Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016
In the media
ACCC admits petrol price gouging probably taking
The competition watchdog has outlined how it hopes to unravel the
mystery of volatile petrol prices and uncover why it is so much
cheaper to fill up in the city than in regional Australia. The
chairman of the ACCC said regional consumers were probably right to
feel they were being gouged by petrol retailers (16 January 2015).
Coordinated and strategic" law breaking costs CFMEU
& organisers $205,100
The Federal Court's Justice White has penalised the CFMEU and
10 of its current and former officials a total of $205,100 for
illegal activity on four Adelaide construction sites, describing
their behaviour as "coordinated and strategic" (15
January 2015). See FWBC statement:
Is cab app just an Uber cartel?
For the first time, large numbers of Australian users of Uber, the
ride-sharing service that may yet pose an existential threat to the
taxi industry, found themselves confronted with "surge
pricing". But in the way in which its prices are set, Uber
would seem to be acting more like a cartel than the existing taxi
industry, which can only charge fares to a maximum set by state
governments (10 January 2015).
Updated franchise industry code of conduct comes into
Operators in the $144 billion franchise sector in Australia risk
new, heavy fines if they breach an updated code of conduct. Small
Business Minister Bruce Billson said Australians wanting to buy
into a franchise would now have clearer information about the
financial and legal risks, and expectations (01 January 2015).
Woolworths facing new supplier anger, ACCC to examine
Coles is facing a payout after the Federal Court found the
nation's second largest supermarket chain deliberately and
illegally misused its market power to squeeze small suppliers for
money. The court verdict was welcomed by the Australian Food and
Grocery Council, which has also warned its members about Woolworths
seeking to recoup money for "profit gaps", although it is
not facing any charges (25 December 2014).
Court finds Homeopathy Plus! vaccine claims
The Federal Court has found that Homeopathy Plus! Pty Ltd
(Homeopathy Plus!) and its director, Ms Frances Sheffield, engaged
in misleading conduct and made false or misleading representations
regarding the effectiveness of the whooping cough vaccine and
homeopathic remedies as an alternative in breach of the Australian
Consumer Law (23 December 2014).
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v
Homeopathy Plus! Australia Pty Limited  FCA
CONSUMER LAW – Whether misleading, deceptive or false
representations made on website about the effectiveness of whooping
cough vaccine – Means of assessing efficacy and effectiveness
of vaccine – Evidence based medicine – Bearing of
context on characterisation of representations – Whether
representations misleading, deceptive or false when read in context
of an epidemic – Whether representation that vaccine was
"short-lived" was misleading, deceptive or false given
vaccine's propensity to wane over time.
CONSUMER LAW – Whether misleading, deceptive or false
representations made about the effectiveness of homeopathic
treatments for the prevention of whooping cough – Whether
representations about effectiveness of homeopathic treatments fall
to be assessed against a homeopathic epistemological framework or
orthodox medical science – Whether representations imply a
reasonable basis in medical science. CONSUMER LAW – Whether
disclaimers erase misleading, deceptive and false nature of
representations – Where disclaimer did not clearly bring the
true position to the public's attention.
CONSUMER LAW – Whether representations made in trade or
commerce – Whether or not carried on for profit – Where
representations said to be contribution to public debate or
educational – Whether conduct has requisite commercial or
trading character – Where conduct has dual character –
Where representations not presented overtly in form of an
advertisement. EVIDENCE – Where expert reports do not comply
with s 79 of the Evidence Act 1995 (Cth) –
Precondition to admissibility of expert evidence – Failure to
provide reasons for opinion and demonstrate connection with
specialised knowledge – Whether the manner in which material
might be presented in the field of expertise is relevant –
Duty of legal representatives to ensure expert reports comply with
rules of evidence and court practice directions. Therapeutic
Goods Act 1989 (Cth) ss 3(1), 4, 19, 19A, 19D(1), 19D(4),
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