Consumer Affairs Act 1988


Tasmanian Crest
Consumer Affairs Act 1988

An Act to establish a Consumer Affairs Council and an Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading for the purposes of making investigations into, collecting and disseminating information on, and reporting on matters relating to the interests of consumers, to provide for related and consequential matters, and to repeal the Consumer Affairs Act 1970

[Royal Assent 14 December 1988]

Be it enacted by His Excellency the Governor of Tasmania, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council and House of Assembly, in Parliament assembled, as follows:

PART I - Preliminary

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Consumer Affairs Act 1988 .

2.   Commencement

This Act shall commence on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.

3.   Interpretation

(1)  In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears –
advertising includes any activity calculated or intended to promote or increase the sale or use of any goods or services;
[Section 3 Subsection (1) amended by No. 86 of 2000, Sched. 1, Applied:01 May 2001] Agency has the meaning assigned to that expression in the State Service Act 2000 ;
authorized officer means the Director or a person declared to be or appointed as an authorized officer under this Act;
[Section 3 Subsection (1) amended by No. 32 of 2006, s. 4, Applied:18 Dec 2006]
[Section 3 Subsection (1) amended by No. 32 of 2006, s. 4, Applied:18 Dec 2006] chairperson means the chairperson of the Committee;
[Section 3 Subsection (1) amended by No. 32 of 2006, s. 4, Applied:18 Dec 2006] Committee means the Tasmanian Consumer Advisory Committee established under this Act;
consumer includes any person using, or taking advantage of, any service;
[Section 3 Subsection (1) amended by No. 61 of 1999, Sched. 1, Applied:24 Nov 1999] Consumer Affairs Officer means an employee employed in the Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading;
[Section 3 Subsection (1) amended by No. 61 of 1999, Sched. 1, Applied:24 Nov 1999] Director means the Director of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading appointed under this Act;
documents includes books, papers, accounts, any written records, any computer discs or tapes or other means of storage on a computer, and any computer printouts;
[Section 3 Subsection (1) amended by No. 86 of 2000, Sched. 1, Applied:01 May 2001]
functions includes duties;
goods includes anything that is the subject of trade, manufacture, or merchandise and anything growing on, or attached to, land that is severable from the land;
[Section 3 Subsection (1) amended by No. 61 of 1999, Sched. 1, Applied:24 Nov 1999] Office means the Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading;
services means the conferring of rights or benefits that are provided by a person in the carrying on of an industrial, commercial, business, profit-making, or remunerative undertaking (including a professional practice), and includes the provision for reward of lodging or accommodation;
supply
(a) in relation to goods, includes supply, and resupply, by way of gift, sale, exchange, lease, hire, or hire-purchase; and
(b) in relation to services, includes provision, granting, hiring, and conferring.
(2)  A reference to any matter or matters affecting the interests of consumers shall be construed as including a reference to any matter or matters affecting the interests of a particular consumer or a particular class of consumers.

3A.   Application of this Act

[Section 3A Inserted by No. 103 of 1995, s. 5 and Sched. 1 ][Section 3A Amended by No. 82 of 1997, Sched. 3, Applied:01 Jul 1998] [Section 3A Amended by No. 28 of 2001, s. 20, Applied:01 Oct 2001] [Section 3A Amended by No. 11 of 2004, s. 31, Applied:01 Mar 2005] [Section 3A Amended by No. 50 of 2004, s. 46, Applied:01 Jul 2005] [Section 3A Amended by No. 77 of 2009, Sched. 1, Applied:01 Jul 2010] [Section 3A Amended by No. 23 of 2011, Sched. 1, Applied:31 Dec 2011] The functions and powers conferred by this Act may be performed or exercised in respect of any contravention of, or matter arising under, the Collections for Charities Act 2001 , the Motor Vehicle Traders Act 2011 , the Prepaid Funerals Act 2004 , the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 or the Retirement Villages Act 2004 .
PART II - Tasmanian Consumer Advisory Committee
[Part II Substituted by No. 32 of 2006, s. 5, Applied:18 Dec 2006]

4.   Constitution of Committee

[Section 4 Substituted by No. 32 of 2006, s. 5, Applied:18 Dec 2006] There is constituted by this Act an advisory committee to be known as the Tasmanian Consumer Advisory Committee.

