New initiative aims to keep scams out of Indigenous communities

The ACCC and state and territory consumer affairs agencies have today launched a new scams awareness initiative called ‘Too good to be true’, and will work with Indigenous communities on ways to identify and avoid scammers.

The project is being managed under the National Indigenous Consumer Strategy (NICS), and is aimed at engaging, educating and empowering Indigenous consumers to stay one step ahead of scammers.

NICS members include the ACCC as the NICS Chair, ASIC, state consumer affairs agencies and the Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network (ICAN).

Court finds that Birubi Art misled consumers over fake Indigenous Australian art

The Federal Court has found that Birubi Art Pty Ltd (Birubi) made false or misleading representations that products it sold were made in Australia and hand painted by Australian Aboriginal persons, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

From July 2015 to November 2017 Birubi sold over 18,000 boomerangs, bullroarers, digeridoos and message stones to retail outlets around Australia.

These products, despite featuring designs associated with Australian Aboriginal art and words such as ‘Aboriginal Art’, ‘genuine’, and ‘Australia’, were made in Indonesia.

Action plan to help Indigenous Australians with consumer issues

Consumer issues including scams, unscrupulous door- to-door sellers, and discrimination in the housing market headline some of the key priority areas in the National Indigenous Consumer Strategy (NICS) Action Plan 2017–2019.

NICS members are the ACCC, ASIC, state consumer affairs agencies and the Indigenous Consumer Action Network (ICAN). We work together to ensure that issues affecting Indigenous Australians are given a priority within each of our agencies and organisations.

Yarrabah community takes a stand against unlawful door-to-door traders

The Aboriginal community of Yarrabah in north Queensland today hosted the launch of the “Do Not Knock informed” communities program, with the unveiling of new roadside signage designed to warn door-to-door traders not to trade unlawfully.

The signage, located at the entrance of Yarrabah, reminds door-to-door traders about their legal obligations under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and that they must not approach houses displaying do-not-knock notices.

ACCC supporting Indigenous artists to protect themselves

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has launched two new short films at an event hosted by the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) in Alice Springs today.

The first film provides advice to Indigenous artists about their rights when negotiating with dealers to on sell their artwork, and the second on how to avoid being scammed.  

The films were developed with the assistance of CAAMA and feature Indigenous actors.

Jackson Anni and FDRA sales agents not to enter Indigenous communities to sell goods or services

FDRA Pty Ltd (FDRA) (formerly known as Angel Digital) and its director Mr Jackson Anni have given undertakings to the Federal Court not to enter any Indigenous community in Australia or the Royal Darwin Hospital and its associated hostels to sell any goods or services for a period of 5 years, following action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Federal Court dismisses ACCC case against travelling tax agent in remote Indigenous communities

The Federal Court in Darwin today dismissed a case brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission against a travelling tax agent, Mr Wayne Wright, and his company Adata (Vic) Pty Ltd (Adata).

The ACCC had alleged that Adata and Mr Wright had breached the unsolicited selling provisions of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) when providing tax return services to consumers in remote Aboriginal communities in the NT and WA, including Santa Teresa, Titjikala, and Balgo.

Wujal Wujal community puts door-to-door traders on notice

An Australia-first community partnership was launched in Wujal Wujal with the unveiling of roadside signage designed to minimise consumer harm from unlawful door-to-door trade.

The signage, placed on both entrances into the Far North Queensland Indigenous community, reminds door-to-door traders they have legal obligations to consumers and can’t approach houses displaying do-not-knock notices.  It is also hoped that the signage helps to empower Wujal Wujal residents to understand and assert their rights under the Australian Consumer Law.