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Minister launches Coalition's Consumer Affairs Policy



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The Hon. Warren Truss, MR Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs Deputy Leader of the House

MEDIA RELEASE 3 September 1998

MINISTER LAUNCHES COALITION’S CONSUMER AFFAIRS POLICY

The Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs, Warren Truss, launched today the Coalition’s consumer affairs policy - A Fair Deal.

Speaking at the annual conference of the Society for Consumer Affairs Professionals in Brisbane, Mr Truss confirmed the Coalition Government’s commitment to meeting the essential needs of Australia’s consumers.

Mr Truss stressed the need for accurate information to be available to consumers. “It is important for people to know what they are buying” he said.

“The Coalition will almost double funding for its public education campaign for country of origin labelling. We will spend $2.6 million over the next two years to inform business and consumers about the Government’s reforms to origin labelling”.

In July this year, the Trade Practices Act 1974 was amended to include, for the first time, clear tests for the common claims “Made in Australia” and “Product of Australia”. The amended Act restores clarity and certainty to origin labelling and will support a rejuvenated Australian Made logo.

Mr Truss said “consumers will be able to “buy Australian” with confidence. Australian producers will benefit from a regime that encourages Australian goods to be clearly identified and promoted in the market.

“The Coalition believes that a fair deal for consumers requires effective protection against unsafe products and effective enforcement of consumer protection law.

“For example, as part of the Coalition’s policy for tax reform, we will ensure that consumers retain the full benefit of the reduction in personal income tax”, he said.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will be required to monitor retail prices in order to identify instances where consumers have not fully benefited from reductions in the tax rates, or have been exposed to greater than necessary price rises.

Mr Truss said that “the Coalition will encourage all stakeholders - consumers, business and government - to participate in developing and implementing policy”.

“In all, these initiatives demonstrate the Coalition’s focus on delivering tangible benefits to Australian consumers, ensuring a safe, fair and informed market”.

Andrew Hall — Media Adviser — 02 6277 7790 0419 996 766 Email: ahall@dist.gov.au Web sites: www.dist.gov.auwww.custom s.gov.au