Consumer safety, protection a central focus

ACTIONS to protect consumers and increase safety are top of the Federal Government’s agenda at the Consumer Affairs Ministers’ meeting this week, Small Business Minister Michael McCormack says.

“As Australia’s Minister with responsibility for consumer affairs, my most important job is to ensure the safety of Australians and, where required, to take the necessary action to protect people,” Mr McCormack said.

“From boosting and updating a number of product safety standards, taking action to protect consumers from buying unsafe products and increasing penalties on companies which take consumers for a ride, my focus has been on delivering the protection Australians deserve and need.

“This week’s meeting is a chance to keep that focus and work with my counterparts to ensure consistency in consumer protections and laws around Australia.”

Mr McCormack has put a number of important issues on the agenda, including ticket re-selling, paper bills for consumers and retirement villages.

The 2017-18 Budget measure to increase consumer penalties is also on the Consumer Affairs Forum agenda.

“These are all important issues and I have taken action to ensure we have a national and consistent approach to issues affecting consumers for which the States and Territories have responsibility,” Mr McCormack said.

Mr McCormack said the meeting of State and Territory Ministers is a step required to change the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

“The ACL is governed by an Intergovernmental Agreement between the Commonwealth and the States which sets out the processes through which any amendment to the ACL can be made,” Mr McCormack said.

“This was a process set up by the Federal Government in 2009 with which we must all comply in order to change the law.

“I am looking forward to meeting my State and Territory Ministerial colleagues to discuss these issues and continue my strong advocacy for consumer safety and protection.”

Ministers will meet in Melbourne tomorrow.


Dom Hopkinson