Click here to read the latest news from SACOSS. Highlights are below.

Events and Notices

Register Now: Building Social Infrastructure

Tuesday 24 September

Adelaide Convention Centre

At this year's State Conference, titled 'Building Social Infrastructure: Opportunities for our sector in the next decade', we are thrilled to welcome Professor Emerita Gillian Triggs as our keynote speaker - and we'd love to have you join us!
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SA: The Heaps Unfair State

Monday 9 September, 9.00am - 5.00pm

Room 2.1, Level 2, Flinders in the City, 182 Victoria Square, Adelaide South Australia

Based on research conducted by the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity, Flinders University, and the South Australian Council of Social Service, this interactive workshop will highlight the growth in health inequalities in South Australia since the 1980s and encourage lively discussion about how we can reverse these trends. This is of vital importance to the future of SA because evidence indicates that more unequal societies are less successful on a range of measures.
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Community Events

NVI Flinders Social Enterprise Support

Wednesday 31 July, 6.00pm - 7.30pm

Flinders University, Victoria Square, Room 2.3

This Adelaide Social Enterprise event is being Hosted by Bert Verhoeven from NVI Flinders and will showcase the journey and results of three amazing Social Enterprises that have been supported by NVI Flinders. Speakers include: Tanya Pettingill, founder of ‘Jolly Soles’ and Geena Süphke, Robbie Duffin, Noah Connolly & Dylan Egel from ‘Impacted’.
Read more

How casual are you?

Wednesday 31 July, 5.30pm - 8.00pm

Level 1, Flinders University, 182 Victoria Square, Adelaide, 5000

The Victorian Productivity Commission says 13% of people have done ‘gig work’ in the last 12 months. Australia has the highest rate of casual work in the western world. More of us are working more than one job: we’re working from home, we’re working at night and we’re working on weekends. Who benefits? The Working Women’s Centre and The Mary Lee Exchange are partnering to present How Casual Are You? an exploration of non-standard work in Australia. We’re bringing together a remarkable panel of workers and employment experts to share their research and experiences. Experts in employment law from the Working Women’s Centre will be available after the panel to answer questions. Tickets are free but places are limited, book now to avoid disappointment.
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Seminars and Conferences

Human Health, Wellbeing and an Ageing Population

Tuesday 6 August, 6.00pm

Allan Scott Auditorium, Hawke Building, 55 North Terrace, UniSA City West Campus, Adelaide, SA

Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and Wakefield Futures Group, as part of the Sustainable Futures series. These two presentations explore human health, wellbeing and an ageing population and their place in a sustainable future:
Professor Fran Baum: To what extent do the urban planning, energy and environment sectors govern for health and wellbeing?
Dr Jane O’Sullivan: Ageing and Declining populations – Good for us, Good for the Planet.
Read more

Call For Input

HESTA Community Sector Awards

Nominations are now open and close on 1 September 2019
Do you know someone who is making outstanding contributions in our sector? The HESTA Community Sector Awards recognise outstanding service provision, advocacy and leadership in improving the lives of people who rely on access to the services of nursing and midwifery, early childhood education and care, community services and aged care.
Read more

SA Housing and Homelessness Strategy

Seeking broad public engagement to inform new Housing and Homelessness Strategy
The release of the SA Housing and Homelessness Taskforce report Towards a Housing, Homelessness and Support Strategy, including Strategic Intent, by the Minister for Human Services marks the start of broad engagement to shape a new Housing and Homelessness Strategy for our State. It is important that the new Housing and Homelessness Strategy is shaped with input from as many South Australians as possible, including broad public engagement.
Visit YourSAy website

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

Earlier this week, Sandy Canale - South Australia’s Energy and Water Ombudsman (EWOSA) - released the first edition of the EWOSA quarterly newsletter: describing it as: “your one stop shop for emerging consumer trends, hot issues and policy matters”.

Read the newsletter here.

“Hot Topics” discussed in the first newslatter include:

  • Comparing Offers and Discounts

  • Payment Difficulties

  • Consumer Data Rights

  • Virtual Power Plants

  • Shopping Around for Better Deals.

EWOSA facilitates the prompt resolution of complaints and disputes between consumers of electricity, gas and water services and Members of the Scheme by providing a service to consumers which is free, independent, accessible, fair and informal.

Freecall 1800 665 565

Submit a complaint

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

On 16 July Victoria’s Consumer Action released an Energy Assistance Report, which includes observations about the impact, to date, of the new Victorian Payment Difficulty Framework. The report also discusses other general findings from underlying energy analysis work. It is the first report of this kind from the Victorian group and tracks the energy issues Victorian consumers raised when calling the National Debt Helpline service over 23 months.

Consumer Action is also releasing a spreadsheet with some of the underlying deidentified information that was analysed.

Key findings of the report include:

  • energy disconnections have significantly reduced following the implementation of the Victorian Governments Payment Difficulty Framework from 1 January 2019

  • energy companies are still failing to comply with aspects of the Payment Difficulty Framework

  • while vital early intervention is increasingly encouraged, many people having difficulty paying their energy bills are still contacting help services after overwhelming energy debts have arisen

  • there is a strong relationship between receiving a Centrelink income and raising issues with energy debt

  • women, people speaking a language other than English at home; people experiencing mental health issues or people experiencing family violence are more likely to raise energy issues when they call.

The report and accompanying spreadsheet are digital only and can be downloaded via this link: https://consumeraction.org.au/energy-assistance-report/

Please contact Jake Lilley at jake@consumeraction.org.au or on 03 9670 5088 if you would like to discuss this work.

