FAIR TRADING FOCUS ON SUPERIOR SERVICE TO SAFEGUARD CONSUMERS
12 June 2012
NSW Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts said the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government would invest $163.5 million in Fair Trading services and support in 2012-13.
“Fair Trading effectiveness in conflict resolution and mediation will remain a focus, as will well-targeted compliance action in key industries such as home building, motor dealers and repairers, and real estate,” the Minister said.
“This Budget also ensures that Fair Trading is prepared and able to advance our ambitious legislative reform agenda which covers strata and community title scheme reform, motor vehicle dealers and repairers legislation, residential parks and home building.
“Fair Trading will also play a key role in licensing and effecting compliance in tattoo parlours, working with NSW Police.”
The Minister said $17 million in community grants would be distributed across the following programs:
• $9 million under the Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy Program to fund non-profit organisations to provide advice, information, education and advocacy for tenants across New South Wales.
• $6 million under the Financial Counselling Services Program to fund financial counsellors across New South Wales who provide services to consumers (particularly low income or disadvantaged members of the community), as well as funding a debt hotline, a consumer legal service and accredited training in financial counselling or community education for personal finance.
• $2 million to fund non-profit organisations to administer the No Interest Loans Scheme - a community managed state-wide microcredit program, which provides interest-free loans to low-income earners for essential goods and services.
An essential upgrade of the web-based customer assistance system, used by Fair Trading to access information and for dispute resolution and complaint investigation management, will be completed with an allocation of $2 million.
Mr Roberts said Fair Trading received more than 8.5 million requests for its services in 2010-2011.
“This includes more than 42,000 official complaints from consumers and traders,” he said.
“Nearly 90 percent of complaints were successfully resolved with early intervention, a testament to the skills of Fair Trading staff and the relevance of the agency in the modern market.
“Fair Trading will continue to take its services into the regions through regular compliance and education programs, as well as through its network of Fair Trading offices across the state.”
For more information about Fair Trading go to: www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.