Territory Stories

Annual Report Commissioner of Consumer Affairs 1990-91 and Annual Report Consumer of Motor Vehicles Dealers 1990



Annual Report Commissioner of Consumer Affairs 1990-91 and Annual Report Consumer of Motor Vehicles Dealers 1990

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Tabled Paper 1022


Tabled Papers for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




Tabled by Daryl Manzie


Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




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POLICY DEVELOPMENT During 1990/91 major changes were ushered in for Consumer Affairs with the implementation of a package of legislative reforms resulting from the Repot of the Working Group that conducted a review of Consumer Affairs Policy and Legislation. The decision to conduct the review several years ago was in recognition of the need to strengthen the role of Consumer Affairs. It was found that existing legislation in the Territory had been introduced in a piecemeal fashion over many years, without any adherence to a consistent policy. When the Report of the Working Group was released for public comment in May 1988, it received overwhelming public support and favourable comment. The package of reforms covers a wide range of initiatives that reflect modem business realities and community expectations. They provide both consumers and traders with greater clarifica tion about rights, responsibilities and methods of resolving disputes. PASSAGE OF THE CONSUMER AFFAIRS AND FAIR TRADING ACT 1990 Following a concentrated and intensive period of public consultation subsequent to the tabling of the draft Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading Bill in February 1990, a slightly revised Bill was introduced in the May 1990 sittings of the Legislative Assembly. It was passed in the August 1990 sittings and assented to by the NT Administrator in October 1990. The major provisions commenced in early April 1991, mostnotable of them being the provisions covering Fair Trading (mirroring Part V of the Trade Practices Act) and the revamped powers of the Commissioner of Consumer Affairs and staff, and those aspects relating to product safety and means of ready redress. The provisions covering Motor Vehicle Dealers and Travel Agents are yet to commence and on going discussions will continue with industry bodies on the drafting of suitable regulations before either of the provisions are commenced. PASSAGE OF THE TRADE MEASUREMENT ACT At the SCOCAM (Standing Committee of Consumer Affairs Ministers) Perth meeting in August 1990, the Northern Territory Minister, along with all other Ministers, (apart from Western Australia), signed an agreement at the request of the Prime Minister to implement and maintain the uniformity of the Trade Measurement Bill. The uniform legislation was developed after several years work by a joint Working Party of Commonwealth, State and Territory officials. The Trade Measurement Act, which replaced the previous Weights and Measures legislation, commenced operation in May 1991 (after the local regulations woe finalised). The Northern Territory was the first jurisdiction in Australia to bring this legislation into effect. 8

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