Consumer protection to combat issues like increasing household debt and providing a voice for consumer needs are just two of the benefits from increased support for Griffith University’s Centre for Credit and Consumer Law (CCCL).
The CCCL has received a further $65,000 funding from the Queensland Government to continue its valuable work, announced by Fair Trading Minister Margaret Keech.
The Centre also received a further $65,000 funding from the University.
Mrs Keech said the new CCCL funding would help produce high-quality research, generate ideas and provide a source of independent advice about credit and consumer issues and their impact.
CCCL director Nicola Howell said the funding highlighted the importance of the Centre’s work.
“The Government’s continued commitment to the Centre is very welcome, and will enable us to continue researching and reporting on the very topical area of consumer credit,” Ms Howell said.
The CCCL works with consumers, industry and government and acts as a voice – particularly for low income and vulnerable people – in policy development and legal debate.
The funding will be used to research the need for interest rate caps, issues surrounding financial over-commitment, responsible lending and responsible borrowing, and financial counselling.
“Consumer credit is very much a part of our economy and our society, and when individuals become over-committed, the consequences can be devastating and long-lasting,” Ms Howell said.
Credit card debt has increased 14 per cent in only one year and there are more and more media reports of increased foreclosures on family homes said Ms Howell.
“Consumer education and information initiatives are a key part of any response to these issues, but we also need to ensure that our laws and regulations are up to the task,” Ms Howell said.
“Through research the CCCL can help to inform policy decisions, and ensure regulatory framework is up to the challenges of our complex society.”
The Centre is also focused on helping develop a consumer advocacy sector in Queensland by working with community and consumer organisations across the state.
“Thanks to the funding the CCCL will be able to continue its work to promote safer, fairer and more efficient markets,” Ms Howell said.