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

The following advice, on the importance of checking your health professional’s registration details, is provided by Pam Moore, a Consumers SA committee member and Centenary Medallist for her long-standing health advocacy work.  Pam writes:

In Australia we generally have excellent medical care and the vast majority of those who provide care, whether medical practitioners (either GPs or specialists), dentists, physiotherapists or similar professionals,are also of a high calibre.  

However, as with all aspects of life, there are some people (and some practitioners) who are of concern.  

The ABC’s 7.30 Report on Tuesday 9 July (https://www.abc.net.au/7.30/whistleblowers-say-medical-watchdog-ahpra-is-not/11293930) entitled “Whistleblowers say medical watchdog AHPRA is not investigating complaints properly”highlighteda case where a consumer received abusive care and reported it to the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA).  The report detailed how AHPRA dealt with the complaint and concluded that the agency was “not doing its job properly and the health of Australians is at risk as a result.”  

This raises questions about health practitioners past conduct having an effect on the care that their patients currently receive.  

Consumers SA encourages consumers to check the registration of all their health professionals on the AHPRA web site using the following link:  https://www.ahpra.gov.au/Registration/Registers-of-Practitioners.aspx  

Simply search the practitioners’ surname (the other fields: such as given name, selection of health profession and state, are not usually required unless there are many practitioners with the same name). Once a practitioner’s registration is found, click on “view all details” to check on any information that may affect the care consumers receive. 

The search will reveal among other things:

·      Qualifications 

·      Conditions on practice

A National Board or an adjudication body can impose a condition on the registration of a practitioner or student, or on an endorsement of registration.  A condition aims to restrict a practitioner’s practice in some way, to protect the public. 

Conditions can be placed on a practitioner’s registration for disciplinary reasons, such as because a National Board has found that a practitioner has departed from accepted professional standards. 

Conditions can also be placed on a practitioner’s registration for reasons that are not disciplinary, such as for a practitioner who is returning to practice after a break.

Current conditions which restrict a practitioner’s practice of the profession are published on the register of practitioners. When a National Board or adjudication body decides they are no longer required to ensure safe practice, they are removed and no longer published. 

Examples of conditions include requiring the practitioner to: 

·      complete specified further education or training within a specified period 

·      undertake a specified period of supervised practice 

·      do, or refrain from doing, something in connection with the practitioner’s practice 

·      manage their practice in a specified way 

·      report to a specified person at specified times about the practitioner’s practice 

·      not employ, engage or recommend a specified person, or class of persons. 

There may also be conditions related to a practitioner’s health (such as psychiatric care or drug screening).  The details of health conditions are not usually published on the register of practitioners. 

·     Undertakings

National Boards can seek and accept an undertaking from a practitioner to limit the practitioner’s practice in some way if this is necessary to protect the public. The undertaking means the practitioner agrees to do, or to not do, something in relation to their practice of the profession. Current undertakings which restrict a practitioner’s practice of the profession are published on the register of practitioners. When a National Board or adjudication body decides they are no longer required to ensure safe practice, they are revoked and are no longer published. Current undertakings which relate to a practitioner’s health are mentioned on the national register but details are not provided. 

An undertaking is voluntary, whereas a condition is imposed on a practitioner’s registration. 

 ·     Reprimands

A reprimand is a chastisement for conduct; a formal rebuke. …

Note: The above 3 definitions are taken directly from the AHPRA web site. 

 If a medical practitioner has conditions and limitations this may affect the care received. Examples include:  medical practitioners not being able to prescribe strong pain killers or other drugs of dependence; not being able to do intimate procedures or always being required to have a chaperone present when seeing patients.  

 Unfortunately practitioners may be reluctant to freely provide this information themselves for fear of losing business.  

 Most practitioners will have no reprimands, undertakings or conditions.  However, if a practitioner does have any of the above, consumers have the right to know and this information can help with future care. 

If consumers feel uncomfortable or uneasy about the care they are receiving (and even if the AHPRA registration does not reveal any conditions or limitations) it is obviously best for them to go with their gut feelings and to change their medical practitioners.  If consumers feel their concerns are of a serious nature they can lodge a complaint with AHPRA.

I am aware of many examples where a consumer’s health care would be improved with knowledge of their practitioner’s conditions or limitations.  

One example was a person who had chronic severe pain for several years and was consistently told by their GP to take paracetamol only.  On checking the GP’s registration details I found that they included a limitation prohibiting that GP from prescribing drugs of dependence.  The consumer was advised of the GP’s limitations and this enabled them to find a new GP who could prescribe appropriate pain relief medication.  The reluctance of this GP to inform patients of this limitation caused unnecessary discomfort and stress to the patient for several years: in fact, the consumer’s pain made paid work impossible.

Pam Moore Consumer Advocate and Consumers SA ExecutiveCommittee Member

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

While there have been attempts in recent times to provide vegetarians with food that looks like meat, few if any, could claim to taste like meat.  Now, however, the Australia Broadcasting Commission reports that the ‘Impossible Hamburger’ may be close to making this a reality.

 It reports that Air New Zealand has become the first airline in the world to serve passengers the Impossible Burger, a fake meat that is backed by Bill Gates, sold in fancy restaurants and bleeds like a beetroot. The fake meat used in the burger is one of the “new generation” that go beyond squashing a few lentils and soybeans together. But neither are theyexperimental meats grown in a lab (these are said to be still at least a decade away from your local burger chain.) Products like Impossible Burger, Beyond Burger ands Bleeding Burger, which is from the UK,  are something else: delicately engineered, lab–designed combinations of plant–based protein, yeast extract, plant gums, spices and seasonings.

