“Consumer rights are an issue that affects every single one of us,” said Mr Mason-Cox.
“From ensuring that the household appliances we use are safe, to knowing that the traders we engage to build our home or sell us a car are licensed, NSW Fair Trading is committed to making sure that consumer rights are protected and ethical businesses are supported.”
“The breadth of NSW Fair Trading’s reach in the community can be seen in the results for the past financial year.
“The department received around 6.8 million requests for service, our website attracted more than 4 million visits and about 39,000 people took part in NSW Fair Trading free community seminars.
“NSW Fair Trading took a proactive approach to compliance and enforcement activities, conducting more than 12,000 inspections and 1,300 investigations. “That resulted in more than 1000 penalty notices issued, valued at $905,000.
“Equally impressive has been our strong prosecution record. Of the 410 cases, 95 per cent were successfully prosecuted, resulting in penalties valued at more than $2 million.
“As Fair Trading Minister, I am proud of these results and I would like to acknowledge Commissioner, Rod Stowe, and all Fair Trading staff for their great effort.’’
Themed ‘Fair Market, Fair Go’, Fair Trading Week will be celebrated between 27– 31 October and includes events right across the state.
“Our key message this year is: no matter how old you are or where you are from, NSW Fair Trading’s vision is for everyone to enjoy an ethical, fair and efficient marketplace,’’ Mr Mason-Cox said.
During the week, Mr Mason-Cox will be joining Fair Trading officers at various locations, including a scam awareness seminar in Heathcote, as well as a walking through retail centres in metropolitan and regional areas and engaging with traders and consumers.
On Tuesday, Mr Mason-Cox will visit Kiama High School to open a Money Stuff financial literacy presentation, which is part of Fair Trading’s outreach to high school students.
“Young people are engaging with the market at an increasingly younger age, especially in the online marketplace, which is why it is so important for them to be aware of their rights and encourage them to talk about money management, Mr Mason-Cox said.
“Recognising that English is not the first language for all consumers and traders, two language resources will be launched in Parramatta on Wednesday to assist people with tenancy issues.
“A video, titled ‘Help with Tenancy Problems’, along with a residential tenancy complaints fact sheet have been translated into Arabic, Mandarin and Vietnamese.
“The free Tenancy Complaint Service is a useful free resource to assist parties to resolve disputes about issues such as repairs, access to premises or inspections, condition reports and ending a tenancy,’’ Mr Mason-Cox said. Complaints from tenants, landlords and agents can be lodged online.
“This service has seen an 85 per cent success rate in dealing with complaints, which avoids the need for going down a more costly legal path,’’ he said.
Licensing is another key area of Fair Trading’s role in ensuring a fair marketplace.
“I encourage all consumers to check the licence of tradespeople through our website and engage with Fair Trading during this week,” said Mr Mason-Cox.