Proposed ticket scalping legislation – CBS news

Fair Trading (Ticket Scalping) Amendment Bill 2018

This Bill was introduced into Parliament on 30 May 2018 and aims to increase consumer protection around ticket scalping.

It will be illegal for anyone to sell tickets or advertise the sale of tickets at a price that is more than 110% of the original ticket price.

The law will apply to ticket sales for all sporting and entertainment events in South Australia (SA), where the event is subject to a resale restriction. An event will no longer need to be declared as a ‘major event’ in order for ticket scalping protections to apply.

It will also be an offence for anyone to use ‘ticket bots’ or other software to purchase tickets to an event in SA.

Ticket reselling will be allowed, as long as the advertised price is capped at 110% of the original ticket price and provided that certain information is disclosed in the advertisement.

The Fair Trading (Ticket Scalping) Amendment Bill 2018 is available at www.legislation.sa.gov.au


Labour hire laws – CBS news

The State Government has received a number of submissions from stakeholders raising various issues in relation to the Labour Hire Licensing Scheme that commenced on 1 March 2018.

Compliance with the Act was planned to commence from 1 September 2018.  To enable proper consideration of the submissions received and to allow sufficient time for the issues raised to be appropriately addressed, the Commissioner has advised that at this stage, Consumer and Business Services (CBS) will not enforce the licensing requirements prior to 1 February 2019.  Therefore, businesses may wish to postpone seeking a licence until further information is available from CBS.

CBS is working to provide further information to industry as soon as possible, following consideration of the issues that have been raised.

Concerns about unscrupulous labour hire providers can be reported as below:

  • Fair Work Ombudsman – To discuss or report concerns including pay, leave, ending employment, discrimination, and sham contracting. Visit the webpage Help us keep workplaces fair
  • Safe Work SA – To discuss or report concerns including safety, inadequate safety training, and worksite accidents. Visit sa.gov.au

 

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The Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 commenced on 1 March 2018.

Anyone who operates as a labour hire provider in South Australia must be licensed. It will also be unlawful for employers to use the services of an unlicensed operator.

See additional information for labour hire providers including:

  • who must be licensed
  • responsible persons
  • licence criteria
  • fees
  • objections to licence applications.

If you have any queries about labour hire licensing please telephone CBS on 8204 8512.


Winter safety tips

Many winter products can be unsafe if they are old, faulty or used incorrectly. To help you stay safe while keeping warm this winter, here are our top tips.

Heaters

No matter what type of heater you have, check it every winter to make sure it’s safe to use. Check the electrical cables and make sure there are no exposed wires or loose connections. Only use one appliance per power point and switch each appliance off when not in use.

Gas heaters must be vented adequately as the carbon monoxide produced when the gas is burnt is odourless, colourless and deadly. It is important to have gas heaters serviced regularly by a qualified tradesperson to ensure there are no carbon monoxide leaks.

Safety tips

  • Heaters should be placed on a flat, level surface
  • Never use a gas heater or BBQ made for outdoor use inside your home
  • Always supervise children and pets when heaters are in use
  • Keep heaters well clear from items that might burn. A minimum of 1 metre clearance from clothes, bedding, furniture, curtains and other combustibles is recommended.

Fireplaces

Regular maintenance of fireplaces, combustion heaters, flues and chimneys must be undertaken by a qualified person at least once a year (at the start of winter) to ensure that the heater or fireplace works properly and safely.

Safety tips

  • Place a mesh screen in front of your fireplace to prevent sparks and wood falling out
  • Make sure the chimney is clean and properly ventilated
  • Never use petrol, oil or kerosene to help light the fire. They could cause an explosion.

Insulation

A well-insulated and well-designed home can halve the cost of cooling and heating. Selecting the right insulation and having it correctly installed is a once only cost. It will last the life of the building with no further maintenance cost.

Unfortunately over 11,000 house fires and 60 fatalities have been linked to non-compliant insulation in Australia and New Zealand.

Safety tips

  • Always use a qualified installer for insulation
  • If you are doing home repairs do not move insulation and ensure it is not over or around recessed light fittings
  • Keep foil products away from electrical power outlets or lights, as they can conduct electricity through the metal reflective covering.

Hot water bottles

Hot water bottles are made of rubber or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and can deteriorate with age. Each year, 200 people in Australia are treated for serious burns from hot water bottles.

