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Wednesday, 24 October 1984
Page: 2402

Senator Ryan —On 19 October 1984, (Hansard, pages 2072-2073) Senator Foreman asked me, as Minister representing the Minister for Home Affairs and Environment , a question without notice concerning government consideration of changes to consumer protection laws to provide for the mandatory recall or modification of unsafe goods.

The Minister for Home Affairs and Environment has provided me with the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The need to develop mandatory product recall powers has been recognised by Commonwealth, State and Territory Consumer Affairs Ministers.

Proposals for the development of both voluntary and mandatory arrangements for the recall or modification of unsafe products are being considered by the Government. A discussion paper which outlines a number of options for product recall is being developed and will be released for public comment in the early part of next year.

In relation to the safety of buoyancy vests and lifejackets, the Commonwealth/ State Consumer Products Advisory Committee is currently investigating the need to introduce a standard to ensure an adequate level of protection for the Australian consumer.

Relevant industry sectors have been asked to provide any information they may have on the safety of products currently available on the market. To date no such information has been provided to me or my Department which would demonstrate that the buoyancy vests and lifejackets available in Australia are unsafe.