 Correspondents from the ABC, one a committed vegan and the other a red-blooded meat eater, both tried the Impossible Hamburger at a burger joint on Union Street in San Francisco. Both were impressed with the burger although the carnivore of the two felt that they could tell the patty was not “100% meat” but was really close. The cost was US$20.00. The surface of the patty was charred and crusted like meat, apparently the result of small flakes of coconut oil scattered throughout the mix. Unlike other veggie patties, the Impossible Burger has the same stringy texture as meat. The fibres of the patty break apart like mince.

 However not everybody is impressed with the appearance of the Impossible Burger. Air New Zealand announced it will be serving this delicacy to business class passengers on flights from Los Angeles to Auckland. Its decision was criticized by NZ’s beef and lamb industry, which see fake meat as a looming threat.

 In spite of an Impossible Burger requiring only 5% of the land and 1/4 of the water that a beef burger does, and producing only an eighth of the greenhouse gases (according to the company that makes them), the Australian meat industry was not impressed either. (probably for the same reason).  In Australia, Woolworths launched plant–based meat in the meat section of their supermarkets  in June. Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack of the National Party, told the ABC ‘Mince is mince, mince is meat. That’s my interpretation of what mince is.” The product in Woolworth’s meat section is called ‘Minced’.

 However, the Deputy PM may have a point here: all such products must be labelled clearly and honestly as to exactly what they are so that the consumer can make an informed choice. The question arises as to whether the same words used for real meat, should be used with fake meat?

 As the article records, whether farmers like it or not, Australian are eating less meat. In 2016, 11% of Australians - about 2.1 million people had vegetarian or mostly vegetarian diets.  The figure had gone up 2% in four years.   So….. coming to a supermarket near you!

 Material for this article was taken from the following source:-

https://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/we-tried-what-many-say-is-the-best-fake-meat-burger-in-the-world/9940746

 ABC Rural: Daniel Fitzgerald

Wednesday 4th July, 2018 5:36pm

BUT ON THE DOWN SIDE:

Rat feeding study suggests the Impossible Burger may not be safe to eat.

Rats fed genetically modified yeast-derived protein soy leghemoglobin - the key ingredient of the ‘fake meat’ Impossible Hamburger - developed signs of toxicity. Claire Robinson and Michael Antoniou, PhD explain the findings of a feeding study commissioned by the burger’s manufacturer, Impossible Foods.

 Reference: GMWatch Review 404, 5 July 2019

AND TO ENSURE THAT PEOPLE DO THE RIGHT THING WITH REGARD TO FOOD:

‘Enemies of the nation’: Bangladesh considers death penalty, life imprisonment  

as a punishment for food adulterators in the country.

 In a press conference, Bangladesh Minister of Food, Shadhon Chandra, said that the government has adopted a “zero tolerance policy” towards food adulteration, deeming these perpetrators to the “enemies of the nation”. “The level of punishment will be increased to stop food adulteration.  If needed, we will make provisions for capital punishment or life imprisonment by amending present food safety legislation, Majumder told The Independent newspaper.

 The Ministry’s suggestion on increasing punishments for adulterators received support from former Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Mohammed Nasim, who called for the capital punishment during an Iftar (fast breaking) event. According to the Dhaka Tribune, Nasim said, ‘Those who push the countrymen to death by adulterating food, are enemies of the country as well as the nation. Capital punishment should be executed against them.”

 At present, some 15 food safety laws have been established in Bangladesh to guide and enforce food safety in the country – but the wide variety and high frequency of food adulteration has painted a picture of limited success. Known adulterants include arsenic, formalin, dyes, fertilizer, metals, poor quality raw ingredients and more - applied across a near unlimited range of food items including fish products, fruits, dairy, beverages and biscuits. Milk and milk products adulteration in particular has been exceptionally rampant in the country.

Credit:  https://www.foodnavigator-asia.com/Article/2019/06/11

Author: Pearly Neo

Source: © 2019 - William Reed Business Media Ltd.

Note:  The full text of both articles can be found in the references.

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

The Consumers International (CI) Summit was held in Portugal on 30 April and 1 May this year. Read the Highlights report here.

The Summit was entitled: The Digital Hive: Putting Consumers at the Heart of Digital Innovation. It explored not only digital issues themselves but how they can help or hinder core consumer rights in food, finance, energy systems, the CI Sustainable Development Goals and consumer protection and redress generally. The Highlights report captures the large or emerging themes discussed at the Summit as well as practical opportunities for action. It summarises some of the key messages and discussions from the Summit itself and from important member events held by CI partners during the course of the week.

CFA standards rep and CFA Executive member Ian Jarratt made a presentation at the CFA-sponsored side event on grocery unit pricing. Read more here.


The Summit is held every four years with over 460 representatives from over eighty countries with representatives from consumer groups, government, business and civil society all coming together to learn from each other. More here.

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

Latest in an occasional series of articles by Elaine Attwood about food issues affecting consumers.

The world’s reliance on wheat threatens food security: new report

 Global farming practices – dominated by wheat, corn and rice – are playing havoc with the preservation of wildlife and putting food security at further risk, according to a new report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). According to WWF’s David Edwards, there is a has been a 60% decline in wildlife populations since 1970, thanks – in the most part – to global farming. A new report from the environmental watchdog found that 75% of the food humans consume comes from just 12 plant sources and five animal sources, with three crops making up 60% of the plant-based calories in the entire human diet. It’s report – Future 50 foods: 50 foods for healthier people and a healthier planet – concluded that the preservation of wildlife, and even human survival, are linked to the way we eat. Repeatedly harvesting the same crop on the same land depletes nutrients in the soil, typically necessitating a higher use of fertilisers and pesticides, which damage the environment.

