Sky lantern seller fined in WA consumer law first

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A Perth newsagency owner has been fined $1,000 for selling a sky lantern, in the first conviction of its kind in WA under the Australian Consumer Law.

Sky lanterns have been banned from sale across Australia since 2011 due to the fire risk they pose, especially in areas with bush land.

In October 2012 a product safety officer from Consumer Protection found one of the sky lanterns on sale at Wing Loong News and Book store in William Street.

Sole proprietor Liang Chao Lu today pleaded guilty at the Perth Magistrates Court to breaching the Australian Consumer Law, by selling a permanently banned good. As well as a $1,000 fine, she must pay $646.88 in costs.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll hopes the penalty acts as a warning.

“Businesses cannot sell banned items and must ensure products comply with relevant mandatory standards before they are offered for sale – this is to keep consumers safe.

“Sky lanterns have been banned from the Australian marketplace for a significant amount of time, due to the potential risk of the open flame starting a fire when it lands on the ground; especially in bush-fire prone areas. There have been reported instances overseas where sky lanterns have caused fires resulting in significant damage and harm to wildlife, livestock, homes and factories.”

The Commissioner urged businesses and consumers to familiarise themselves with consumer law, especially permanent bans that are in place.

“Any contravention of the Australian Consumer Law, particularly the sale of a permanently banned good, is very serious due to the potential risk of harm to the community,” she said.

“Information and advice about product safety is available at www.productsafety.gov.au where businesses can register for email alerts specific to product categories of interest. Consumers and businesses can view current product recalls at www.recalls.gov.au.

“Further information about the Australian Consumer Law can be found at: www.consumerlaw.gov.au or on the Consumer Protection website: www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumerprotection.”

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
08 Nov 2013

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