Page 1733 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 4 May 2005

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Wednesday, 4 May 2005

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Office of Fair Trading

Debate resumed from 6 April 2005, on motion by Ms MacDonald:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

(a) the Office of Fair Trading continues to enhance its activities to the benefit of the ACT community;

(b) successful prosecutions have been undertaken of traders in the fitness, real estate, motor vehicle and credit provider industries that have acted against the interests of consumers; and

(c) a wide ranging licensing and enforcement regime has maintained a high level of professionalism amongst businesses and has resulted in increased protection to ACT consumers; and

(2) recognises the achievements of the Office of Fair Trading and acknowledges the important contribution made by the Office to the well-being of the Canberra community.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (10.32): I rise to express my support for Ms MacDonald’s statements about the activities of the Office of Fair Trading. I would like to recognise, in addition, a number of other community and consumer initiatives of the Stanhope government.

The Fair Trading Advisory Committee was re-formed in June 2004. The charter of this committee, featuring representation from business interests, consumer agencies and community groups, is to advise the ACT government on consumer policy. The value of these special interest groups having direct access to the ACT government and a strong influence on consumer policy is inestimable. I am sure that the ACT community will continue to be well served by this committee.

I would also like to recognise a number of specific activities of the Office of Fair Trading. In March 2004, the office undertook a targeted alcohol awareness program at Canberra Stadium. The program enjoyed the double success of prosecutions arising from the purchase, supply and consumption of alcohol by minors and an adult supplying alcohol to a minor and of raising overall public awareness of youth-related alcohol issues.

The office has raised its community profile through an ongoing presence at the Royal Canberra Show. Initially from its own display and latterly as part of the award-winning ACT government display at this year’s show, the office has used popular promotional

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