5.   Membership of Committee

[Section 5 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] [Section 5 Subsection (5) amended by No. 86 of 2000, Sched. 1, Applied:01 May 2001] [Section 5 Substituted by No. 32 of 2006, s. 5, Applied:18 Dec 2006]
(1)  The Committee consists of not less than 7, and not more than 15, members who the Minister considers represent the interests of consumers.
(2)  The Minister is to advertise in such publications, and in such manner and form, as the Minister determines for persons to express interest in becoming members of the Committee.
(3)  The Minister is to appoint the members of the Committee from the persons who expressed interest under subsection (2) and who the Minister considers have the expertise and qualifications to enable the Committee to perform its functions.
(4)  The members of the Committee are to elect one member of the Committee to be chairperson of the Committee.
(5)  Schedule 1 has effect with respect to the membership and meetings of the Committee.

6.   Functions and powers of Committee

[Section 6 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] [Section 6 Substituted by No. 32 of 2006, s. 5, Applied:18 Dec 2006]
(1)  The functions of the Committee are –
(a) to advise, and make recommendations to, the Minister on matters affecting the interests of consumers in Tasmania; and
(b) to consult with consumer organisations and other relevant organisations on emerging issues of concern to consumers; and
(c) to advance the interests of consumers and promote consumer awareness of consumer protection issues; and
(d) to assist the Minister with regard to activities relating to consumer affairs and fair trading; and
(e) such other functions as may be prescribed.
(2)  The Committee may make recommendations to the Minister with respect to any matter arising in connection with the performance and exercise of its functions and powers under this Act.

7.   Committee to submit reports

[Section 7 Substituted by No. 32 of 2006, s. 5, Applied:18 Dec 2006]
(1)  The Committee, not later than 30 September in each financial year, is to submit to the Minister a report on its proceedings during that financial year.
(2)  The Committee may submit a report to the Minister on any matter arising in the performance of its functions and the exercise of its powers under this Act.
(3)  The Minister must lay a copy of the Committee's report under subsection (1) before each House of Parliament before 31 October in each year.
(4)  The Minister may lay a copy of a report, if any, of the Committee under subsection (2) before each House of Parliament.

8.   

[Section 8 Subsection (1) amended by No. 5 of 1990, s. 3 and Sched. 1 ][Section 8 Repealed by No. 32 of 2006, s. 5, Applied:18 Dec 2006] .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
PART III - Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading

9.   Director of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading

(1)  [Section 9 Subsection (1) amended by No. 86 of 2000, Sched. 1, Applied:01 May 2001] [Section 9 Subsection (1) amended by No. 61 of 1999, Sched. 1, Applied:24 Nov 1999] [Section 9 Subsection (1) substituted by No. 5 of 1990, s. 3 and Sched. 1 ]The Minister administering the State Service Act 2000 may appoint a State Service officer or State Service employee to be Director of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading and that officer or employee is to hold that office in conjunction with State Service employment.
(2)  [Section 9 Subsection (2) amended by No. 61 of 1999, Sched. 1, Applied:24 Nov 1999] The Director has the administration and control of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading.
(3)  The Director shall comply with any directions given to the Director by the Minister.

10.   Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading

(1)  [Section 10 Subsection (1) amended by No. 61 of 1999, Sched. 1, Applied:24 Nov 1999] There shall be an Office to be known as the Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading.
(2)  [Section 10 Subsection (2) amended by No. 86 of 2000, Sched. 1, Applied:01 May 2001] The staff of the Office shall consist of authorized officers appointed under this Part and State Service officers and State Service employees who have been assigned or allocated to that Office.