 The campaign’s 50 foods were selected for their high nutritional value, low environmental impact, flavour, accessibility and affordability. It includes ancient grains like fonio and teff, nuts and seeds, legumes, leafy veggies and mushrooms sourced from across the globe intended to make three important dietary shifts:

  • to increase the intake of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants

  • to move reliance away from meat, poultry and fish, which is negatively impacting the                              environment

  • to promote agrobiodiversity.

 Source:   https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2019/03/29

Author:   Gill Hyslop

 Skipping breakfast increases the risk of heart disease, study claims

Researchers from the American College of Cardiology used self-reported data from 6550 Americans aged 40 to 75 (48% male 52% female), collected between 1988 and 1994 who had no history of cardiovascular disease or cancer. They were asked,”how often do you eat breakfast?” And possible answers included “every day,” “some days,” “rarely”and “never”. Among the participants 5.1% never ate breakfast, 10.9% rarely ate breakfast, 25% ate breakfast some days and 59% ate breakfast every day. The health of the participants was then analysed through to 2011 using separate data. Within this period, 2318 participants died, and 619 of these deaths were due to cardiovascular disease. After making adjustments for age, sex, race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, dietary and lifestyle factors, body mass index, and cardiovascular risk factors, the researchers concluded that people who never ate breakfast had an 87% higher risk of cardiovascular disease–specific mortality than those who consumed breakfast every day. It said missing breakfast was associated with an increased risk of obesity, elevated cholesterol or fats in the blood, high blood pressure, Type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease. “In a nationally representative cohort with 17 to 23 years follow-up, skipping breakfast was associated with a significantly increased risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease,” concluded the research. “Our study supports the benefits of eating breakfast in promoting cardiovascular health.”

 Source:   http://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2019/04/24

Author:   Oliver Morrison

Overfishing threatens food security

 Food security is being threatened due to billions of tonnes of small fish being taken from the wild every year to feed farmed fish, a damning new report has revealed. The practice, which has been branded “wasteful and unsustainable”, risks collapsing marine food webs, the joint review of the latest scientific research – where wild catch is turned into fish meal and fish oil (FMFO) - found.

 Published by CompassIon In World Farming and campaign group Changing Markets Foundation, the report - Until the seas run dry: how industrial aquaculture is plundering the oceans – said FMFO was made up mainly of small forage fish. This included sardines, anchovies, mackerel and herrings as well as crustaceans – mainly krill – in aquaculture feed. However the report authors warned that this multi–billion pound industry drove over fishing, illegal fishing and lacked transparency and sustainability.

Almost 70% of the landed forage fish are processed into FMFO, representing about 1/5 of the world’s total catch of wild fish – 90% of which is fine for human consumption, the report stated. It added that the industry is heavily reliant on wild–caught fish for feed, with over 69% of fishmeal and 75% of all fish–oil production used to feed farm to fish. Aquaculture is the world’s fastest growing food production sector.

 Source:  https://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Article2019/04/18

 “Food fraud vulnerability”: Are Australia’s country–of–origin labels propagating fraud opportunities?

 A food fraud and labelling expert has accused Australia’s “kangaroo in a triangle” country-of- origin labels of making it easier for food fraud to take place, especially in international settings. “The Australian government has created a food fraud vulnerability in international markets,” Food Labelling Matters Lead Consultant and former food regulator Dr Janine Curll told Foodnavigator– Asia. “Scholars have identified that food fraud vulnerabilities, like other crimes, are created when

  • opportunities exist

  • motivations are present

  • controls are absent

and the situation now encompasses all these.”

According to Dr Curll, the logo itself provided the opportunity for fraud, as it could be “easily copied” and “unrestrictedly” applied to foods not of Australian origin. “(There) is even a country-of-origin style kit on government websites, available for anyone around the world to download and use on any food – without measures limiting its label application,” she added. “Australia has controls designed to curb fraudulent use if identified for responsible governments to enforce (but) critical control measures such as unique identifiers, registered and licensed logo use systems and/or surveillance of logo use outside of the country are absent.”

Added to this article was the following:-    ACCC, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and the Country-of-origin label owner (Australian Made Campaign Ltd) have declined to comment, each citing unsuitability to respond.

Source: https://www.foodnavigator-asia.com/Article/2019/03/27

Author: Pearly Neo

Credit:    © 2019 - William Reed Business Media Ltd.

Note: For full transcript of the above articles, please refer to the references.

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

Tasman Foods International Pty Ltd — Chan's Yum Cha at Home Products 

28 Jun 2019

Product description

Chan's Yum Cha at Home Vegetarian Shiitake Dumpling 200g
Chan's Yum Cha at Home Prawn Hargow 200g
Chan’s Yum Cha at Home Sesame Prawn Toast 248g

Identifying features

Use by date

29 July 2019

Other

APN/EAN - Vegetarian Shiitake Dumpling - 9355683000443; Prawn Hargow - 9355683000436; Sesame Prawn Toast - 9355683000474

What are the defects?

The recall is due to non-compliant labelling (incorrect Use By date).

What are the hazards?

Food products with an incorrect date marking may cause illness if consumed.

What should consumers do?

Consumers should not eat this product. Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice and should return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund.

For further information please contact Tasman Foods International Pty Ltd on 03 8555 9876.

