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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 5 Hansard (2 May) . . Page.. 1325..


Mr Berry: I withdraw my intemperate description of Mr Moore as a dill.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Berry.

Estimates 2001-2002-Select Committee

Membership

MR SPEAKER: I have been notified in writing of the nominations of Mrs Burke, Mr Hargreaves, Mr Hird, Mr Quinlan, Mr Rugendyke and Ms Tucker as members of the Select Committee on Estimates 2001-2002.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services) (10.58): I move:

That the members so nominated be appointed as members of the Select Committee on Estimates 2001-2002.

I do have an opportunity to speak to this motion, Mr Speaker, but I will decline that opportunity.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Fair Trading Amendment Bill 2001

Mr Rugendyke , pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR RUGENDYKE (10.59) I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I table the Fair Trading Amendment Bill 2001 with the aim of restraining the practice of credit providers issuing unsolicited credit card extensions. This is an amending bill to the Fair Trading Act of 1992. This amending bill inserts a new section to make it compulsory for credit providers to conduct an appropriate assessment process when issuing unsolicited credit contracts and increases in credit limits.

The uniform national consumer credit code allows credit providers to increase the credit limit under continuing credit card contracts only at the request of the debtor or with the written consent of the debtor. However, the code does not require the credit provider to assess whether the debtor has the capacity to repay the increased credit limit. The Fair Trading Act 1992 also contains provisions preventing the issue of unsolicited credit and debit cards, but this does not include the issue of unsolicited credit card limit extensions.

Credit providers presently utilise a practice of mailing out pre-approved credit extension applications to customers, sometimes in the vicinity of three times the existing limit. The debtor only has to sign the form, and the credit provider does not carry out any assessment of the debtor's financial situation before activating the increased limit. This amending bill compels credit providers to conduct such an assessment to determine


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