WHAT VICTORIA NEEDS

In every corner of Victoria, cost-of-living pressures are affecting more and more people. Whether it is electricity bills, housing costs or credit cards, many Victorians are experiencing escalating levels of financial stress. Our platform for fair and affordable is based on practical, researched solutions to the issues that our financial counsellors and solicitors see harming Victorians every day.

Introduce a fair price guarantee for electricity and gas
Last years’ independent and bipartisan review of Victoria’s retail energy market proposed a “Basic Service Offer” as its headline reform, designed to rein in runaway retail energy charges.

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Increase the URGS cap and improve access
The Utility Relief Grant Scheme (URGS) has been in place in Victoria for over 20 years and plays a valuable role, supporting vulnerable households at risk of accumulating energy debts.

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Take disconnections out of the hands of retailers
In 2016/17, 28,628 Victorian households had their electricity disconnected, and 17,494 households were disconnected from gas.

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A quick, free and fair alternative for Victorians who buy lemon cars
It’s no surprise that over 9 in 10 Victorians* believe it should be easy to get a refund or repair from the car dealer for a defective car. But this is simply not the experience for many Victorians who find themselves lumped with a lemon.

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Ninety additional Financial Counsellors for Victoria
Even a small interest rate rise could have catastrophic effects on mortgaged households showing signs of financial stress. Early intervention through financial counselling can help households manage mortgage and broader financial stress, but these require more financial counselling resources.

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Establish a retirement housing ombudsman
Retirement housing residents need access to an industry funded ombudsman service, to provide free, fair and binding determination of retirement housing disputes, across the full spectrum of retirement housing types.

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Put a stop to excessive retirement housing fees
Retirement housing exit fees are currently unregulated and open to exploitation by operators. These fees appear to have no relationship to the value of the services provided.

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Introduce mandatory minimum retirement housing training and accreditation standards
Shockingly, there are no minimum training or accreditation requirements for retirement housing operators. Residential parks are not even registered with Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV).

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Reduce the complexity of retirement housing contracts
It is not uncommon for retirement housing contracts to exceed 100 pages in length. Lawyers at the Consumer Action Law Centre recently described these contracts as ‘some of the worst [they] had ever seen’.

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FIND OUT MORE

Consumer Action has a range of reports, submissions and factsheets to further your understanding of our platform for fairer and more affordable outcomes for Victorians

ENERGY PRICES

ACCESS TO JUSTICE

RETIREMENT HOUSING

CONTACT US

Mick Bellairs, Campaigns and Communications Officer

michaelb@consumeraction.org.au
03 8554 6915