MIL-OSI Australia: $8.4 million given back to Queenslanders

Source: Government of Queensland

Queenslanders received more than $8.4 million in refunds, repairs, replacements and other compensation with the help of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in 2018.
Attorney-General and Justice Minister Yvette D’Ath said the number of complaints saw a small increase to OFT from 15,700 in 2017 to 16,000.
“While it is disappointing that so many Queenslanders have found themselves dudded – whether it is by accident or otherwise – I’m pleased people are aware of their rights and are seeking help from the OFT,” she said.
“Unfortunately, the sector that generated the most complaints to the OFT was the personal and household goods industry, which includes products such as televisions, appliances and furniture. It was followed by personal and household services, then motor vehicle sales.
“Under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), consumer goods must be of acceptable quality, match the description provided by the seller, and be fit for their intended purpose.”
Mrs D’Ath said while the ACL did provide a measure of protection, it was time for the Federal LNP Government to ramp up protection for Queenslanders when it came to areas such as:
providing purchasers of ‘lemon’ motor vehicles an automatic right to a refund or replacement within the first 30 days without needing to prove a major failure;
banning fees for paper bills; and
taking serious action against ticket scalpers.
“While the Palaszczuk Government is delivering important protection for Queenslanders who have bought a ‘lemon’, the Federal LNP Government also needs to take their foot off the brake, get into gear and do the same.”
Mrs D’Ath said consumer protection legislation gave the OFT the power to pursue some matters all the way to court, but the OFT could not make a judgment or order on consumer complaints – only a tribunal or court had the power to do this.
“In these cases, the OFT undertakes a conciliation process – a free informal service where OFT officers act as an intermediary between the consumer and the trader, explaining to both what their rights and responsibilities are under the legislation,” she said.
“Conciliation won back more than $5 million in redress for complainants in 2018, with results ranging from a $40,800 refund for a car for a consumer in Brisbane’s Bracken Ridge, to $1800 worth of replacement equipment for a Sunshine Coast DJ.”
The OFT also achieved more than $1.5 million in court-ordered compensation for consumers in 2018. The remaining redress was achieved through other OFT outcomes including Enforceable Undertakings and claims against the Agents Financial Administration Act 2014.
Mrs D’Ath said the first thing consumers should do if they had a problem with goods or services was talk to the trader directly.
“Usually, customer satisfaction is very important to businesses, and most will be happy to work with you to resolve your complaint,” she said.
“However, if you are unsuccessful in getting the trader to help you, you can lodge a formal complaint with the OFT.”
For more information on consumer rights, or to lodge a complaint, visit www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading.

OFT Region

Number of complaints finalised in 2018 for consumers of this region

Top five industries complained about by these consumers in 2018

Redress obtained by these OFT offices in 2018

Brisbane *

9873

Personal & household goods
Personal & household services
Motor vehicle sales
Real estate agents
Motor vehicle repairs, servicing

$3,817,942

Cairns

642

Personal & household goods
Motor vehicle sales
Personal & household services
Motor vehicle repairs, servicing
Real estate agents

$264,267

Mackay

322

Personal & household goods
Motor vehicle repairs, servicing
Personal & household services
Motor vehicle sales
Real estate agents

$516,120

Rockhampton

418

Personal & household goods
Motor vehicle repairs, servicing
Motor vehicle sales
Personal & household services
Real estate agents

$514,323

Gold Coast

2067

1      Personal & household goods
2      Personal & household services
3      Motor vehicle sales
4      Real estate agents
5      Motor vehicle repairs, servicing

$854,413

Sunshine Coast

1191

1      Personal & household goods
2      Motor vehicle sales
3      Personal & household services
4      Motor vehicle repairs, servicing
5      Real estate agents

$952,312

Hervey Bay

586

Personal & household goods
Motor vehicle sales
Motor vehicle repairs, servicing
Personal & household services
Real estate agents

$454,801

Toowoomba

510

Personal & household goods
Personal & household services
Motor vehicle sales
Motor vehicle repairs, servicing
Electricity & gas supply

$423,710

Townsville

454

Personal & household goods
Motor vehicle sales
Personal & household services
Motor vehicle repairs, servicing
Electricity & gas supply

$661,989

TOTAL

$8,459,880

 
*includes consumers who reside outside Qld or provided no address
**the redress figures provided are those obtained by each OFT region, they do not perfectly align with the individual complaint numbers as some matters may be handled by another OFT office for operational reasons and because some matters for which redress was obtained may have originated from information received rather than consumer complaints

ENDS

Media contact:
Emma McBryde 0447 155 332

MIL OSI Australia

MIL-OSI Australia: Queensland’s most popular baby names for 2018 revealed

Source: Government of Queensland

Charlotte and Oliver reign supreme for the fourth year running as the most popular baby names in Queensland. 
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said the most popular baby names lodged through the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages had been remarkably consistent since 2015.
“In fact, while Charlotte has been the most popular girl’s name for the past four years, you would have to go back to 2011 for Oliver not to be top,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“Back then Jack was the most popular name for boys, before being replaced by Oliver.”
Mrs D’Ath said the top ten names had also been consistent with only one new girl’s name making the list, while there were two new boy’s names. 
“Willow was the new entry for girls, knocking Ivy out of the top ten,” she said.
“And Leo, Archer and Theodore joined the most popular ranks for boys, replacing Hudson, James and Hunter.”
Ava was the second most popular girl’s name, up from third last year, and William was again the second most popular boy’s name, a place it has held since 2013.
“It is interesting to see how the trends in baby names change over the years,” she said.
“People are often curious about what baby names are currently trending and I look forward to what 2019 will bring.”
 
Top Queensland baby names 2018
Girls:
Charlotte
Ava
Isla
Olivia
Amelia
Mia
Harper
Willow
Grace
Evelyn              
Boys:
Oliver
William
Jack
Noah
Henry
Harrison
Thomas
Leo
Archer
Theodore
 
Top Queensland baby names 2017
 Girls:
Charlotte
Olivia
Ava
Amelia
Mia
Isla
Harper
Grace
Ivy
Evelyn
 Boys:
Oliver
William
Noah
Jack
Harrison
Thomas
Hudson
Hunter
James
Henry
 ENDS
 
Media contact:
Emma McBryde 0447 155 332

MIL OSI Australia

MIL-OSI Australia: Love is in the air across Queensland

Source: Government of Queensland

More than 1300 same-sex couples have wed in Queensland since same-sex marriage ceremonies could legally be held just over one year ago on January 9, 2018.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said while same-sex marriage had been legal in Australia since December 9, 2017, couples had a 30-day waiting period before ceremonies could be held, unless they were granted an exemption.
“Since marriage changed to be more inclusive, 1330 same-sex marriages have been registered in Queensland one year on from January 9, 2018,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“Marriage celebrants from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages wed 199 couples, while other celebrants conducted 1074 ceremonies. On top of this, 47 couples were married at courthouses and 10 had church weddings.
“Registry data shows that the majority of same-sex marriages have occurred in larger population areas such as Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay regions, but there have been weddings across the state since the laws came into effect.
“Celebrants have 30 days to register a marriage after the event so there will be even more couples who have married over the past 12 months, but their registration application form is yet to be received by the registry.”
Queensland held Australia’s first same-sex marriage on December 15, 2017 as the couple was given an exemption from the waiting period due to their personal circumstances. Three other couples also received exemption from the waiting period.
 
Same-sex marriages regional breakdown (as at 9 January 2019)

LGA Council

Count

Brisbane City

460

Gold Coast City

159

Sunshine Coast Regional

123

Moreton Bay Regional Council

84

Cairns Regional Council

46

Noosa Shire Council

40

Townsville City

38

Douglas Shire Council

34

Ipswich City

32

Scenic Rim Regional Council

29

Logan City

29

Fraser Coast Regional

28

Mackay Regional Council

25

Toowoomba Regional Council

24

Redland City Council

23

Whitsunday Regional Council

20

Bundaberg Regional Council

17

Livingstone Shire Council

14

Rockhampton Regional Council

13

Lockyer Valley Regional

10

Southern Downs Regional

9

Gympie Regional

7

Tablelands Regional Council

5

Somerset Regional Council

5

Goondiwindi Regional Council

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