss of trust?
Are they giving consumers the best deal? Consumers are constantly told that there are savings to be made on rising energy prices by shopping around for the best deal. Energy switching sites are promoted as a useful tool for those consumers looking to save. Research by CFA member Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre (CUAC) has found…Read More Energy switching sites
St James Ethics Centre has released “Responsible Business Practice in Australia”, a report to the Australian Government. It was launched at the 12th National Business Leaders Forum on Sustainable Development at Parliament House in Canberra on 16 July. The report reviews the key lessons learnt from St James Ethics Centre’s national ResponsibleBusiness Practice Project, which…Read More Responsible Business Practice in Australia
From 2005 Consumer Action, later joined by Choice, campaigned tirelessly for the major banks to remove or reduce their outrageous and skyrocketing penalty fees – fees as much as $50 applied just for going over your credit card limit by a few dollars or being a day late with a credit card payment. The Fair…Read More Choice and Consumer Action bank penalty fee campaign saves consumers at least $112m each year
Former CFA President Denis Nelthorpe and consumer advocate Elaine Attwood were both made Members of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queens Birthday honours list in June 2011. Denis has played many roles in the Australia consumer movement. He was Director of the Consumer Credit Legal Service in the 1980s when it successfully took…Read More CFA advocates recognised with Queens Birthday honours