Members would know from information posted on our website, reported in our newsletter and in the Presidential Annual Reports, the amount of work undertaken by the Association.
Since we are a small organisation with limited funds, it is not always apparent where we have been instrumental in obtaining change or been successful in our endeavours. Listed below are some areas where Consumers SA has been a positive influence, either alone or combined and supported other organisations, benefitting all consumers.
World Standards and Australian Standards.
CSA’s knowledge and input is taken into consideration at both the national and the international level. Standards are an essential and integral part of everyone’s lives. Modern life would be chaotic without them and they afford protection to both the manufacturer and the consumer. The development of standards is a continuous and evolving process and Consumers SA is actively involved to ensure that consumer interests are fully considered.
The Free Range Egg Standard
CSA started work on this at the State level and then when the Federal government took an interest we were able to continue our lobbying and offered support to other organisations lobbying for the same outcome.
SA Power Network
At the initial consultation with SAPN CSA was instrumental in having the entity produce a user-friendly guide for consumers to understand the various players in our energy supply system.
Our various submissions to the Australian Energy Regulator and the Essential Services Commission of SA on the five year regulatory plan for SAPN was taken into consideration, along with other groups, in the regulator’s final determination (SAPN subsequently appealed the determination but the appeal was dismissed).
CSA has a representative on the SA Water Residential Customers’ Advisory Group (RCAG). CSA’s influence may be seen through our advice on their hardship programs and how they have distributed rebates to their customers. CSA has also offered advice on their consumer engagement programs and the RCAG’s advice is often sought before consumer matters are placed before the board of SA Water.
CSA is regularly asked to support various campaigns CHOICE are running and from time to time answer surveys.
Consumer & Business Services
The Commissioner for Consumer Affairs (or Acting Commissioner) attends several committee meetings each year to both inform us and to seek our input on various aspects of their work. An example of this is Consumer and Business Services Compliance and Enforcement Policy which is updated yearly.
SA Council of Social Services (SACOSS)
SACOSS operate many different social and welfare programs. As members of their Energy group CSA’s opinion is sought, and their input taken into account with submissions they make and, where applicable, we support their submissions.
The above are just a few examples of where CSA’s influence is contributing to a better and safer environment for consumers.