First Nations consumer advocates from the Save Sorry Business Coalition have greeted the announcement that the Federal Government will extend its Interim Youpla Scheme with a renewed call for establishing a fair and culturally appropriate resolution.
Bettina Cooper, Boandik woman and Save Sorry Business Coalition Coordinator & Aboriginal Financial Counsellor at Mob Strong Debt Help explained, “We have cautious optimism about the announcement from Ministers Linda Burney and Stephen Jones, with hopes that this will be the final extension before the Federal Government’s enduring resolution is announced.”
Read More Interim Scheme Extended for Youpla Funeral Benefit Program
Businesses are trotting them out left and right these days, but it’s not clear who gives them the authority to do that, since you already have a right to the three Rs without promising to keep matters confidential.
Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) effectively keep problems with a product or service a secret so other customers can’t know that it has a history of problems.
“The ACCC has made clear that non-disparagement clauses can breach unfair contract terms provisions.
“Again this comes back to the imbalance of power and information between consumer and business, and why we need strong, enforceable consumer protections.”
Read More Non-Disclosure Agreements, Unfair Contracts and Consumer Rights
International Volunteer Day (IVD) is an opportunity to raise awareness of the important role volunteers play in responding to challenges facing the world. Mandated by the UN General Assembly and held each year on 5 December, the theme for 2023 is “What if Everyone Did” recognises the power of collective action in a time where much…
Read More International Volunteer Day: “What if everyone did?”
The Proposed Conduct relates to the cooperation between Virgin Australia and Air NZ on trans-Tasman services (on routes that Virgin Australia does not operate), including the ability for Virgin Australia to codeshare on Air NZ operated services which contain pricing provisions that may otherwise trigger the prohibition against resale price maintenance. Cooperation on commercial arrangements between Virgin Australia and Air NZ in relation to frequent flyer programs, lounge access, and joint corporate customer offers are conditional upon these codeshare arrangements.
Closing date for submissions on interim authorisation is 18 December 2023.
Read More Consultation on Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand Trans-Tasman Services
The ACCC is seeking views from the aviation industry and other interested parties on Airservices Australia’s draft proposal to increase the prices it charges airlines for its enroute navigation, terminal navigation, and aviation rescue and fire-fighting (ARFF) services.
Submissions are due by 19 January 2024.
Read More Airservice Australia Proposes Price Increases
The NSW Government has recently launched the paper NSW Plastics: Next Steps and is seeking feedback on plastic items that:
are frequently littered
release microplastics into the environment
contain harmful chemical additives
are currently or are proposed to be regulated in other states and territories.
Translations of the paper are available online in Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Greek, Hindi, Korean and Vietnamese.
Have your say by 4 February 2024.
Read More NSW Plastic Policies Take the Next Step with Consultation
Online national retailer Riff Raff Baby Pty Ltd has paid penalties of $132,000 after the ACCC issued it with eight infringement notices for allegedly making false or misleading statements about its comforter toys being safe for sleep from birth.
Riff Raff has also provided the ACCC with a court-enforceable undertaking in which it admits that the advertisements for its sleep aid toys were likely to have breached the Australian Consumer Law.
“Based on these advertisements by Riff Raff, parents and caregivers may have thought that these products are safe for babies to sleep next to in an unsupervised sleep environment, when in fact there are serious safety risks. These types of products can cover a baby’s nose and mouth, which can pose a risk of fatal suffocation,” ACCC Deputy Chair, Catriona Lowe said.
Read More Riff Raff Penalised Over Alleged False or Misleading Infant Sleep Aid Toys Ads
“Making false statements about a product’s environmental or sustainability qualities can mislead consumers, as well as putting the businesses making genuine claims at a competitive disadvantage.”
“It is important that environmental and sustainability claims by businesses are correct as they are a key influence on consumer choices and what people spend their money on,” Ms Carver said.
Read More ACCC Continues Focus on Greenwashing Claims
“There are a number of gaps in the consumer law when it comes to protecting people from unfair business practices. These gaps leave consumers in Australia vulnerable to all kinds of unfair treatment,” says CHOICE senior policy and campaigns adviser Alex Söderlund.
CPRC CEO Erin Turner says Australian consumers deserve better.
“Australians are missing out on protections that consumers in other countries have benefited from for decades. We need laws to effectively call out and restrict unfair practices. These laws will mean businesses have to treat you with respect and care.”
Read More Make Unfair Illegal – Consumer Groups Call for Strong New Laws to Close Gaps as New Research on Consumer Knowledge Emerges
Currently, the Disability Discrimination Act provides an exemption for life insurers to use genomic or genetic test results when underwriting life insurance contracts. Since 2019, an industry-regulated partial-moratorium has been in place that prohibits the use of these tests below certain financial limits.
Read More Consultation Opens on Use of Genetic Testing in Life Insurance
The government encourages all interested parties to make a submission in response to the consultation paper, which can be found on the Treasury website.
The NASC launched in July as part of an $86.5 million package to crackdown on scams. It represents the most cohesive partnership between government and industry to date to protect against these criminals.
While scam losses are still significant, the report shows a 16% decrease in losses compared to the same quarter last year. It also reveals that losses from investment scams have declined by 6%, and romance scam losses have declined by 28%.
The quarter ended with reported scam losses of $29.8 million in September 2023, the lowest losses reported in a single month since October 2021.
Read More A Promising Start as National Anti-Scam Centre Releases its First Report
In the past year, according to figures released by the National Anti Scam Centre (NASC), over 81,000 reports of scams have been made and $92 million stolen. Of those scams, 3 in 4 were impersonation scams where criminals pretended to be someone known and trusted such as a family member, government institution, road toll company or bank. Out of these, bank imitation scams caused the highest monetary losses.
Read More Scams Awareness Week 2023