Supplier

Tasman Foods International Pty Ltd

Traders who sold this product

Coles in NSW and SA (Prawn Hargow only in SA)

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

News update - 24 June 2019 - supplied by the Essential Services Commission of SA

Submissions to the review of rail guidelines – Tarcoola-Darwin Railway and the South Australian rail access regimes

The Commission has received five public submissions to the draft decision on the review of the Tarcoola-Darwin Railway Guidelines and SA Rail Access Regime Information Kit.

· Read more

Small-scale networks inquiry – framework and approach

The Commission has published a Framework and Approach paper for the Small-Scale Networks Inquiry.

· Read more

Commission’s website to host research on water consumers’ views and issues

The Commission has established a central repository to host research that has been undertaken on the issues that are of interest to water consumers in South Australia. This will allow all stakeholders to share their research and to gain a better understanding of the research undertaken by others.

· Read more

Approvals granted for five electricity generation licence applications

Adelaide Hills Division of General practice Inc

An electricity generation licence was issued to Adelaide Hills Division of General Practice Incorporated for the operation of a 150 kilowatt rooftop solar generating plant, located at Mount Barker.

Enwave Tonsley Pty Ltd

An electricity generation licence was issued to Enwave Tonsley Pty Ltd for the operation of a 4.96 megawatt generating plant, located at the Tonsley Innovation District, Clovelly Park.

Monash 2 Pty Ltd

An electricity generation licence was issued to Monash 2 Pty Ltd for the operation a 1 megawatt solar generating plant, located at Monash.

Port Pirie Solar Pty Ltd

An electricity generation licence was issued to Port Pirie Solar Pty Ltd for the operation of a 4.9 megawatt solar generating plant, located at Murray Bridge.

University of South Australia

An electricity generation licence was issued to University of South Australia to operate:

  • a 279.3 kilowatt solar generating plant, located at the City West Campus, Adelaide

  • a 1.6 megawatt solar generating plant located at the Mawson Lakes Campus, Mawson Lakes.

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

The Australian Energy Management Operator (AEMO) and Energy Networks Australia recently released an important paper, entitled OPEN ENERGY NETWORKS, as the first step in an extensive round of consultation on how Australia can best, ” transition to a two-way grid that allows better integration of Distributed Energy Resources for the benefit of all customers.”

Distributed Energy Resources (DER) are distribution level resources, which produce electricity or actively manage consumer demand (e.g. PV solar systems, batteries) or demand response (hot water systems, pool pumps, smart appliances and air conditioning controls).

In summary, the paper notes:

Distribution network businesses are responsible for operating and maintaining their networks within technical and safety requirements. AEMO is responsible for grid reliability, system security and operating the market. In this paper, Energy Networks Australia and AEMO are exploring how best to facilitate the entry of DER into the market. Our objective is to identify both the system requirements that must be addressed in the formation of a two-way system, and to obtain a better understanding from traditional and new market participants how from a network and market operator perspective, we can reduce barriers to entry into the system and best facilitate innovation and competition at the grid edge.

Informing these considerations are the following key principles:

  1. Simplicity, transparency and adaptability of the system to new technologies

  2. Supporting affordability whilst maintaining security and reliability of the energy system

  3. Ensuring the optimal customer outcomes and value across short, medium and long-term horizons – both for those with and without their own DER

  4. Minimising duplication of functionality where possible and utilising existing governance structures without limiting innovation

  5. Promoting competition in the provision and aggregation of DER, technology neutrality and reducing barriers to entry across the National Energy Market (NEM) and Western Energy Market (WEM)

  6. Promoting information transparency and price signals that encourage efficient investment and operational decisions

  7. Lowest cost.

All stakeholders, including consumers are invited to respond to the actions proposed in the discussion paper and engage with the regulators in the coming months to further inform and guide the creation of a framework for the effective integration of DER.

Comments on the consultation paper are welcome by 3 August 2018.

During the consultation period a series of stakeholder workshops will work through various issues to inform the development of a White Paper. AEMO and Energy Networks Australia will communicate the timing and location of these workshops in due course.

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

Aurora Foods — It's Vegan Gluten and Dairy Free Lemon Sorbet 500 mL and It's Vegan Dairy Free Cookies Coconut Gelato 500 mL

19 Jun 2019

Product description

It's Vegan Gluten and Dairy Free Lemon Sorbet 500 mL
Use By 05/02/2020, 08/03/2021 and 29/04/2021
Supplied from 29/04/2019 to 17/06/2019

It's Vegan Dairy Free Cookies Coconut Gelato 500 mL
Use By 27/02/2021
Supplied from 27/02/2019 to 17/06/2019

Identifying features

APN/EAN It's Vegan Gluten and Dairy Free Lemon Sorbet 500 mL - 9 346183 005489 and It's Vegan Dairy Free Cookies Coconut Gelato 500 mL - 9 346183 005427

What are the defects?

The recall is due to the presence of an undeclared allergen (milk).

What are the hazards?

Any consumers who have a milk allergy or intolerance may have a reaction if the product is consumed.

What should consumers do?

Consumers who have a milk allergy or intolerance should not consume this product and should return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund.

For further information, contact Aurora Foods Pty Ltd by phone on 03 9350 1800 or at www.aurorafoods.com.au

Supplier

Aurora Foods

Traders who sold this product

Independent grocers including IGAs, delis and cafes

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

Earlier this month he ACCC warned consumer groups that monthly average losses to NBN scams have almost tripled in 2019. The Commission advises that:

“Australians are losing more money to NBN scams, with reported losses in 2019 already higher than the total of last year’s losses.

Consumers lost an average of more than $110,000 each month between January and May this year, compared with around $38,500 in monthly average losses throughout 2018 – an increase of nearly 300 per cent.

