President’s Chat: Jan – February 2006

We hope you find our first newsletter for 2006 is bursting with issues of direct interest to you as a consumer.

We are heading into a big year for Building Legislation reviews. The Issues Paper for the Home Building Contracts Act review was released in January and the Builders’ Registration (soon to be “Licensing”) Act Issues paper should be released over the next few weeks. Submissions close on Tuesday 18th April 2006. Copies of the issues paper (106 pages) can be downloaded from www.docep.wa.gov.au/reviews

The CAWA website is soon to be updated so have a look in a couple of weeks (or so) and there should be some timely changes.

Thank you to Rhonda for drafting a CAWA submission to the recent review of the vehicle rental industry, an industry with too much fine print and not enough certainty for consumers, particularly concerning damage liability and insurance.

The biggest local consumer issue in the last weeks has been the Potato Marketing Board. Glenda Lewis was involved with a review of the Potato Marketing Board several years ago and commented that all the ‘old chestnuts are back’. She suggested the need to consider the fact that the potatoes being sold aren’t general eating ones but processing potatoes that are grown for a different market – not that this means that there is anything wrong with the potatoes. She also suggested we should look at what deregulation has done to potato supplies in the Eastern States – and maybe get some feedback from consumers in SA, Vic and NSW. And also have a look at what deregulation has done for the milk industry in WA before we develop a position on this issue. Additional ‘potato’ information can be found on pages 5 and 6 of the newsletter.

Genette Keating

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