Safety tips

  • Don’t overfill or use boiling water – use hot tap water instead
  • Avoid direct contact with your skin – use a fitted cover or wrap the bottle before use
  • Never leave on one body part for more than 20 minutes.

Electric blankets

If your electric blanket has been stored away, inspect it before use. Look for frayed fabric, exposed elements, damaged cords or scorch marks. If you notice any damage, throw the blanket away. Damaged or faulty electric blankets can cause an electric shock or a fire.

Safety tips

  • Don’t sleep with your electric blanket on – warm the bed and then turn it off
  • Never place heavy items on your bed when the electric blanket is turned on
  • Seek advice about using an electric blanket if you have diabetes or are pregnant
  •  If you remove your electric blanket after winter, always store it rolled up.

Wheat/heat packs

Follow the heating instructions for your wheat bag and never heat more than instructed. Homemade wheat bags can pose a fire and injury risk because the moisture content and volume of these bags is not known so there are no heating times to guide you. Over time the organic fillings inside wheat packs can dry out and become more combustible.

Safety Tips

Don’t place a heated wheat pack on or under bedding. Blankets trap the product’s heat and may cause it to ignite.

Allow the wheat pack to cool completely each time before reheating

If you notice a burning smell, let the bag cool and then dispose of it.

Children’s clothing

Each year Australian children are admitted to hospital with burns sustained after their clothing has caught fire. Even if clothing items have a ‘low fire danger’ label they are still flammable.

Safety tips

  • Be cautious of children’s clothing purchased online or from overseas. They may not be subject to Australian standards
  • Keep your child away from open flames and heaters
  • Avoid buying loose fitting sleepwear, dressing gowns and clothing which could easily catch alight.

Smoke alarms

More than 50 people across Australia die each year from house fires and many more are injured. The majority of these homes did not have working smoke alarms. Only working smoke alarms can provide early warning and time to escape. You lose your sense of smell when you are asleep. A working smoke alarm reduces your chance of dying in a house fire by half.

Safety tips

  • Test your smoke alarm is working every month
  • Replace your alarm battery every year
  • Replace your smoke alarm every 10 years. If you move house, check the alarm – the date of manufacture should be displayed on the smoke alarm.

Candles, matches and lighters

Candles can look and smell nice, but they are one of the most common causes of house fires. Extinguish a candle prior to leaving a room or before going to sleep. Ensure the wick ember is no longer glowing.

Safety Tips

  • Store matches and lighters in a safe place, out of reach of children
  • Never leave children alone with any open flame
  • Keep lit candles away from combustible material – e.g. curtains, bedding, clothing.

Mould

While mould is not a major health hazard for most people, it can present problems for pregnant women, children and people with weakened immune systems or chronic lung diseases. Vulnerable people should not be present when mould is removed.

Safety Tips

  • Open windows and doors each day to ventilate your home and reduce mould growth
  • Don’t let it settle in, clean up mould as soon as you notice it
  • Scrub mould off hard surfaces using soapy water. All the mould must be physically removed to prevent regrowth
  • Scrub up to 50cm from the edge of the visible mould as there may be new growth that is not visible to the naked eye.
  • Clean up any mould residue caused by the scrubbing. Use a damp cloth or vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter
  • Dry the area and then find and fix the source of the moisture.

For more information about product safety – including safety warning notices, recalls, bans and new safety standards – please visit www.productsafety.gov.au


Tow truck business agrees to cease selling cars without a dealer’s licence – assurance

The director of a South Australian tow truck business and mechanical workshop has been put on notice for allegedly selling vehicles without ever holding a second hand dealer’s licence.

Consumer and Business Services has alleged that Matti’s Towing sold seven vehicles without a licence from February 2016 to January 2017, ranging from $250 to $900.

Mr Caridi, director of Matti’s Towing, acknowledged that is likely that he and the company breached the Second Hand Vehicle Dealers Act 1995, which states that a person cannot carry on a business as a second-hand vehicle dealer without the appropriate licence.

Mr Caridi has entered into a written assurance with Consumer and Business Services, agreeing to no longer sell second-hand cars unless he obtains a licence.

Written assurances are formal undertakings that may be used in certain circumstances, in place of enforcement actions such as prosecution or disciplinary action.

If an individual or a business fails to comply with the conditions of the assurance, they may be prosecuted.

Find out more about licence requirements for used car dealers.

Signed assurance (PDF 130KB)


Car re-sellers put on notice – assurances

Four South Australians have been put on notice after allegedly selling cars without a second hand vehicle dealer’s licence.

