NQ Indigenous Consumer Taskforce members, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACC), Queensland Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network (ICAN) visited the Cape York communities of Hopevale and Wujal Wujal earlier this month. The team spoke with residents, community organisations and shire councils about consumer concerns in the region. “An issue of interest was the high pressure selling of Vocational Educational Training VET courses, mirroring what is happening in other parts of the country”, said Aaron Davis – ICAN CEO.
Door-to-door trading has also significantly impacted the financial wellbeing of Wujal Wujal community members, leading to the development of a new approach in addressing the issue. The NQ Indigenous Consumer Taskforce and Wujal Wujal Shire Council have partnered to develop a Do Not Knock town model that will give community residents the opportunity to say NO to door-to-door sales through the creation of town and residential signage explicitly warning traders not to enter properties. “If a trader chooses to ignore the signage, they will be contravening the Australian Consumer Law and enforcement activities will ensue”, said Mr Davis.
The Do Not Knock town concept will be a first in Australia. The NQ Indigenous Consumer Taskforce and Wujal Wujal Shire Council plan to implement the project before the end of the year. Taskforce members the ACCC and OFT are currently developing signage that will be presented to the Wujal Wujal Shire Council for endorsement in November. “Watch this space for the launch of this groundbreaking initiative”, enthused Mr Davis.