Spotlight on scams, tenancy, vulnerable communities
- New Consumer Justice Strategy initiatives identified
- Call for banks and industry to do more on scam protection
- Tenancy law reforms, automotive industry compliance are other top priorities
Lobbying Australian banks to improve scam prevention strategies, tightening tenancy laws, and improving support for vulnerable Western Australians are among the upcoming consumer focused priorities for the Cook Government.
The priorities are included in the 2023-24 iteration of the Consumer Justice Strategy which sets out Consumer Protection's guiding principles for the five-year period between 2021-2025.
Scams are a key focus area in 2023-24, and Consumer Protection will continue calling for Australian banks to increase resources to combat scammers, including establishing payee confirmation, and a compensation scheme.
Work will also continue with real estate, settlement agent, and car dealer industries to develop and implement better business practices to reduce the risk of payment redirection scams.
Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1987, announced in May 2023, will soon be implemented, and laws surrounding unfair contract terms enforced around the cancellation of flights, holidays and events.
Another key 2023-24 Consumer Protection priority involves working collaboratively with Government and community-based organisations to improve the financial literacy of survivors of family and domestic violence, women with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, and women from non-English speaking backgrounds, along with our Seniors.
Compliance inspections will also be undertaken in the automotive industry, with a focus on odometer tampering, unlicensed dealing, and alleged breaches of the Australian Consumer Law by dealers, repairers, and tow truck drivers.
The complete Consumer Justice Strategy 2021-25 is available at: dmirs.wa.gov.au/consumer-justice-strategy
Comments attributed to Commerce Minister Sue Ellery:
"I am proud to present my first iteration of the Cook Government's Consumer Justice Strategy 2021–25, which continues to have a strong theme of enhancing support for vulnerable communities, including seniors.
"I have attended and will continue to attend regular scam forums to educate and better protect the community.
"There was also the launch of the motor vehicle campaign this year with a new checklist - designed to help consumers looking to buy a used car - privately or from a dealer - and avoid driving away with a lemon.
"I look forward to working with Consumer Protection to continue to ensure safe and fair trading for consumers, businesses, landlords and tenants in WA."