Central Coast consumers are set to save time and money, and have disputes with businesses resolved quicker thanks to new Fair Trading powers, Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast Scot MacDonald MLC and Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch MP said today.
Mr MacDonald said the Fair Trading Legislation Amendment (Consumer Guarantee Directions) Bill 2018 passed NSW Parliament this week, granting new powers to Fair Trading.
“The Government’s reforms will give the NSW Fair Trading Commissioner the power to direct a business to repair, replace or refund a good,” Mr MacDonald said.
“This means fair, quick and cheap resolutions for consumers and businesses, and will be an alternative to the often costly process of courts and tribunals.”
Mr MacDonald said consumers were often confused about their rights and disputes still accounted for more than 20 per cent of legal problems experienced by people in NSW.
The 2016 Australian Consumer Survey also found 76 per cent of people reported a problem within the first six months of purchasing a good.
“Ideally consumers and businesses work together to resolve issues directly; however, when this fails, Fair Trading works with them to help solve the problem.”
“If a resolution is still not possible, rather than the case going to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal or being dropped, consumers can now seek a direction that the trader repair, replace or refund the good.”
Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch said the reforms were focused on achieving better outcomes and more choice for all consumers.
“This is about enhancing Fair Trading’s existing powers to get the very best outcome for Central Coast consumers, and give businesses certainty around their obligations under Australian Consumer Law,” Mr Crouch said.
“This is a big win for consumers in our local community, as it will help to ensure they get the fair go they deserve.”
The Commissioner’s power to make directions will be focused on goods worth between $25 and $3,000, with the reforms taking effect from January 1, 2019.
To be eligible for a consumer guarantee direction, cases must meet certain criteria. For more information on the criteria, visit https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/buying-products-and-services