Senior Policy Officer - Katherine Temple
(03) 8554 6912
Consumer Protections – the Australian Consumer Law has been under review. We are campaigning to maintain our existing consumer protections and strengthen the weak areas. Our consumer watchdogs need stronger powers to tackle consumer problems, including financial and other penalties, and the resources they need to run market studies and challenge dodgy business practices that rip people off.
Unfair trading and high pressure sales – Some business models seem to specifically target consumer vulnerabilities, exploiting consumer disadvantage and using high pressure or unscrupulous marketing tactics to drive a sale. Contracts can be complex or unusual, further manipulating consumer decision-making. Existing laws are not adaptable to stopping harm before it occurs. That’s why we will campaign for the law to be expanded to include a new “unfair trading practices” prohibition, and opt-in requirements for unsolicited sales, to give the community real protection form unaffordable, unnecessary and unwanted products and traders.
Dodgy Traders – older Victorians, second-hand car buyers and people desperate to own their own home but can’t get a mortgage – just three examples where we know people are being ripped off through shonky business practices and dodgy traders, particularly where sales are linked to commissions. We will campaign for tough compliance and enforcement by regulators, legislative reform where needed, and robust dispute resolution forums to make sure the most vulnerable in our community aren’t sitting targets for slippery spruikers.