“People aged over 65 are particularly vulnerable, making the most reports and losing more than $330,000 this year. That’s more than 60 per cent of the current losses,” ACCC Acting Chair Delia Rickard said.

“Scammers are increasingly using trusted brands like ‘NBN’ to trick unsuspecting consumers into parting with their money or personal information.”

Common types of NBN scams include:

Someone pretending to be from NBN Co or an internet provider calls a victim and claims there is a problem with their phone or internet connection, which requires remote access to fix. The scammer can then install malware or steal valuable personal information, including banking details.Scammers pretending to be the NBN attempting to sell NBN services, often at a discount, or equipment to you over the phone.Scammers may also call or visit people at their homes to sign them up to the NBN, get them a better deal or test the speed of their connection. They may ask people to provide personal details such as their name, address, date of birth, and Medicare number or ask for payment through gift cards.Scammers calling you during a blackout offering you the ability to stay connected during a blackout for an extra fee.

It is important to remember NBN Co is a wholesale-only company and does not sell services directly to consumers.

“We will never make unsolicited calls or door knock to sell broadband services to the public. People need to contact their preferred phone and internet service provider to make the switch,” NBN Co Chief Security Officer Darren Kane said.

“We will never request remote access to a resident’s computer and we will never make unsolicited requests for payment or financial information.”

“If someone claiming to work ‘for the NBN’ tries to sell you an internet or phone service and you are unsure, ask for their details, hang up, and call your service provider to check if they’re legitimate. Do a Google search or check the phone book to get your service provider’s number, don’t use contact details provided by the sales person,” Ms Rickard said.

“Never give an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer, and never give out your personal, credit card or online account details to anyone you don’t know – in person or over the phone – unless you made the contact.”

“It’s also important to know that NBN does not make automated calls to tell you that you will be disconnected. If you get a call like this just hang up.”

“If you think a scammer has gained access to your personal information, such as bank account details, contact your financial institution immediately.”

More information about NBN scams is available online at: nbnco.com.au/scamadvice.”

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

KS NSW — Chung Jung One - Rice Seasonings 24g

15 Jun 2019

Product description

Chung Jung One Stir Fried Rice Mate
Vegetable Flavour 24g

Chung Jung One Rice Seasoning
Vegetable Flavour 24g

Chung Jung One Stir Fried Rice Mate
Shrimp Flavour 24g

Chung Jung One Rice Seasoning
Seafood Flavour 24g

All Best Before dates

What are the defects?

The recall is due to the presence of undeclared allergens (egg and milk).

What are the hazards?

Any consumers who have an egg and/or milk allergy or intolerance may have a reaction if the product is consumed.

What should consumers do?

Consumers who have an egg and/or milk allergy or intolerance should not consume this product and should return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund.

For further information, please contact KS NSW on 02 9648 4567.

Supplier

KS NSW

Traders who sold this product

The product has been available for sale at Asian grocery stores in NSW, ACT, VIC and SA.

Corean Food Corporation Pty Ltd - Chung Jung One Rice Flavourings 24g

15 Jun 2019

Product description

Chung Jung One
BOC Rice Vegetable flavour 24g

Chung Jung One
Seafood Rice Sprinkles 24g

Chung Jung One
Vegetable Rice Sprinkles 24g

Best Before dates up to and including 12 Feb 2020

What are the defects?

The recall is due to the presence of undeclared allergens (egg and milk).

What are the hazards?

Any consumers who have an egg and/or milk allergy or intolerance may have a reaction if the product is consumed.

What should consumers do?

Consumers who have an egg and/or milk allergy or intolerance should not consume this product and should return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

For further information, please contact Corean Food Corporation Pty Ltd on 08 9417 2629.

Supplier

Corean Food Corporation Pty Ltd

Traders who sold this product

Asian grocery stores

Aurora Foods Pty Ltd — It's Vegan Gluten and Dairy Free Gelato 500 mL

11 Jun 2019

Product description

It's Vegan Gluten and Dairy Free Coconut Vanilla Gelato 500 mL
Use By 27/02/21
Supplied from 28/02/2019 to 31/05/2019

It's Vegan Gluten and Dairy Free Black Carbon Coconut Gelato 500 mL
Use By 11/01/21
Supplied from 28/02/2019 to 31/05/2019

Identifying features

APN/EAN Coconut Vanilla Gelato - 9 346183 005359 and Black Carbon Coconut Gelato - 9 346183 005410

What are the defects?

The recall is due to the presence of an undeclared allergen (milk).

What are the hazards?

Any consumers who have a milk allergy or intolerance may have a reaction if the product is consumed.

What should consumers do?

Consumers who have a milk allergy or intolerance should not consume this product and should return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund.

For further information, contact Aurora Foods Pty Ltd by phone on 03 9350 1800 or at www.aurorafoods.com.au

Supplier

Aurora Foods Pty Ltd

Traders who sold this product

Independent grocers including IGAs, delis and cafes

Dates available for sale

  • 28 February 2019- 31 May 2019

  • 12 January 2019- 31 May 2019

Pride Mobility Products Australia Pty Ltd — Jazzy 623 Power Wheel Chair fitted with Dynamic Controls Shark Power Module

10 Jun 2019

Product description

Jazzy 623 Power Wheel Chair fitted with Dynamic Controls Shark Power Module

Serial Numbers between A18217618 and H18199840

Manufactured between January and August 2018

ARTG 109840

Identifying features

Serial Numbers between A18217618 and H18199840

What are the defects?