11.   Functions of Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading

(1)  The functions of the Office are –
(a) [Section 11 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] to receive complaints from consumers in relation to matters which affect their interests as consumers, to consider and, if the Director deems it warranted, to investigate those complaints, and to take such action in respect of those complaints as seems proper to the Director; and
(b) [Section 11 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] to receive complaints of fraudulent or deceptive practices in relation to matters which affect, or are likely to affect, the interests of consumers and to take such action in respect of those complaints as seems proper to the Director; and
(c) [Section 11 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] to advise and assist consumers who seek from the Office information or guidance on matters affecting their interests as consumers; and
(d) to consult with and undertake the dissemination of information in relation to matters which affect, or are likely to affect, the interests of consumers to manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, advertisers, and any other suppliers of goods or services; and
(e) to collect, collate, and disseminate information in respect of matters affecting the interests of consumers.
(2)  [Section 11 Subsection (2) amended by No. 32 of 2006, s. 6, Applied:18 Dec 2006] The Office shall assist the Committee in the carrying out of its functions and the exercise of its powers.
(3)  Subsection (1) shall not be construed to require the Director or any staff of the Office to give, or hold himself out as ready or competent to give, to any consumer advice in relation to the rights and liabilities in law of the consumer concerning any matter, or aid in the enforcement of such rights.

12.   Special powers and duties of Director

(1)  [Section 12 Subsection (1) amended by No. 32 of 2006, s. 7, Applied:18 Dec 2006] The Director is entitled to attend at, and participate in, the meetings of the Committee.
(2)  [Section 12 Subsection (2) amended by No. 32 of 2006, s. 7, Applied:18 Dec 2006] Subsection (1) shall not be construed as giving the Director a right to vote on any matter at a meeting of the Committee.
(3)  [Section 12 Subsection (3) amended by No. 32 of 2006, s. 7, Applied:18 Dec 2006] The Director shall refer to the Committee for its consideration any matter that has come to his attention which is more appropriately the concern of the Committee.
(4)  [Section 12 Subsection (4) amended by No. 32 of 2006, s. 7, Applied:18 Dec 2006] The Director shall give assistance to the Committee in the carrying out of its functions and the exercise of its powers.
(5)  [Section 12 Subsection (5) amended by No. 32 of 2006, s. 7, Applied:18 Dec 2006] The Director shall, at the request of the Committee, arrange for the collection and collation of, and the furnishing to the Committee of, information relating to a matter affecting the interests of consumers.
(6)  [Section 12 Subsection (6) omitted by No. 5 of 1990, s. 3 and Sched. 1 ].  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  

12A.   Delegation

[Section 12A Inserted by No. 16 of 2006, s. 13, Applied:01 Nov 2006] The Director may delegate any of his or her functions or powers under this Act other than this power of delegation.

13.   Authorized officers

(1)  The Director is an authorized officer for the purposes of this Act.
(2)  [Section 13 Subsection (2) amended by No. 86 of 2000, Sched. 1, Applied:01 May 2001] [Section 13 Subsection (2) substituted by No. 5 of 1990, s. 3 and Sched. 1 ]The Secretary of the Department may–
(a) [Section 13 Subsection (2) amended by No. 86 of 2000, Sched. 1, Applied:01 May 2001] declare that State Service officers and State Service employees employed in the Department; and
(b) [Section 13 Subsection (2) amended by No. 86 of 2000, Sched. 1, Applied:01 May 2001] with the consent of another Head of a State Service Agency, declare that State Service officers and State Service employees employed in that Agency–
whose appointments are specified in the declaration are authorized officers for the purposes of this Act and those persons may exercise the powers and perform the functions of an authorized officer in conjunction with State Service employment.
(3)  [Section 13 Subsection (3) amended by No. 5 of 1990, s. 3 and Sched. 1 ]Where the Secretary of the Department, on the advice of the Director, is satisfied that it is necessary or desirable to appoint a person as an authorized officer to assist in carrying out an investigation under this Act, the Secretary of the Department may so appoint a person as an authorized officer to assist in carrying out that investigation.
(4)  [Section 13 Subsection (4) amended by No. 5 of 1990, s. 3 and Sched. 1 ]An authorized officer appointed under subsection (3) shall be appointed on such terms and conditions as the Secretary of the Department determines.
PART IV - Powers, &c., of Authorized Officers

