South Australia’s consumer watchdog has warned wineries and cellar doors to adhere to their obligations under the Liquor Licensing Act 1997 (SA), after a cellar door in the Adelaide Hills allegedly sold wine without a licence.
Following extensive community and industry consultation, new liquor licensing laws were passed by Parliament yesterday.
The Liquor Licensing (Liquor Review) Amendment Bill 2017 will reduce red tape and administrative burden for industry, while strengthening our laws to minimise alcohol related violence.
More details can be found on the Attorney-General’s Department website.
The changes will be implemented in different stages, with further consultation in 2018 on the new fee structure and aspects of the new licensing regime.
Consumer and Business Services will work closely with industry bodies and liquor licence holders to ensure a smooth transition.
You are encouraged to sign-up for liquor licensing reform announcements and consultation opportunities.
If you buy or hire goods and services through an online marketplace or sharing economy platform, you are protected by the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), in the same way as you would be if you were to buy in store.
Traders are protected by the ACL and also have obligations to consumers, like guaranteeing that the services and goods they’re providing comply with the law.
Consumers – If you buy goods and services
Your rights don’t change if you hire goods or buy services online, through an app or sharing platform, or if you make in-store purchases. You have consumer guarantee rights.
If there is a problem:
- Check the platform’s terms and conditions and their complaint management process, if they have one.
- You may be able to cancel the contract and get a refund if a consumer guarantee isn’t met
Follow these simple steps to resolve the issue:
- speak to the seller or service provider
- contact the platform through their internal dispute resolution process, if they have one
- write a factual customer review and rate the trader on the platform
- contact Consumer and Business Services for advice if the matter isn’t resolved with the platform and/or trader.
Traders – If you hire or sell goods and services
- platform operators must not mislead or deceive you
- you have consumer guarantee rights when buying services from a platform operator
- there are certain circumstances where it is illegal for a platform operator to refuse to supply you
- you can refuse to provide a refund if the consumer has simply changed their mind.
If you believe a consumer has not held up their end of a contract for a good or service, some platforms have their own internal resolution process to deal with this. Read your platform’s community rules and internal resolution process guidelines.
Contact Consumer and Business Services for advice if you aren’t able to resolve a problem with the platform or consumer first.
- Be transparent about the product or service you are advertising so there are no surprises to consumers
- Avoid misleading or deceptive statements
- Make sure reviews provided about your service or product are not misleading or fake
- You must comply with product safety obligations.
As a result of Simplify Day, licensed bookmakers no longer need a permit from CBS to take bets for Melbourne Cup day charity functions.
The Liquor and Gambling Commissioner published a notice in the SA Government Gazette on 24 October 2017 to allow licensed bookmakers to take bets at charitable fundraising events on Melbourne Cup day, the first Tuesday of November of every year.
Special one-off arrangements have been put in place for this year’s Melbourne Cup day on Tuesday 7 November 2017. Organisers of future charitable events on Melbourne Cup day will need to contact The SA Bookmakers League on (08) 7070 2710 to use a licenced bookmaker.
Any licensed bookmaker that does not comply with the conditions in the Commissioner’s notice will be subject to disciplinary action.
The exemptions seek to remove unnecessary regulation for certain commercial land agents.
Land agents will be exempt from requirements under the Land Agents Act 1994 when acting on behalf of:
- a large commercial property owner or
- an affiliated entity.
The exemptions apply whether the land agent is performing duties relating to buying, selling or managing property on behalf of the entity.
The exemptions are exclusive to commercial real estate. They do not include residential or rural land – eg agricultural or horticultural.
Commercial real estate definitions
A large commercial property owner owns any property that has:
- an aggregate market value of $10 million or more or
- an aggregate gross floor area of 10,000 square metres or more.
An affiliated entity in relation to a person means:
- an entity that is controlled by the person – ie the person can determine financial and operating policies of the second entity or
- a related entity to a body corporate, such as a director, another body corporate with the same directors or a beneficiary under a trust.
Who exemptions apply to
For the exemptions to apply, the land agent must be performing work on behalf of a large commercial property owner or an affiliated entity of the land agent.
If they do not perform work exclusively on behalf of these entities, they must still hold a registration.
When exemptions commenced
The exemptions were announced by the state government as part of its inaugural Simplify Day on 15 November 2016 to reduce red tape for business.
The exemptions, through the Land Agents (Simplify No 2) Variation Regulations 2017 commenced on 1 November 2017.
Some transactions relating to purchasing, selling or managing land or business fall outside the original intent of the Act. For example, a large shopping centre managing and leasing its own stores or a private sale, such as a once-off sale of a residential home or office building.
The development of more complex organisational corporate structures have led to increased regulatory burden, where it may not have been envisaged.
These developments have hindered large commercial property owners, where they must engage a registered land agent (or their representative must obtain a registration) – only to be afforded the same protections as a person selling their home.
The exemptions aim to alleviate the regulatory burden on the commercial property sector by removing the unnecessary regulation of affiliated entities that do not require protection from themselves and large commercial property owners that do not require protections that are surpassed by more complex legal and contractual arrangements.