An investigation by Consumer and Business Services revealed that:

  • Peter William Somers of Cooltong was believed to have bought, sold or offered for sale nine cars for between $750 and $5,000 between August 2016 and August 2017
  • Wayne Scott Harvey of Craigmore was alleged to have bought or sold 12 cars through monetary payment or by way of vehicle exchange within an 11-month period
  • James Arthur Gordon of Waterloo Corner allegedly bought, sold or offered for sale 16 vehicles between July 2016 and July 2017
  • Melissa Ann Brooksby of Waterloo Corner was believed to have bought and/or sold five vehicles between July 2016 and July 2017 for between $400 and $6500.

All were potential breaches of the Second Hand Vehicle Dealers Act 1995.

Under the Act, a person cannot carry on a business as a second-hand vehicle dealer without the appropriate licence.

Following discussions with Consumer and Business Services, Mr Somers, Mr Harvey, Mr Gordon and Ms Brooksby have all entered into written assurances with CBS – agreeing they will no longer carry on business as a second hand car dealer without the appropriate licence.

Written assurances and undertakings are formal undertakings that may be used in certain circumstances, in place of enforcement actions such as prosecution or disciplinary action.

If an individual or a business fails to comply with the conditions of the Assurance, they may be prosecuted.

Find out more about licence requirements for used car dealers.

Peter William Somers signed assurance (PDF 105KB)

Wayne Scott Harvey signed assurance (PDF 95KB)

James Arthur Gordon signed assurance (PDF 95KB)

Melissa Ann Brooksby signed assurance (PDF 104KB)


Is this for real? Don’t fall for the scammer’s threats

It could be quite alarming to get a phone call or email from someone threatening that you’ll be fined or arrested or that your computer will be shut down. But this Scams Awareness Week we’re urging consumers to take a moment to ‘Stop and check: is this for real?’

Scammers may pretend to be from a government agency or a well-known business and their aim is to scare you into parting with your money or personal information.

The ACCC’s Scamwatch received almost 33,000 reports of these scams in 2017. Over $4.7 million was reported lost and more than 2800 people gave their personal information to these scammers.

How these scams work

Scammers may claim that you have a tax debt or there are problems with your government benefits, immigration papers or visa status. They say you must pay them money or give them remote access to your computer immediately otherwise:

  • you’ll be fined or charged additional fees
  • your internet will be disconnected
  • the police or debt collectors will be sent to your home
  • you’ll be taken to court, arrested or deported.

They may send you an email with an attachment or a link to download proof of the ‘bill’, ‘fine’ or ‘missed delivery details’. But if you open the attachment or download the file it could infect your computer with malware.

Tips to protect yourself

  • When dealing with uninvited contacts always consider the possibility that it may be a scam.
  • Check whether the contact is genuine. Use the phone book or do an online search to contact the company and ask if they contacted you. Don’t use contact details provided by the caller or in the message they sent to you.
  • If a caller threatens you, hang up, then check whether their story is real. Speak to a trusted friend or family member about what has happened.
  • Don’t respond to threatening emails or voicemail messages. If you call them back the scammers may increase their intimidation and attempts to get your money.
  • Never send money or give your bank account details, credit card details or other personal information to anyone you don’t know or trust, and never by email or over the phone.
  • A government agency or trusted business will never ask you to pay by unusual methods such as with gift cards, iTunes cards, wire transfers or bitcoin.
  • Don’t open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or emails and don’t click on links or open attachments – just delete them.
  • Never give anyone remote access to your computer if they’ve contacted you out of the blue – even if they claim to be from a well-known company.

Have you been scammed?

If you’ve lost money or given personal information to a scammer, there are steps you can take straight away to limit the damage and protect yourself from further loss.

  • If you’ve sent money or shared your banking or credit card details, contact your financial institution immediately. They may be able to stop or reverse a transaction, or close your account.
  • If you’ve given your personal information to a scammer, visit IDCARE (www.idcare.org), Australia and New Zealand’s not-for-profit national identity and cyber support service. IDCARE can work with you to develop a specific response plan to your situation and support you through the process.
  • As scammers are often based overseas, it is extremely difficult for government agencies to track them down or for law enforcement to take action against them. So take the time to warn your friends and family about these scams.

More information

For more information about scams, where to get help if you’ve been scammed or to report a scam, visit www.scamwatch.gov.au

Scams Awareness Week is an initiative of the Scams Awareness Network, a group of Australian and New Zealand government agencies with responsibility for consumer protection and policing in scams, cyber safety and fraud.


