Regulator news and government inquiries

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The Productivity Commission has released the final report on its inquiry into Australia’s urban water sector, proposing profound changes to the way water services are provided in cities and regional towns across Australia. Along the way it restated its support for national funding of a peak consumer advocacy organisation.

Read More Profound changes to urban water services recommended

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CFA member ACCAN was established in 2009. At the time the government committed to conduct a review of ACCAN’s performance after two years of operation. Having now reached that point, the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) is keen to hear all views. Submissions are due by 19th October. The terms of…

Read More ACCAN – what do you think? Government review happening

The 2011-12 Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee will begin a series of public consultations around Australia as it examines telecommunications services in regional, rural and remote parts of the country. The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, today welcomed the beginning of the consultation process and the release of the…

Read More Public consultations begin for 2011-12 Regional Telecommunications Review

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is throwing a spotlight on door-to-door sales practices in the energy retail sector, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims announced on 13 September 2011. In a speech to the ACOSS/ CHOICE ‘Energy at Home’ conference at Parliament House, Mr Sims said “the ACCC is concerned that misleading or deceptive conduct by…

Read More ACCC puts energy retailers on notice over door-to-door practices

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ASIC has launched  Health Month Month to encourage consumers to take early action when they spot the signs of mortgage stress. ASIC’s MoneySmart website includes practical information for consumers facing various levels of mortgage stress, short video guides, tools such as a budget planner and mortgage calculator and guides to obtaining help from free financial…

Read More Mortgage health month to help consumers avoid stress

Rod Sims ACCC Chair Rod Sims ACCC Chair

As part of a “Future Directions’ speech the incoming Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Rod Sims, outlined the ACCC’s approach to electricity prices as part of a discussion about how the various tools available to the ACCC will be coordinated. He noted that the Australian Energy Regulator [AER] is looking closely at…

Read More Electricity: ACCC to look at network prices and poor selling practices

ASIC has released a consultation paper and draft regulatory guide containing best practice guidance for the advertising of financial products and financial advice. The work seeks to promote confident and informed investors and financial consumers, noting the important role that advertising can play in helping investors to make important financial decisions. The Chairman of ASIC,…

Read More ASIC releases new advertising guidelines for financial products and advice

ACCC mandatory product safety reporting triggers recalls Issued 16th August 2011 The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released figures for the first six months of the mandatory reporting product safety requirement under the Australian Consumer Law. http://www.productsafety.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/988537   ACCC institutes proceedings against Trade Quip over labelling of hydraulic trolley jacks Issued 25 July 2011…

Read More August product safety news

The Commonwealth government has announced proposals to limit the exploitation of people desperate for a small loan. According to Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten, draft legislation would improves the rules around payday lenders “These proposals seek to stop payday lenders from overcharging consumers who are desperate for money, by…

Read More Payday lending reforms proposed to protect consumers

Court penalises SMS Global $85,000 for misleading consumers Issued 10th August 2011 NR 139/11 The Federal Court in Melbourne has imposed penalties totalling $85,000 against SMS Global Pty Ltd (SMS Global) and its Director, Carl Krumins for misleading consumers by falsely representing that it was endorsed by the government. Brazilian Blowout ‘formaldehyde-free’ representations likely to…

Read More ACCC Consumer Protection Enforcement, August 2011