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Government must hurry on timeshare recommendations.



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JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

Anna Burke MP FEDERAL MEMBER FOR CHISHOLM DEPUTY CHAIR OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON CORPORATIONS AND FINANCIAL SERVICES

Chris Bowen MP FEDERAL MEMBER FOR PROSPECT

Monday September 5, 2005

Government must hurry on timeshare recommendations

The Howard Government must act promptly to implement all recommendations of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services’ report into the timeshare industry.

Ms Burke today in Parliament tabled the report, Timeshare: The Price of Leisure.

What may come as a surprise to some people is that timeshare is a boom industry. For this reason it is important that the Government quickly implements the report’s recommendations to protect consumers.

At present, many consumers incorrectly believe that a timeshare purchase is a property investment. Others are being duped by invasive and dishonest marketing.

The report found compelling evidence to indicate that, on balance, pressure selling remains a prominent element in the timeshare industry.

Labor welcomes recommendations - including a specified cooling-off period, tighter regulation of training programs and stricter disclosure requirements -aimed at stamping out high-pressure and deceptive sales techniques that have left some consumers burnt.

Of course, many consumers enjoy their current timeshare arrangements, but further regulation will only help to secure their best interests.

It is time to get real on reforming timeshare regulation. The Committee unanimously recommended continuing to regulate timeshare under the Corporations Act but noted the problems of timeshare being regulated as a managed investment so it suggested that a separate chapter be inserted into the Corporations Act to specifically deal with timeshare.

Labor calls on the government to implement the recommendations of the Corporations and Financial Services Committee - developed in bipartisan manner - with a view to balancing the interests of consumers and timeshare advisors.

Contact Jehane Sharah (Anna Burke) on 0417 140 935 or James Cullen (Chris Bowen) on 0409 719 879