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Joe Hockey

The Minister for Financial Services and Regulation

21 October 1998 - 26 November 2001

Media Release of 23/09/99

NO. FSR/044

Hockey Announces Expert Group for Electronic Commerce

The Minister for Financial Services & Regulation, Joe Hockey today announced the set-up of an expert group to advise him on consumer protection in electronic commerce.

"As Minister with responsibility for consumer affairs, I am committed to providing adequate protection on the Internet and to increasing consumer confidence," the Minister said.

"The expert group will advise me on strategies to achieve the Government’s objective of establishing Australia as a centre of excellence in consumer protection in electronic commerce."

The expert group will be chaired by Mark Bouris, the Executive Director of Wizard Financial Services Group. Members include representatives from business, consumers and academia and will bring a wide range of expertise and experience to the group. A membership list is attached.

"Research indicates that while the number of Australians using the Internet is increasing rapidly, the number of people using it to make purchases remains relatively low. We want to develop a consumer protection regime for e-commerce that will empower Australians to be at the forefront of global commerce, both as online consumers and as online traders.

"The Government’s philosophy of consumer sovereignty is that consumers, when equipped with the right information, are in the best position to make their own decisions. The Internet gives consumers almost limitless choice. We need to make sure that consumers are empowered to take full advantage of that choice.

"The expert group will advise me on the initiatives and strategies necessary to achieve this goal and I look forward to working with members in this exciting and challenging arena."

The expert group will advise on implementing effective industry self-regulation online including the development of a model code of conduct and dispute resolution mechanisms for merchants as well as education and international initiatives.

20 September 1999 44/99

Media contact: Matthew Abbott, Minister’s office, 0413 076 213
Treasury contact: Susan Johnston, 02 6263 3963

The Minister's media releases and speeches are available on www.minfsr.treasury.gov.au

E-commerce Expert Group

Mr Mark Bouris
Executive Director
Wizard Financial Services Group

Members:

Mr Patrick Fair
Chairman
Internet Industry Association

Mr Victor Perton MP
Member for Doncaster
Parliament of Victoria

Ms Louise Sylvan
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Consumers’ Association

Professor Mark Sneddon
Special Counsel - Electronic Commerce
Clayton Utz

Ms Elizabeth Broderick
Partner and Head of Legal Technology Group
Blake Dawson Waldron

Mr Ted Pretty
Group Managing Director
Convergent Business
Telstra

Ms Clare Barrett-Lennard
General Counsel & Company Secretary
ERG Limited