14.   Powers of authorized officers to enter premises, &c.

(1)  [Section 14 Subsection (1) amended by No. 32 of 2006, s. 8, Applied:18 Dec 2006] For the purpose of the exercise by the Office of any of its functions under this Act, or for the purpose of any investigation that is being conducted in accordance with this Act, an authorized officer may, at all reasonable times and subject to subsection (2) , do any or all of the following:
(a) enter any place where he knows or reasonably believes that–
(i) [Section 14 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] goods are produced, manufactured, assembled, prepared, sold, or stored; or
(ii) services are supplied; or
(iii) invoices, documents, or other records relating to goods or services supplied or to be supplied are kept;
(b) enter any place that he knows or reasonably believes to be used by any person as an office, depot, or premises for the purpose of carrying on any business or trade of supplying goods or services;
(c) in any place lawfully entered by him–
(i) [Section 14 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] search for, examine, take possession of, or make copies of or extracts from invoices, documents, or other records relating to goods or services supplied or to be supplied or relating to any matter the subject of an investigation under this Act; and
(ii) [Section 14 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] search for goods and examine goods; and
(iii) open any package that he knows or reasonably suspects to contain goods; and
(iv) [Section 14 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] question with respect to matters with which this Act is concerned any person employed in that place;
(d) make such inquiries as he believes to be necessary or desirable in relation to the performance of his functions under this Act.
(2)  An authorized officer shall not forcibly enter any place referred to in subsection (1) unless he has first obtained a warrant pursuant to subsection (4) .

Penalty:  Fine not exceeding 50 penalty units or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 9 months, or both.

(3)  An authorized officer shall not enter any premises which are, or part of premises which part is, used as a dwelling unless he has the permission of the occupier of those premises or that part to his entry or has obtained a warrant pursuant to subsection (4) .

Penalty:  Fine not exceeding 50 penalty units or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 9 months, or both.

(4)  A magistrate who is satisfied by evidence on oath upon the complaint of an authorized officer that there is reasonable cause to permit entry to any place referred to in subsection (1) for the purposes specified in that subsection may issue a warrant directed to the authorized officer to enter the place specified in the warrant for the purpose of his exercising in that place the powers conferred on the authorized officer by this Act.
(5)  A warrant issued under this section shall, for a period of one month from its issue, be sufficient authority –
(a) to the authorized officer to whom it is directed and to all persons acting in aid of him to enter the place specified in the warrant; and
(b) to the authorized officer to whom it is directed to exercise in respect of the place specified in the warrant all the powers conferred on an authorized officer by this Act.
(6)  Where an authorized officer has taken possession of any invoice, document, or other record for the purposes of this Act, that authorized officer may retain that invoice, document, or other record for so long as is necessary for those purposes.
(7)  Any person otherwise entitled to possession of an invoice, document, or other record retained by an authorized officer under subsection (6) is, if he so requests it of the authorized officer, entitled to be furnished as soon as practicable with a copy of that invoice, document, or other record certified by the Director to be a true copy and that certified copy shall be received in all courts and elsewhere as evidence of the matters contained in that copy as if it were the original.

15.   Powers of authorized officers to require delivery of documents

(1)  Where an authorized officer has reason to believe that a person has in his possession any invoice, record, or other document, which is relevant to a matter under this Act, he may require that person to deliver that invoice, record, or other document, or a copy of that invoice, record, or other document, as directed.
(2)  The requisition under subsection (1) may specify that the document or copy is to be delivered –
(a) [Section 15 Subsection (2) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] at a specified place; and
(b) [Section 15 Subsection (2) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] to the Director or any authorized officer; and
(c) at, by, or within a specified time; and
(d) in person, by certified mail, or in a specified manner.

16.   Obstruction, &c., of authorized officer

(1)  A person shall not –
(a) [Section 16 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] assault, resist, impede, or obstruct an authorized officer in the exercise of his powers, or in the discharge of his duties under this Act, or attempt so to do; or
(b) [Section 16 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] use threatening, abusive, or insulting language to an authorized officer engaged in the exercise of his powers or in the discharge of his duties under this Act or to any person assisting an authorized officer who is so engaged; or
(c) [Section 16 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] fail to furnish information when requested to do so by an authorized officer under this Act; or
(d) [Section 16 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] furnish false or misleading information to an authorized officer; or
(e) [Section 16 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] fail to comply with a lawful request, direction, or requisition of an authorized officer; or
(f) fail to produce to an authorized officer any invoice, document, or record whatsoever in his possession or at his disposal when required to do so; or
(g) impersonate an authorized officer.

