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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2358 ..

MR DE DOMENICO: It hurts. You have not got used to being in opposition yet. You never will. Mr Speaker, we will continue to espouse this Government's and this party's policies. This Government's policies are the reasons why we are in government. The majority of the people in this Assembly, and over 40 per cent of the people in the ACT, chucked that lot out. They had had enough of them because they did nothing. Graham Richardson chucked them out, and do you blame him?

Consumer Affairs - Equipment for the Disabled

MS McRAE: My question is to Mr Humphries in his capacity as Minister for Consumer Affairs. Mr Humphries, what recourse does a member of the community have when faulty equipment for the disabled is offered for sale?

Mr Humphries: I am sorry. Would you repeat the last part of the question?

MS McRAE: Faulty equipment for the disabled is offered for sale.

MR HUMPHRIES: Legislation already in place in the ACT - the Sale of Goods Act, the Trade Practices Act and so on - provides for certain rights of people to seek a refund of the cost of goods if the material that they have purchased does not work to their requirements. I can get Ms McRae a detailed statement of the situation in respect of the law, but essentially there is an implied warranty in goods that are sold to people who are disabled, or anybody else for that matter, that the goods will suit the purpose for which they have been supplied. If a person buys an electric toothbrush, for argument's sake, it is an implied warranty that the voltage will match the voltage of any ordinary Australian home, and so on.

I am not sure what Ms McRae is getting at with her question; but if, for example, a disabled person were to buy a product which is suitable for the use of a non-disabled person and the product once purchased does not meet the requirements of that disabled person, there is a question then as to whether the purchaser made clear when making the purchase that the product was required for certain purposes. If they did make that clear, and they were supplied in those circumstances and it does not meet those requirements, then the person has a right to take some action under the Sale of Goods Act. That would require a refund of their money or the replacement of those goods with something that did meet their requirements.

MS McRAE: I will put a bit more detail into the supplementary question, Mr Humphries, because it is a genuine question. As it happened, there was a faulty wheelchair sold from a pharmacy in Red Hill. The question was: What can you do if in fact the item was faulty before you purchased it? That was the intent of the question. If it is faulty to begin with, what recourse do you have against the seller of the item perhaps knowingly selling it in a faulty condition?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, those opposite complain about the sort of catty remarks from this side of the chamber. Is it really any wonder - - -

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