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Disposal of Uncollected Goods Bill 2019

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 26 September 2019

Tags: Legislation

Dr WOODRUFF (Franklin) - Madam Speaker, the Greens support this updated bill. It is important that we update ourselves with the substantial changes that have happened since the original act of 1968, which was light years away in terms of the modes of communication and the modes of retail purchasing and the interactions between businesses and consumers that we have today. Clearly, the form of interactions and picking up of goods, as well as payment of goods, is vastly different now to then. We support the streamlining and the clarification that this bill provides.

It seems as though the safeguards are generally appropriate. Some of the questions that the member for Lyons, Ms Butler, asked were questions that the Greens had, so I will not repeat them because I believe the minister has already heard them. I would like to hear from the minister about one of the requirements that the bill now requires the Director of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading, amongst other things, to keep the threshold dollar value of value categories up-to-date. I believe this bill places a number of new requirements on the Director of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading. I wondered what the resourcing requirements would be in order to enable them to undertake what they are now required to do in the bill, whether that would be onerous, and whether there was some additional resourcing of the Director of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading that the Government is considering providing so that work can be done.

Some examples the minister gave in the second reading speech about motor vehicle guides and so on, clearly, a motor vehicle is a big, solid and fairly easy to value item but there are so many other things that this bill covers, which is every other thing that can be purchased. There is a lot of variation, a lot of change and a lot of churn in consumer items. I wonder how realistic it is, how big those categories are, and how much detail is required for the Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading director to go into. How often would they need to be updated? It sounds like a pretty big job to me, but someone has to do it.


Ms Archer - Do you mean the dollar values?


Dr WOODRUFF - Yes, the value categories, a bit more detail about how that is going to happen and what the resourcing costs will be and how long it will take for that to happen.

On behalf not only of business owners but of consumers, this bill provides really important clarity and it is certainly welcome. We support the bill and do not have any real reason to go into committee, subject to the comments that the minister makes to the questions that have already been asked.