Penalty:  Fine not exceeding 10 penalty units.

(2)  Where a person is convicted of an offence against subsection (1) (c) , (d) , (e) , or (f) , the court may order that person to –
(a) [Section 16 Subsection (2) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] furnish the information; or
(b) comply with the lawful request, direction, or requisition; or
(c) produce to an authorized officer the invoice, document, or record –
which was the subject of the offence, as the case may require.
(3)  [Section 16 Subsection (3) amended by No. 77 of 2009, Sched. 1, Applied:01 Jul 2010] [Section 16 Subsection (3) amended by No. 50 of 2004, s. 46, Applied:01 Jul 2005] [Section 16 Subsection (3) amended by No. 11 of 2004, s. 32, Applied:01 Mar 2005] [Section 16 Subsection (3) amended by No. 28 of 2001, s. 20, Applied:01 Oct 2001] [Section 16 Subsection (3) amended by No. 82 of 1997, Sched. 3, Applied:01 Jul 1998] [Section 16 Subsection (3) amended by No. 103 of 1995, s. 5 and Sched. 1 ]For the purposes of subsection (1) , the conduct of an investigation by an authorized officer shall be considered as the discharge of duties under this Act, the Collections for Charities Act 2001 , the Prepaid Funerals Act 2004 , the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 or the Retirement Villages Act 2004 .
(4)  [Section 16 Subsection (4) amended by No. 77 of 2009, Sched. 1, Applied:01 Jul 2010] [Section 16 Subsection (4) amended by No. 50 of 2004, s. 46, Applied:01 Jul 2005] [Section 16 Subsection (4) amended by No. 11 of 2004, s. 32, Applied:01 Mar 2005] [Section 16 Subsection (4) amended by No. 28 of 2001, s. 20, Applied:01 Oct 2001] [Section 16 Subsection (4) amended by No. 82 of 1997, Sched. 3, Applied:01 Jul 1998] [Section 16 Subsection (4) amended by No. 103 of 1995, s. 5 and Sched. 1 ]Where any information is obtained by an authorized officer under this section, evidence of that information, or the obtaining of that information is not admissible against any person in any civil or criminal proceedings, except in proceedings against that person for an offence under this Act, the Collections for Charities Act 2001 , the Prepaid Funerals Act 2004 , the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 or the Retirement Villages Act 2004 .
PART V - General Provisions

17.   Act not to affect other laws

The provisions of this Act shall operate in addition to and not in substitution for the provisions of any other Act or rule of law.

18.   Saving of civil remedies

No proceeding against or conviction of any person for an offence against this Act shall affect any civil right or remedy available against that person independently of this Act.

19.   Name of Committee or Office not to be used in advertisements

(1)  [Section 19 Subsection (1) amended by No. 32 of 2006, s. 9, Applied:18 Dec 2006] A person shall not, without the written consent of the chairperson or the Director, as the case may require, make or cause to be made any representation in any visual or aural form, either specifically or by implication, to the effect that–
(a) [Section 19 Subsection (1) amended by No. 32 of 2006, s. 9, Applied:18 Dec 2006] any goods or services supplied by any person have the approval of the Committee, the Director, or the Office; or
(b) [Section 19 Subsection (1) amended by No. 32 of 2006, s. 9, Applied:18 Dec 2006] any activity carried on by any person has the approval of, or is conducted with the co-operation or assistance of, the Committee, the Director, or the Office.

Penalty:  Fine not exceeding 50 penalty units or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 9 months, or both.

(2)  Where a person's name appears in relation to a representation referred to in subsection (1) , that person shall be deemed for the purposes of this section to have caused the representation to be made unless it is shown that the representation was made without his knowledge or connivance.

