28 August 2017
Media Release - #2017113, 2017

Just the ticket: Government taking action to protect consumers

TICKET scalping and reselling will be the focus of discussions at this week's Consumer Affairs Ministers' meeting in Melbourne says Small Business Minister Michael McCormack.

"Several months ago, I wrote to the State and Territory Consumer Affairs Ministers drawing their attention to the practice of ticket scalping and the need to protect consumers from rip offs and misleading behaviour in the industry," Mr McCormack said.

"For too long consumers have borne the brunt of these dodgy practices and as Australia's Minister responsible for Consumer Affairs, I was not going to stand by and let it continue.

"Australians should be able to purchase tickets at reasonable prices and have fair access to all available seating options without astonishing mark-ups applied by scalpers or resellers."

Mr McCormack said he was disappointed in Labor and slightly embarrassed for the Shadow Minister for Arts Tony Burke who appeared to not understand the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) processes instituted by the Rudd Government – in which he was a Minister.

"The Australian Consumer Law is governed by an Intergovernmental Agreement between the Commonwealth and the States which sets out the processes for which action can be taken under the ACL and for changes to be made to the ACL," Mr McCormack said.

"The Shadow Minister has appeared on numerous occasions in the media calling for action but has failed on each occasion to understand how action can actually be taken.

"The ACL and its governing agreement were adopted in 2009 when Labor was in Government, and it seems yet again that another former, now shadow, Minister was asleep on the job.

"But it’s not surprising, given the Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs does not understand the process either."

Mr McCormack said it was just another example of Labor feigning indignation and jumping on a populist idea to get a headline.

"Labor time and time again run out into the media like a pack of crazed and deluded populist cheerleaders saying whatever it takes to try to get their team a win," Mr McCormack said.

"Labor is all pompom, no process. Sadly for everyone involved, Labor fail time and time again because they just do not get it.

"Labor should put down their pompoms and get on board with the Government's plan to back Australian consumers."

Mr McCormack said action today by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) shows that the regulator is on the job and holding businesses to account to protect consumers.

"While Labor is out running around shouting at clouds, the Government is taking action through the ACCC to regulate the market and hold businesses to account in the interests of consumers," Mr McCormack said.

"The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court today against a ticket reseller sending a clear message to the industry that they are watching and will take action.

"On Thursday, I will be asking my Consumer Affairs Ministerial colleagues to agree to a thorough review of ticket scalping and reselling practices to ensure action is taken to protect consumers, following the practices set out under the Australian Consumer Law."

Consumer tips for buying tickets on the ACCC website.