Real estate firm to strengthen practices after alleged underquoting – assurance

A Brighton-based real estate agency and its directors have committed to strengthening its practices after allegedly advertising a property for sale for a price less than the vendor’s acceptable selling price.

Peter F Burns Real Estate had allegedly advertised a property for sale for between $580,000 and $599,000, when the vendor’s acceptable selling price was $590,000.

In a second instance, the business was believed to have acted as land agent for a vendor without recording the agent’s estimated selling price, the vendor’s acceptable selling price or the manner of sale.

Following an investigation by the state’s consumer watchdog, the business, its directors and former sole director, Michael James Burns, entered into a written assurance with Consumer and Business Services – agreeing to ensure that any future likely selling price representations are not less than the prescribed minimum advertising price.

In addition, both the business and directors committed to ensuring all existing and new staff would be properly inducted and trained to identify legal and ethical requirements of Sales Agency Agreements and adhere to all legislative obligations.

Written assurances and undertakings are formal undertakings that may be used in certain circumstances, in place of enforcement actions such as prosecution or disciplinary action.

If an individual or a business fails to comply with the conditions of the Undertaking, they may be prosecuted.

For more information about a real estate agent’s obligations, or to report a concern about a real estate, contact CBS on 131 882 or visit cbs.sa.gov.au

Signed assurance (PDF 197KB)


Product recall – lockable pool gate latches

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has advised of a recall of SafeTech Hardware Australia key lockable pool gate latches that do not comply with Australian standards.

Product description

Defect

If the gate is open, turning the key in the striker component of the gate latch may cause the gate to remain locked in the open position.

Hazard

Leaving the gate latch locked in the open position may allow  young children to access the pool area posing a potential drowning risk.

Action

A person who has a lock of the above product description should immediately:

  • disable the key lock mechanism by removing the key from the striker or filling the key hole with a waterproof adhesive
  • register their details by phoning 1300 034 096 or visiting safetechhardware.com.au. Consumers will be offered either a keyless striker or a replacement lockable striker for the latch. The replacement product will come with “How to Change Your Striker” instructions. These instructions will also be available at safetechhardware.com.au

It is important to note that disabling the key mechanism will not affect your existing pool compliance status or its ability to latch and secure the gate.

Key reference details

Supplier:

Traders who sold this product:

  • Bunnings Australia
  • Wholesale distributors and trade suppliers, including gate and fencing contractors

Where the product was sold:

  • Nationally
  • International

Dates available for sale:

  • 1 January 2014 – 21 March 2018

More information

Full information, including the recall notice is available on Product Safety Australia’s website.

 

 


New property management reform provisions

New changes for the real estate sector commenced 30 April 2018.

New laws require all property managers to be registered by 28 September 2019. Consumer and Business Services (CBS) will start receiving applications from 1 February 2019.

For more information, please visit:  cbs.sa.gov.au/property-management-reforms

From 30 April 2018 new reforms saw changes to the real estate sector –

  • Property manager
    The law now defines the role of a property manager and includes further provisions relating to the indemnity fund and disciplinary action.  The requirement for a property manager to be registered will commence 28 September 2019.
  • Increased penalties
    Unregistered sales representatives may face penalties up to $20,000. Agents who fail to ensure that their ‘trainee’ employees are properly supervised may face penalties up to $10,000.
  • Trust accounts
    Existing offences relating to the inappropriate deposit or withdrawal of trust account monies will apply to all persons, not just registered land agents.  Further, a new offence will be introduced for any person that causes a defalcation, misappropriation or misapplication of trust account monies.  Penalties of up to $100,000 and /or five years imprisonment may apply.  The new penalty is measured in contrast to existing maximum penalties available to South Australia Police for the same misconduct.
  • Trainees
    Trainees are required to be under ‘direct’ supervision.  This seeks to clarify existing best practice and ensure the trainee registration is operating as intended; a temporary pathway to full registration to minimise any barrier to employment.  This requirement for ‘direct’ supervision applies to trainee sales representatives, in addition to trainee property managers when registration is introduced next year.
  • Prosecutions
    CBS will be empowered to commence prosecution proceedings within five years of an alleged offence, without requiring Ministerial approval.

CBS will also be seeking to limit the ‘trainee’ registration to 12 months.  This is anticipated to commence from September 2019 and ‘trainees’ are encouraged to complete the required training to upgrade to a full registration before then.