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Budget cuts shrink consumer office

The Mercury, December 27


UNIONS say budget cuts to Tasmania’s office of consumer affairs have left only one person to investigate complaints.

But as the peak shopping ­season hits, the State Government has reassured Tasman­ians on consumer rights.

Community and Public ­Sector Union general secretary Tom Lynch said the consumer watchdog had been slashed.

Mr Lynch said the Con­sumer Affairs and Fair Trading’s complaints and investigation branch had been cut from six staff to one.

This lone staff member was responsible for dealing with all consumer complaints and prosecutions across the state, including product safety complaints, he said.

“There is no doubt that ­Tasmanian lives are being placed at risk because of the Government’s failure to ­adequately resource this important area,” Mr Lynch said.

But a state government spokesman said Mr Lynch’s comments were ­ridiculous.

“The unions’ desperate scaremongering has reached a new low,” he said.


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