Dodgy online advertising, unlicensed motor dealers, unregistered charities, and dangerous products will come under the spotlight as part of a new compliance crackdown to better protect consumers. Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman said the targeted operation by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) will deliver better services for all Queenslanders, especially vulnerable consumers. “The OFT’s Proactive Regulation of Industry and Marketplace Entities (PRIME) program involves compliance checks in key industries as well as educating business owners, to help Queenslanders where it is needed most,” the Minister said. “OFT is cracking down on dodgy practices in a range of service sectors, as well as ensuring compliance, such as with new safety requirements for button batteries or funeral pricing laws.”
“Importantly, Fair Trading will be focused on unlicensed motor dealers, the licensing and behaviour of security guards, and illegal tactics used by some real estate agents. “Conducting spot checks on businesses using illegal bait advertising techniques, particularly in the removalist services industry and online retailers, will also be a priority.”
“A recent OFT proactive operation saw compliance spot checks undertaken on 44 tattooists, with 22 subsequently being referred for investigation for possible breaches of legislation after being flagged by this program.
“In another operation targeting second-hand dealers, 18 dealers were identified for potential breaches, with 15 subsequently referred for investigation.”
During 2021-22 the OFT conducted 2,654 proactive compliance checks. From these 256 were referred for investigation. This resulted in 21 infringements, 105 official warnings and 35 compliance advice letters.
Industries in the spotlight include (2022-23):
- industry compliance with new funeral pricing laws
- motor dealers especially selling flood affected vehicles and odometer tampering
- unregistered charities
- inspections of licensees in the motor dealer, real estate, tattoo, second hand dealing
- licensing and behaviour of security guards
- unsafe products, especially button batteries
- Online advertising including bait advertising