A batch of spring clips, used in certain Dynamic Controls Shark power modules that are installed in Pride’s J623 power wheel chairs, may be susceptible to breakage due to a variation in heat treatment and plating process used by a supplier during manufacture.

What are the hazards?

The broken spring clips may potentially present two risks of harm to users:

1. Metal spring clip fragments may land on electronics and cause a short circuit of control circuitry, resulting in unintended wheelchair movement.
2. Metal spring clip fragments may land on electronics and results in short circuit of power conductors, resulting in Shark power modules overheating due to continued flow of current from the fitted battery.

What should consumers do?

Consumers affected by the defect will be contacted to have their wheelchair power modules replaced and installed.

For more information, consumers can contact Pride Mobility Pty Ltd directly on 03 8770 9600.

Supplier

Pride Mobility Products Australia Pty Ltd

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

We live by standards - for food, communication, products and medicine to name but a few, yet most of us are not aware of the part they play in our lives. They are crucial to our well being and safety.

From time to time Consumers SA informs its members of certain activities that their Executive Committee take part in. One of these activities is standard setting.

Through being a member of a project team working on a standard within Australia or being a member of a mirror committee to the International Standards Organisation, we can contribute to standards which in the end affect the end user, the consumer.

As an example, in the ever growing health industry which affects us all, articles covering standards for syringes, health data and the new dawn of disease control can be found in the ISO Focus magazine for March-April 2019 - ISSN 2226-1095, which has an emphasis on the anatomy of health care.

Access the magazine here: iso.org/isofocus

 Elaine Attwood AM

Consumers SA Executive Committee member

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

Recently a member of Consumers SA’s Executive returned from travelling to Cape York, and in light of the recent (3 June) article on plastic waste in the Cocos island, wrote the following:-

In our travels we were at Cape York and did a beach drive and were totally overwhelmed by the plastic rubbish there. When we arrived at Cape York it was overwhelming so we just picked up a few really large pieces and took them away.

One thing we do when we travel is try to clean up an area, the WA govt had a fantastic rubbish collection pack for people to use. Long handled tongs, disposable gloves, leather gloves, hessian bag and large plastic bags to insert in the hessian bag. A mining company sponsored the pack. (I know the plastic bag seems counter to the plastic reduction, but when you are travelling this is the best way to collect quite large amounts of rubbish and dispose of it at a tip.)

I have spoken to someone high up in SA Tourism, showed him the pack which I know we do need to get rid of plastic, but the rest of the world does too. Not sure if the SA govt have taken up idea, as a sponsor is needed.

When we were on the south coast of WA we walked along a very isolated beach in a national park and were surprised by how much of the rubbish we picked up was of Chinese origin, or some other Asian country, food wrappings, toothpaste tubes, ….. anyway just something to think about.

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

Mobu Enterprises Pty Ltd t/as OLÉ Mexican Foods (Australasia) — La Banderita White Corn Street Tacos

9 Jun 2019

Product description

Street taco - 4" white corn tortillas

Best Before 18/06/2019, 02/07/2019, 16/07/2019 and 29/07/2019

Identifying features

Other

APN/EAN 2733100127

What are the defects?

The product contains presence of an undeclared allergen (gluten).

What are the hazards?

If the product is consumed, any consumers with a gluten allergy or intolerance may have a reaction.

What should consumers do?

Consumers should return the product to the place of purchase for a full refund.

For further information, contact OLÉ Mexican Foods (Australasia) on 07 3376 2712, email labanderita@mobu.com.auor via www.olemex.com

Supplier

Mobu Enterprises Pty Ltd t/as OLÉ Mexican Foods (Australasia)

Traders who sold this product

Independent supermarkets and grocers in NSW, ACT, Qld, Vic, SA and WA

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

A study recently published in Nature Research [see reference below] indicates that, ‘… one of Australia’s most remote paradise Island chains and home to our best beach’, has been covered with 400 million pieces of waste.

 Jennifer Lavers from the Institute of Marine and Antarctic studies (IMAS) says that despite the community of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands being small, the soft beaches are “inundated with plastic”.

The study looked at the rubbish accumulation across 25 beaches on seven of the islands. Taking samples reaching from the water’s edge to the line of vegetation and up to 10 cm deep, and additional surveys inside the vegetation line, the researchers extrapolated their findings to the islands as a whole – and the numbers are staggering. They estimate that around 414 million pieces of plastic have been washed onto the soft beaches, accounting for over 95% of the rubbish discovered. According to Lavers, the plastics were largely single use products. More than 60% of the rubbish was micro-debris – small pieces of larger items measuring 2 to 5 mm across. Micro-debris poses a particular risk to fish and other marine wildlife. Disposable items such as food packaging, drink bottles, straws and toothbrushes made up close to 25% of the waste.

Terrifyingly visible waste may just be the tip of the iceberg. The researchers estimate there may be nearly 314 million rubbish items buried 1 to 10 cm underground – significantly more rubbish than the 12.8 million items visible on the surface.

 The buried waste creates a further problem as it can’t be removed without creating major disturbance to the environment. This, in turn, would impact the local wildlife even more.

 Source:   https://australiascience.tv/plastic-waste-has-trashed-one-of-australias-most-remote-islands/

Credit: Australia’s Science Channel: last updated May 21, 2019.

Note:  The South Australia government, along with others, is seeking ways to curb the use of single use plastics.  Consumers SA has commented on the government’s discussion paper on this issue {see the 13 March article posted below].

As this latest article shows, this is an area which is greatly concerning for all dwellers on the planet.

