Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)
Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Tuesday 27 February 1990 definitions including the expanded meaning of 'consumer'. Part II is headed 'consumer affairs commissioner and council'. Division 1, the role and functions of the Commissioner of Consumer Affairs, is redefined and expanded with an emphasis on fair trading. Division 2 provides for the appointment and functions of the Consumer Affairs Council as an advisory body to the minister. Part III, authorised officers, establishes the authority, powers and functions of the staff of the commissioner who will assist in the administration of this legislation. Part IV, product safety and product information, contains a comprehensive range of uniform provisions relating to consumer product safety and information standards, product recall, and enforcement and remedies. Where necessary, these provisions are adapted to suit Northern Territory conditions without jeopardising the undoubted benefits of uniformity. In part V, fair trading, division 1 provides for the prohibition of unfair trade practices. The fair trading division mirrors the relevant provisions of the Commonwealth Trade Practices Act. The provisions contain a general prohibition against misleading or deceptive conduct. Certain forms of conduct are prohibited, such as false or misleading representation in relation to goods or services, bait advertising, pyramid selling, liability of recipient of unsolicited goods, and other provisions. There is also a general prohibition of unconscionable conduct. It is aimed at conduct which is unfair or unreasonable and which results from a strong party to a transaction taking advantage of that position to the detriment of others. Division 2, implied conditions and warranties in consumer transactions, contains a uniform provision which will apply to all consumer contracts for goods or services, and which will ensure that certain non-excludable conditions and warranties apply. Division 3, actions against manufacturers and importers of goods, contains a uniform provision which confers on consumers certain non-excludable rights of action against manufacturers or importers of goods. Division 4, transactions involving credit providers, conta ins a un iform provi s ion whi ch recogn i ses the concept of the '1 inked creditor provider', in effect making the supplier and financier both liable in certain circumstances where a consumer suffers loss or damage in relation to goods or servi ces whi ch the consumer has acqui red from the supp 1 i er on the basis of credit provided by the financier. Part VI is enforcement of parts IV and V and remedies. It contains uniform provisions dealing with contraventions of parts IV and V. The penalties mirror those of the Trade Practices Act with breaches attracting penalties in certain circumstances of up to $20 000 for individuals or $100 000 for corporations. Other contraventions may give rise to the use of injunctions in order to restrain or prevent certain undesirable practices. Part VII, door-to-door trading, contains uniform provisions which modernise and strengthen the controls over door-to-door selling practices and behaviour. Part VIII, fair reporting, gives everyone the right to know when i nformat i on of a commerci a 1 nature concern i ng them has been reported to a trader by a 'professional' reporting agency and to have errors corrected. It relates especially to credit rating or 'worthiness' reporting. Part IX, trading stamps, contains a provi sion which prohibits third party trading stamp schemes and trading stamp promotions associated with cigarettes and tobacco products. Part X, motor vehicle dealers, contains comprehensive 8754
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