20.   Offences

(1)  A prosecution for an offence against this Act –
(a) may, with the consent of the Director, be instituted by an authorized officer; and
(b) [Section 20 Subsection (1) amended by No. 7 of 2004, Sched. 1, Applied:01 Aug 2004] must be commenced within –
(i) 3 years from the time when the matter of complaint arose; and
(ii) 6 months from the time when the matter of complaint came to the attention of the Director.
(2)  Where a body corporate is charged with an offence against this Act, any person who is concerned or takes part in the management of the body corporate may be charged with a like offence, and where the body corporate is convicted of the offence, any person who is charged with a like offence pursuant to this subsection may be convicted of the like offence unless that person satisfies the court that the act or omission constituting the offence took place without his knowledge or consent.

21.   Protection for certain persons in relation to certain publications and acts or things done

(1)  [Section 21 Subsection (1) amended by No. 32 of 2006, s. 10, Applied:18 Dec 2006] A person shall not incur any personal liability on account of any disclosure or publication made to a member of the Committee, the Director, any Consumer Affairs Officer, or any authorized officer in relation to any of the matters specified in subsection (2) .
(2)  The matters to which subsection (1) refers are –
(a) [Section 21 Subsection (2) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] the supply of goods; and
(b) [Section 21 Subsection (2) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] the supply of services; and
(c) [Section 21 Subsection (2) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] any matter concerning the commercial or business reputation of any person associated with the supply of goods or services; and
(d) the quality of, price of, quantity of, or any other matter relating to goods supplied by any supplier of goods; and
(e) the quality of, price of, quantity of, or any other matter relating to services supplied by any supplier of services.
(3)  [Section 21 Subsection (3) amended by No. 32 of 2006, s. 10, Applied:18 Dec 2006] The Minister, a member of the Committee, the Director or any person acting on behalf of the Director, a Consumer Affairs Officer, or an authorized officer shall not incur any personal liability in respect of any act or thing done, or omitted to be done, in good faith in the administration or execution, or purported administration or execution, of this Act.
(4)  [Section 21 Subsection (4) amended by No. 32 of 2006, s. 10, Applied:18 Dec 2006] Nothing in subsection (3) precludes the Committee from being subject to any action, liability, claim, or demand to which the Committee is subject.
(5)  [Section 21 Subsection (5) amended by No. 32 of 2006, s. 10, Applied:18 Dec 2006] The Committee and the Director shall not incur any liability in respect of any matter, information, representation, or allegation contained in a report referred to in section 7 or 12 .

22.   Preservation of secrecy

(1)  [Section 22 Subsection (1) amended by No. 32 of 2006, s. 11, Applied:18 Dec 2006] A person who is or was at any time a member of the Committee, the Director, an authorized officer, or a Consumer Affairs Officer shall not, save in the course of his duty, the performance of his functions, or the exercise of his powers under this Act or where it is competent to him so to do by reason of a provision of this Act, directly or indirectly communicate any information that came to his knowledge in consequence of his being a member of the Committee, the Director, an authorized officer, or a Consumer Affairs Officer, as the case may be.
(2)  [Section 22 Subsection (2) amended by No. 13 of 2012, s. 20, Applied:30 May 2012] It is competent to the Director and every other authorized officer to communicate to a consumer whose complaint concerning any matter has been investigated by the Office, or to the Magistrates Court (Civil Division), information concerning that matter which has come to his knowledge as a result of the investigation and which is of a class of information that the Director has authorized, either generally or in a particular case, to be so communicated.
(3)  The provisions of subsection (1) shall not be construed to prohibit –
(a) [Section 22 Subsection (3) amended by No. 32 of 2006, s. 11, Applied:18 Dec 2006] the chairperson or the Director or any person authorized in writing by the Director from communicating to the appropriate Minister or official of the Crown in right of the Commonwealth or of Tasmania or of any other State or Territory of the Commonwealth information which the Director considers should be communicated for the purpose of the administration of any law of the Commonwealth or of Tasmania or of such other State or of any Act; or
(b) any person referred to in that subsection, when called as a witness in a proceeding for an offence against this Act, from answering any question that he is compellable to answer in that proceeding.

