THE Australian Retailers Association (ARA) strongly oppose the NSW Gift Card Reforms as the proposed regulation by NSW Fair Trading will significantly disadvantage consumers, hurt small businesses and place NSW at a competitive disadvantage to other states.
The ARA on behalf of the NSW Business Chamber (NSWBC), Australian Sporting Goods Association (ASGA), Franchise Council of Australia (FCA), Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA), and Restaurant and Catering Australia (RCA) all disapprove of the proposed reforms to NSW gift cards as previous Federal inquiries into the operation of gift cards have found no associated consumer benefit to altering the regulations.
ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman, said the ARA along with the above industry groups are concerned that members and the business community were not properly notified of these reforms and believes implementing any changes without consultation to key stakeholders is concerning.
“Introducing a three-year minimum expiry limit for gift cards within New South Wales places an unnecessary regulatory burden and significant additional administrative costs on small, medium and large businesses,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“It is unreasonable to expect small retailers and family businesses to amend their administrative practices and incur extra liabilities on their books simply to respond to unnecessary regulation.”
“Gift cards are issued to consumers free of charge, with the majority used within their first 12 months. Increasing red tape and imposing conflicting rules on gift cards from retailers who operate across the nation will simply not work,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“This will restrict trade and competition between New South Wales and other states, and there is no means of monitoring the use of gift cards across borders.”
Given the issues of consistency, the extra administrative burden on small business, and the lack of engagement with stakeholders, the ARA call upon the NSW Government to abandon these unnecessary regulations, which will serve to hurt consumers and small businesses alike.
About the Australian Retailers Association:
Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.