Product Safety

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23 April 2024 Last month we brought together a powerful cohort of consumer advocate groups, international organisations, business, government and civil society to call for Fair and Responsible AI on World Consumer Rights Day Friday March 15. AI is changing how millions of us experience the online world. Within just five days of the release of ChatGPT last…

Read More Global Experiment Reveals a ‘worrying margin of harm’ in AI Chatbots

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The National Transport Commission (NTC) and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts (DITRDCA) have been working with state and territory on an Automated Vehicle Safety Law (AVSL) and are now looking for feedback on the regulatory framework as a whole, in addition to safety and consumer issues. The consultation paper…

Read More Automated Driving System Consultation Open

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This year’s Ruby Hutchison Memorial lecture shone a light on just how much the consumer protection movement together with regulators has achieved in the last 50 years, and the complex consumer issues we’re still seeking answers to today. Bringing in a musical theme and recognising the rockstar influence of the speakers, the ACCC Deputy Chair…

Read More The 2024 Ruby Hutchison Memorial Lecture – 50 Years of Consumer Advocacy

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The Productivity Commission is undertaking a study to assess the economic effects of national competition reforms. It is now inviting community members to share perspectives, experiences and expertise on national competition matters and modelling competition reforms. The Commission’s review is occurring against a backdrop of declining productivity growth in the past decade. As such, a…

Read More Submission Call for National Competition Policy

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The Federal Court has found Vanguard Investments Australia contravened the law by making misleading claims about certain environmental, social and governance (ESG) exclusionary screens applied to investments in a Vanguard index fund. At a hearing before Justice O’Bryan on 8 March 2024, Vanguard admitted to engaging in conduct that was liable to mislead the public…

Read More ASIC Wins Greenwashing Case Against Vanguard

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Across Australia, 13 incidents of property damage have been linked to the affected batteries, including a house in Victoria that was destroyed.

Following a recommendation by the ACCC, the proposed recall notice was issued by the Assistant Treasurer because it appears to him that LG has not taken satisfactory action to prevent the affected batteries causing injury to any person.

Read More Compulsory Recall for Dangerous LG Solar Batteries Proposed

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55% of Australians incorrectly dispose of batteries. Australian B-cycle  “Never bin your batteries” aims to help consumers understand the risks of throwing batteries away in regular bins. It emphasises the need to never put used batteries in general waste or recycling bins, to instead tape the terminals with clear sticky tape and take them to…

Read More Safe Battery Disposal

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The Australian Government is taking action to help ensure that AI is safe and responsible, releasing its interim response to the Safe and Responsible AI in Australia consultation today.

The consultation made clear that while AI has immense potential to improve wellbeing and grow our economy, Australians want stronger protections in place to help manage the risks.

The Government’s response is targeted towards the use of AI in high-risk settings, where harms could be difficult to reverse, while ensuring that the vast majority of low risk AI use continues to flourish largely unimpeded.

Read More Government Considers “mandatory guardrails” for AI Development

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How stable is your furniture? Does your heavy, full wardrobe have appropriate anchors or tip-over failsafes? Currently, Australia only has a voluntary safety standard (AS/NZS 4935:2009) but in light of the recently published mandatory American standard (ASTM F2057–23 Standard Safety Specification for Clothing Storage Units) the Australian Competition and ConsumerCommission has decided to re-investigate the…

Read More Survey on Mandatory Furniture Safety Standards

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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