23.   Evidentiary provision

(1)  [Section 23 Subsection (1) omitted by No. 32 of 2006, s. 12, Applied:18 Dec 2006] .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
(2)  A certificate purporting to be a certificate signed by an authorized officer certifying that –
(a) a person –
(i) failed to furnish information to an authorized officer when requested to do so; or
(ii) [Section 23 Subsection (2) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] furnished false or misleading information, under this Act; or
(b) a person failed to comply with a lawful request, direction, or requisition of the authorized officer; or
(c) a person failed to produce to the authorized officer any invoice, document, or record in his possession or at his disposal when required to do so –
is admissible in any proceedings under this Act and shall be evidence of the matters so certified.

24.   Service of documents, &c.

(1)  Where under this Act a document or a notice maybe, or is required to be, served on a person, the document or notice may be served –
(a) in the case of a person who is neither a body corporate nor a firm –
(i) [Section 24 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] by delivering it to him personally; or
(ii) by leaving it at that person's place of residence last known to the person required to serve the document or notice with someone who apparently resides there, or at that person's place of business or employment last known to the person required to serve the document or notice with someone who is apparently employed there, being in either case a person who has or apparently has attained the age of 16 years; or
(iii) [Section 24 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] by sending it by post to that person's place of residence, business, or employment last known to the person required to serve the document or notice; or
(b) in the case of a body corporate –
(i) [Section 24 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] by delivering it to the secretary of the body corporate personally; or
(ii) by leaving it at the registered office of the body corporate or at the place or principal place of business of the body corporate in Tasmania with a person apparently employed there, being a person who has or apparently has attained the age of 16 years; or
(iii) by sending it by post to the registered office of the body corporate or to the place or principal place of business of the body corporate; or
(c) in the case of a firm –
(i) [Section 24 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] by delivering it to a member of the firm personally; or
(ii) by leaving it at the place or principal place of business of the firm in Tasmania last known to the person required to serve the document or notice with a person apparently employed there, being a person who has or apparently has attained the age of 16 years; or
(iii) by sending it by post to the place or principal place of business of the firm in Tasmania last known to the person required to serve the document or notice.
(2)  A reference in subsection (1) to the registered office of a body corporate includes a reference to a registered office that is outside Tasmania.
(3)  [Section 24 Subsection (3) amended by No. 42 of 2001, Sched. 1, Applied:15 Jul 2001] The provisions of this section are in addition to the provisions of sections 109X and 601CX of the Corporations Act.

25.   Expenses of Act

The expenses incurred in the administration of this Act shall be provided out of money provided by Parliament for the purpose.

26.   Transitional

(1)  A member of the Consumer Affairs Council appointed under the Consumer Affairs Act 1970 shall continue to hold office for the remainder of the term specified in his instrument of appointment as if the appointment had been made under this Act.
(2)  The secretary of the Consumer Affairs Council appointed under the Consumer Affairs Act 1970 shall be appointed as the Director in accordance with this Act.

27.   Repeals and amendments

(1)  The Acts specified in Schedule 3 are repealed.
(2)  See Schedule 4.
SCHEDULE 1 - Provisions with respect to membership and meetings of committee
[Schedule 1 Amended by No. 17 of 2005, Sched. 1, Applied:10 Jun 2005] [Schedule 1 Amended by No. 86 of 2000, Sched. 1, Applied:01 May 2001] [Schedule 1 Amended by No. 17 of 1996, Applied:24 Jan 2002] [Schedule 1 Amended by No. 32 of 1996, Sched. 1, Applied:01 Nov 1999] [Schedule 1 Substituted by No. 32 of 2006, s. 13, Applied:18 Dec 2006]

Section 5(5)