Examples of exemptions
A large international conglomerate is seeking to invest and undertake development in the central business district, which involves the sale and purchase of certain land and business. The entity contracts a third party with which it has long standing and reputable dealings with internationally. Under these exemptions, the third party will not be required to be a registered land agent to perform real estate work on behalf of the entity, as it meets the threshold of a large commercial property owner.
A commercial shopping centre engages a third party to manage the retailers’ commercial leases. If the shopping centre performed this work, they would not require registration. However, the owner has engaged a third party – a subsidiary of the owner – to manage the leases. The third party is not required to be registered as it is an affiliated entity of the owner. The shopping centre may also be large enough to be deemed a large commercial property owner.
What is needed from 1 November 2017
You are exempt from the requirements under the Act, including registration, only when performing real estate work on behalf of affiliated entities or large commercial property owners.
If you exclusively perform real estate work on behalf of such entities, you may wish to consider whether or not you retain your land agent’s registration. If you surrender your registration and then wish to undertake work for an entity that does not meet the thresholds, you will need to reapply and satisfy the registration criteria.
Having found an error in the trading round process, the Commissioner has determined to cancel the trading round TR14/2017.
Offers that have been made in this trading round are not effective. Consumer and Business Services will be refunding all administration fees and will be returning any payments received.
A fresh trading round will be commenced shortly.
More information will be published in due course. In the meantime, if you have any questions please contact Mr Robert Templeton, Director Licensing and Registration on 08 8226 8486.
Legislation has been introduced into Parliament to amend the Residential Parks Act 2007 (the Act).
The Act regulates the relationship between residential park owners and people who live in parks as their principal place of residence. It was originally designed to address issues arising from people living in caravan parks in moveable, inexpensive structures on sites rented from the park owner.
The types of residential parks that have developed since the commencement of the Act are unlike those envisioned by the legislation. Some residential parks in South Australia offer purely long term living in constructed or manufactured homes, while others are a mix of tourist accommodation with dedicated areas for residential living. The types of dwellings in these parks range from caravans with annexes to transportable and manufactured homes.
The Government released a discussion paper in March 2016 to consult on ways to improve the current laws. Feedback from that discussion paper highlighted concerns around the insecurity of tenure, and absence of any legislative requirement for disclosure of information, or compensation for residents.
The Residential Parks (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2017, introduced into Parliament on 28 September, would see a fairer and more transparent system for residential park residents and owners. The Bill aims to strike a balance between protecting the rights of residents and the investment in their homes, and the interests of park owners to support the growth of their parks.
The South Australian Government will introduce property management registration.
An employee of a registered land agent performing residential or commercial property management will be required to be registered as a property manager.
The Land Agents (Registration of Property Managers and Other Matters) Amendment Bill 2017 was passed by the South Australian Parliament on 28 September 2017.
- Qualifications for the new property manager registration will be finalised in the later stages of these reforms.
- Further consideration will be given to the proposed Code of Conduct announced by the State Government, in consultation with industry.
- A transitional period will be provided to ensure industry participants have sufficient time to comply with any new requirements.
Previous updates on property manager reforms
A compulsory recall of all vehicles with defective Takata airbags has been proposed, following a safety investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Faulty Takata airbags have caused serious injuries and deaths. A design flaw with the inflator components means that they may deteriorate and misdeploy in an incident, causing metal fragments to propel out of the airbag.
A voluntary recall by suppliers has been in place since 2009, however only 38% of affected vehicles have had airbag inflators replaced. This leaves more than 1.5 million vehicles with potentially dangerous Takata airbags still on the road, putting consumers at risk.
Consumers are strongly urged to check whether their vehicle has been recalled to replace defective Takata airbags. The recall affects a large number of car makes and models, and a small number of motorcycles and trucks.
It is critical that drivers with alpha airbags installed take immediate steps to have the airbags replaced as these pose the highest safety risk. Drivers with other recalled airbags should arrange for them to be replaced as soon as possible.
More information about the consultation process for the proposed compulsory recall is available at www.accc.gov.au/takata
Proposed recall notice
- Proposed recall notice: Motor vehicles with specified Takata airbag inflators and specified salvaged Takata airbag inflators
Consumer protection agencies from across Australia have joined forces to launch the National Indigenous Consumer Strategy (NICS) Action Plan 2017–2019.
The Action Plan outlines a set of national priorities and areas to improve outcomes for Indigenous consumers. Fairness is at the heart of the plan as Indigenous consumers, particularly those living in remote areas, continue to face challenges in asserting their consumer rights.
The priority areas for the next three years are:
||Key areas of focus
||Door to door sales and telemarketing
||Rights and responsibilities in the private rental market
|Consumer directed care
||Consumers with disability and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
||Consumer and dealer rights and obligations
||Credit contracts and consumer leases
NICS members, which consist of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), state/territory consumer affairs agencies and the Indigenous Consumer Action Network, will be driving the implementation of these priorities.