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A FAIR MEASURE FOR AUSTRALIANS

Trade measurement protection goes national

A new national team of trade measurement inspectors will be out in force from tomorrow, 1 July, ensuring Australian consumers get what they pay for at the supermarket checkout and petrol pump.

The Federal Government's National Measurement Institute (NMI) will assume responsibility for Australia’s trade measurement system, creating a national watchdog responsible for monitoring the accuracy of weights and scales from the factory floor to the market stall.

Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Industry Richard Marles said the new national system would cut business red tape and give consumers added confidence.

“Consumers need to know the meat, firewood or petrol they buy has been weighed and measured correctly. That means having properly calibrated scales and fuel flow meters and accurately labeled packaged goods.

“NMI’s national team of inspectors will monitor compliance right across industry, from manufacturing plants to retail outlets, ensuring consumers get what they pay for.

“Penalties range from warnings and infringement notices to prosecutions carrying potential fines of up to $110,000,” Mr Marles said.

NMI’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Laurie Besley, said while the penalties were not new, after 109 years of separate state and territory regimes, a national watchdog would ensure consistency Australia-wide.

“Importantly, a national system will allow NMI to track non-compliance among industries, resulting in better access to statistics and information,” Mr Besley said.

Trade transactions that rely on some form of measurement are estimated to be worth over $400 billion a year to the Australian economy.

Information about the new trade measurement arrangements is available from the website: www.measurement.gov.au and new telephone hotline: 1300 NTM NMI (686 664).

Media contacts:  Pauline Braniff, Mr Marles’ Office, 0419 664 016
                           Dr Valérie Villière, NMI, 0404 236 941.