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The Federal Government is letting the worst and most harmful financial products in the community run wild, according to consumer advocates. It’s now one year, eight months, one week and fifteen days since the Government accepted recommendations to reform laws governing payday loans and consumer leases. Despite committing to bringing the reforms to Parliament by…

Read More Lobbyists beat the battlers on payday loans and rent-to-buy

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) will commence on 1 November 2018, providing consumers and small businesses with easy access to a single scheme to resolve complaints about products and services provided by financial firms. AFCA seeks expressions of interest from interested persons for potential appointment to the panels as either a Consumer or Industry…

Read More AFCA Panel Member Expressions of Interest

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Formal education provides a solid foundation for professional practice but alone does not give staff the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to provide services competently, according to an inquiry undertaken by the Insurance Brokers Code Compliance Committee (the Committee). The inquiry found that staff needed to supplement their educational qualifications with on-the-job support and experience to develop…

Read More Brokers need formal qualifications and on-the-job training, inquiry finds

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A new report highlighting the issue of phone number loss when migrating to the National Broadband Network (NBN) is recommending greater action by phone companies – including better communication with consumers and small businesses. Residential consumers and small businesses generally expect to retain their existing phone numbers when moving between providers or to the NBN.…

Read More Telephone number loss an issue for consumers and small business

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CHOICE is calling for urgent reform to Australia’s product safety system as analysis shows children’s products consistently fail CHOICE lab tests for voluntary and mandatory safety standards. “From portable cots that fail suffocation tests to strollers with finger traps, safety failures are so routine it’s clear that manufacturers are not prioritising safety,” says CHOICE Head…

Read More Cots and strollers consistently failing CHOICE lab tests

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On 14 June 2018, Standards Australia’s draft AS/NZS 4474:2018 Household refrigerating appliances – Energy labelling and minimum energy performance standards requirements standard was published for public comment. This standard embodies several years of work by members of the EL-059 Committee that includes E3 Program representatives and other key stakeholders. Once implemented, this standard will bring into effect…

Read More Public comment invited on new refrigeration appliance standard

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Consumer advocates have welcomed the findings of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry Final Report, released yesterday. Energy Consumers Australia Acting CEO Lynne Gallagher said the final report confirms what consumers have been saying: that the electricity market is not working as it should and not delivering good value for…

Read More Consumer advocates welcome ACCC Final Report on electricity market

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CHOICE welcomes the Federal Government’s options paper on added sugar today which includes options for strong measures for sugar labelling like visual labelling of teaspoons of sugar on sugar-sweetened beverages. “For years CHOICE has been calling for added sugar labelling and it’s great to see the Federal Government putting forward options that will allow Australians…

Read More Clear sugar labelling on the table