1.   Interpretation
In this Schedule –
member means a member of the Committee.
2.   Terms and conditions of office of members
(1) A member –
(a) is to be appointed for such period, not exceeding 3 years, as the Minister thinks fit and is to hold and vacate office in accordance with the terms of his or her appointment or reappointment; and
(b) may be removed from office by the Minister by notice in writing addressed and delivered to that member; and
(c) may at any time resign his or her office by notice in writing addressed and delivered to the Minister.
(2) A member is entitled to be paid such allowances as the Minister determines.
(3) A member who is a State Service officer or State Service employee is not entitled to allowances under this clause except with the approval of the Minister administering the State Service Act 2000 .
(4) The terms and conditions of office of a member, with respect to matters not provided for in this Schedule, are as determined by the Minister.
3.   Appointment of substitute to act during absence of member
If a member is unable for any reason to carry out his or her duties as such a member for any period, the Minister may appoint a person who, in his or her opinion, is suitably qualified to act in place of that member during that period, and that person is, for that period, taken to be a member to act in the place of that member during that period.
4.   Vacation of office
(1) A member vacates office if he or she –
(a) dies; or
(b) resigns by written notice given to the Minister; or
(c) is removed from office under subclause (2) or (3) .
(2) The Minister may remove a member from office if the member –
(a) is absent from 3 consecutive meetings of the Committee without the permission of the other members of the Committee; or
(b) becomes bankrupt, applies to take the benefit of any law for the relief of bankrupt or insolvent debtors, compounds with the member's creditors or makes an assignment of the member's remuneration or estate for their benefit; or
(c) is convicted, in Tasmania or elsewhere, of a crime or an offence punishable by imprisonment for 12 months or longer or a fine of 300 penalty units or more; or
(d) is convicted of an offence under this Act; or
(e) fails to disclose a pecuniary interest as required under clause 10 .
(3) The Minister may remove a member from office if satisfied that the member is unable to perform adequately or competently the duties of office.
5.   Filling of vacancies
If the office of a member becomes vacant, the Minister may appoint a person who the Minister considers represents the interests of consumers to the vacant office for the remainder of that member's term of office.
6.   Convening of meetings
Meetings of the Committee may be convened by the chairperson of the Committee or by any 2 or more members.
7.   Quorum
At a meeting of the Committee, a quorum is constituted by a majority of the total number of members appointed.
8.   Presiding at meetings
(1) The chairperson of the Committee is to preside at all meetings of the Committee at which he or she is present.
(2) If the chairperson of the Committee is not present at a meeting of the Committee, a member elected by the members present is to preside at that meeting.
9.   Decision of meeting
A decision carried by a majority of the votes of the members present at a meeting of the Committee is a decision of the Committee.
10.   Disclosure of interests
(1) If a member has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in a matter being considered, or about to be considered, by the Committee, the member must, as soon as practicable after the relevant facts come to the member's knowledge, disclose the nature of the interest to the Committee.

Penalty:  Fine not exceeding 100 penalty units or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 3 months, or both.

(2) Unless the Committee otherwise determines, a member who has made a disclosure under subclause (1) in relation to a matter must not –
(a) be present during any deliberation of the Committee in relation to the matter; or
(b) take part in any decision of the Committee in relation to the matter.
(3) For the purpose of making a determination under subclause (2) , the member to whom the determination relates must not –
(a) be present during any deliberation of the Committee for the purpose of making the determination; or
(b) take part in making the determination.
11.   Power of Committee to regulate its own procedure
Subject to this section, the Committee may determine the procedure for the calling of meetings of the Committee and for the conduct of business at those meetings.
SCHEDULE 2
[Schedule 2 Repealed by No. 32 of 2006, s. 13, Applied:18 Dec 2006]
SCHEDULE 3 - Repealed Acts

Section 27 (1)

Act

Number and Year

Consumer Affairs Act 1970

No. 26 of 1970

Consumer Affairs Act 1976

No. 31 of 1976

SCHEDULE 4 - Amendments

Section 27 (2)

The amendments effected by this Schedule have been incorporated into the authorised version of the following Acts:
(a) Court of Requests (Small Claims Division) Act 1985 ;
(b) Flammable Clothing Act 1973 ;
(c) Goods (Trade Descriptions) Act 1971 ;
(d) Pyramid Selling Act 1974 ;
(e) Sale of Hazardous Goods Act 1977 ;
(f) Travel Agents Act 1987 .