The Morrison Government is acting to ensure Australian families get what they pay for when organising their holiday spreads, with a pre-Christmas blitz on hams, prawns and other festive favourites.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said inspectors from the National Measurement Institute (NMI) will be deployed to audit 650 businesses this week to ensure they are complying with trade measurement law.
“Australians should feel confident they are getting every gram of what they pay for when shopping for their Christmas lunch,” Minister Andrews said.
“Every dollar counts, particularly around Christmas time, so our inspectors will be looking closely at sales of seasonal goods such as hams and prawns to ensure Australians aren’t ripped off by scrooges using dodgy scales or weights.
“The national audit will include a focus on businesses previously found to be in breach of trade measurement law, to ensure they’ve taken appropriate actions and are once again doing the right thing.”
Inspectors will be out in force making ‘secret shopper’ trial purchases to make sure businesses are following correct trading practices, such as properly accounting for the weight of packaging materials when selling over the counter.
Scales will be checked to confirm they are approved for trade use and are measuring accurately.
“Packaged goods will also be checked to ensure they have required measurement labels and contain the amount of product claimed,” Minister Andrews said.
Where non-compliance is found, NMI can issue infringement notices with fines of $1,050 per offence. If the case is serious enough for a prosecution, the maximum fines are $210,000 per offence for a company or $42,000 per offence for an individual.
For more information or to report a suspected breach of the rules, contact the national trade measurement helpline on 1300 686 664 or firstname.lastname@example.org.