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

Latest in an occasional series of articles by Elaine Attwood about food issues affecting consumers

Food additives found in over 900 common food products increase risk of cancer and gut disease: study 

Researchers at the University of Sydney have discovered that the food additive E171 - commonly known as titanium dioxide and found in over 900 common food products - significantly increases the risk of gut disease and cancer. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles can be present in products including mayonnaise and chewing gum. It is normally found in ‘high quantities’ as it has a whitening function. ‘[This means that] E171 is consumed in high proportions everyday by the general population’, said the study’s official statement.

According to study co-lead author Associate Professor Wojciech Chrzanowski: ‘It is well established that dietary composition has an impact on physiology and health, yet the role of food additives is poorly understood. …This study presents pivotal evidence that consumption of food containing food additive E171 (titanium dioxide) affects our gut microbiota (and inflammation), which could lead to (various gut related) diseases.’

Co-lead author Associate professor Laurence Maria added that food regulatory bodies also needed to step up.

 Source: Frontiers in Nutrition

Study: Impact of the Food Additive Titanium Dioxide (E171) on Gut Microbiota-Host Interaction.

https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2019.00057

Authors: Pinget, G. et.al

Credit:    https://www.foodnavigator.com/article/2019/05/22

Author:  Pearly Neo

Nestlé seeks to lower minimum protein content in Australia and New Zealand follow-on formula.

Nestlé has applied to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to reduce the minimum protein requirement for milk-based follow-on formula in the Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code.

 The application came specifically from Nestlé Australia and Nestlé New Zealand, which want to lower the minimum protein requirement in follow-on formula (designed as complementary food for children aged 6 to 12 months) from 0.45 g per 100 kJ to 0.38 g.

The company has supported this decision by referencing the Infant Feeding Guidelines by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), adding that the suggested protein levels are closer to those in breast milk, which tends to be naturally lower when the infant is between six and 12 months of age. FSANZ has responded by calling for industry comment on the matter, with CEO Mark Booth saying: [ FSANZ]  ‘…reviewed the best available scientific evidence to determine whether the reduced protein level protects the health and safety of formula-fed infants. We concluded that the requested minimum protein requirements (0.38 g/100kj) for milk-based follow-on formula is appropriate and safe’.

 Credit:   https:///www.nutraingredients-asia.com/News/Regulation    (30th May, 2019)

Author : Cheryl Tay

Source:  © 2019 - William Reed Business media Ltd 

Fresh evidence of links between ultra – processed food and health risks revealed

 Two pieces of research published in the British Medical Journal provide fresh evidence of the links between popular processed food and a range of health risks. The studies both tied consumption of  ‘ultra-proceeded foods with risk of cardiovascular diseases and death’, said the BMJ. In the first study researchers from the University of Paris monitored 105,159 people for five years looking for associations between intake of ultra processed foods and overall risk of cardiovascular, coronary heart and cerebrovascular diseases.  The participants’ diets were assessed twice a year using the NOVA classification system, which groups foods into four categories according to the extent and purpose of industrial processing involved. The ultra-processed foods category is defined by NOVA as: “formulations of food substances often modified by chemical processes and then assembled into ready to consume hyper-palatable food and drink products using flavours, colours, emulsifiers and… other cosmetic additives.”

There were 242 cases of cardiovascular disease per 100,000 people per year, rising to 277 among those eating the most ultra-processed food. There was also an increased risk of coronary heart (124 versus 109) and cerebral vascular diseases (163 cases versus 144).   They second study was carried out  by researchers from the University of Navarra in Spain also using NOVA.   “These findings add to growing evidence of an association between ultra processed food and adverse health outcomes that has important implications for dietary advice and food policies,” said the BMJ. “The dietary advice is relatively straightforward: eat less ultra-processed food and more unprocessed or minimally processed food.” The British Heart Foundation (BHF) said more studies were needed to account for the reason why studies reveal a link between ultra processed foods and health risks.

 Sources:

‘Ultra-processed food intake and risk of cardiovascular disease: prospective cohort study’

 British Medical Journal DOI:10.1136/bmj.l1451

‘Association between consumption of ultra-processed foods and all cause mortality: SUN prospective cohort study’ British Medical Journal DOI:10.1136/bmj.l1949

Credit:  https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2019/05/31 

Author: Oliver Morrison

Source:  © 2019 William Reed Business Media Ltd

From 3D printing to bioplastic, seaweed just keeps on giving.

 Green seaweed native to Australia could be used for anything from treatments for wounds to natural plastics, say scientists who are delving into the slimy super-plant.  Throughout history, cultures around the globe have enjoyed the merits of seaweed. However it is only been in more modern times that these plants’ diverse ecological properties have captured scientists’ attention.

Algae expert–turned–entrepreneur, Dr Pia Winberg, is one such scientist, exploring the qualities of a unique, endemic species of green Australian seaweed, genus ulva, unlocking not only its rich nutritional properties but also its medical potential for printing cartilage and wound healing. Seaweed fibres could be further used to create biodegradable plastic and sustainable cotton replacements. It all comes down to the plant’s complex glycogen sugars – specifically, sulphated polysaccharides.

Some of the advantages mentioned and explained in this article include: 

·      green seaweed molecules mimicking human connective tissue

·      a vital role in immune function

·      promotion of burn and wound healing

·      a new frontier of 3D fabrication.

This seaweed extract has also been made into fibres and woven.

This article was originally published on Forbes.

Credit:  https://australiascience.tv/from-3d-printing-to-bioplastic-seaweed-just-keeps-on-giving/

Source: Australia’s Science Channel   Last updated May 23, 2019.

 

 

 

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis