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Yarrabah community takes a stand against door-to-door traders

9 May 2017

The Yarrabah community has today (9 May 2017) celebrated the launch of the Do Not Knock informed communities program, with the unveiling of new roadside signage designed to warn door-to-door traders not to trade unlawfully.

The expansion of the program into Yarrabah, near Cairns follows the successful pilot in Wujal Wujal last year.

The signage is a reminder to door-to-door traders to act in accordance with the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and that they must not approach houses displaying do-not-knock notices.

In addition to reminding door-to-door traders of their legal obligations to consumers, the program aims to minimise consumer harm by empowering Yarrabah residents to learn and exercise their consumer rights through a community information morning held the same day.

Speaking at the launch, Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council Mayor Ross Andrews welcomed the initiative, after past experiences of door-to-door traders preying on Yarrabah residents by signing them up for overpriced goods or services they couldn’t access or simply didn’t need or want.

“Both the program and signage sends a strong message from the Yarrabah community that we will not stand for unlawful conduct from door-to-door traders and we will stand together as a community to protect our friends and families,” Mayor Andrews said.

The signage is a joint initiative between the Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Queensland Office of Fair Trading (QOFT) and the Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network (ICAN).

ACCC Acting Chair Delia Rickard said she was delighted to see the Yarrabah community institute the program, and reinforced the ACCC’s commitment to prioritising Indigenous consumer protection.

“We have seen the targeting of Indigenous consumers, particularly those in remote locations, by unscrupulous door-to-door traders and we hope this program will help Yarrabah residents assert their consumer rights,” Ms Rickard said.

Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said OFT was honoured to be part of the program, helping at-risk Indigenous communities combat dishonest traders.

“After receiving some disturbing reports regarding unlawful door-to-door trade across the far north, the program gives consumers the knowledge that they have the power to choose whether or not to allow door-to-door traders to visit them,” Mr Bauer said.

ICAN works closely with Indigenous consumers, providing free consumer advice and financial counselling services to communities across Far North Queensland.

Acting ICAN CEO Jon O’Mally stressed the importance of continued targeted consumer protection initiatives in Indigenous communities such as Yarrabah.

“It is critical to get the message to vulnerable communities that the law is there to protect them from shonky door-to-door traders and that help is available when needed,” Mr O’Mally said.

While door-to-door sales are not illegal, the ACL sets out rules and obligations that must be followed, including providing consumers clear written contracts, giving a ten business day cooling-off period, abiding by permitted hours of trade and not approaching any residence displaying a do-not-knock notice.

Free ‘do-not-knock’ stickers or signs are available from the QOFT and ICAN.

More information on consumer rights is available from or Indigenous consumers can also call the ACCC’s dedicated Indigenous infoline on 1300 303 143.

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Last updated
9 May 2017
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