Indigenous education campaign launched

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Consumer Protection today launched an education campaign to combat unfair trading and high pressure sales practices in regional and remote Indigenous communities.

Acting Commissioner David Hillyard said consumer protection agencies from around Australia were working together to address the disadvantages faced by Aboriginal consumers. Western Australia has played a leading role in the national strategy by producing a song, video and radio advert to be used across all States and Territories.

"Indigenous consumers, particularly in regional and remote communities, often face lack of choice and competition and restricted access to services," Mr Hillyard said.

"As a result, they also see unscrupulous traders who are willing to take advantage of vulnerable people. Regulators are educating Indigenous consumers, providing them with information to protect themselves in day to day transactions.

"A key way that the message will be delivered is through a song written and produced by WA Aboriginal Corporation Abmusic and a video to accompany it."

This morning, the song was performed live at a special NAIDOC Week event at Curtin University's Centre for Aboriginal Studies. The video premiered on a large screen.

Mr Hillyard also praised Noongar Radio's role in producing an advert which will be used in a national Indigenous radio advertising campaign.

"The advert highlights consumer rights during door to door sales, such as a 10 business day cooling off period. It's great that it was created in Perth.

"You can listen to the song, view the video and hear the radio advert by logging on to www.commerce.wa.gov.au/indigenous."

Consumer Protection has also developed a series of publications under the heading 'Ask Us', regarding issues known to be affecting Aboriginal communities, including book-up.

In addition to accessing this information, Mr Hillyard encouraged Indigenous consumers and community organisations to report instances of unfair trading practices via the National Indigenous Hotline 1300 303 143.

The hotline operates between 8.30am and 8pm Eastern Standard Time (6.30am-6pm in WA).

"Early reporting of these matters is critical," Mr Hillyard said.

"The Australian Consumer Law must be applied equally in all communities and I urge Indigenous Australians to take advantage of the support and services available.

"Together we can improve equity in the marketplace and drive out dubious operators who traditionally prey on our communities and individuals."

Alternatively consumers can call 1300 30 40 54 to access Consumer Protection's WA-based Indigenous community education officers. The department also has six regional offices in Albany, Bunbury, Broome, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie and Karratha.

END OF RELEASE

(Consumer Protection is a division of the Department of Commerce)

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Media Contact: Alina Cavanagh
9282 0679 or 0423-846397
alina.cavanagh@commerce.wa.gov.au

Consumer Protection
Media release
04 Jul 2012

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