Property professionals among consumer protection award finalists

The Western Australian Department of Commerce has announced the finalists for its 10th annual Consumer Protection Awards.

The awards ceremony, which will be held on March 21, will recognise the contributions of individuals and the media to consumer protection in Western Australia.

Anne Driscoll, the commissioner for Consumer Protection, congratulated the finalists, which were chosen from a list of 22 nominees.

"It really is an accolade to get to this stage considering the calibre of the nominations," she said. "It is a milestone as we mark ten years of the Awards. I am very much looking forward to us once again acknowledging the outstanding efforts of consumer advocates."

This year, the Consumer Protection’s Media Award has been renamed the Ruby Hutchison Media Award, recognising the first woman elected to the state’s Legislative Council.

The shortlisted finalists:

Rona Okely Award (for individuals)

  • Gavan Forster of the Master Builders Association, WA has been raising awareness of consumer building issues via a Q&A newspaper column for more than 15 years.
  • Sandra Brown assisted consumers during her 18 years at the Citizens Advice Bureau and since retiring in 2011 has continued to give community talks about consumer and tenancy rights.

Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award (for organisations)

  • Advocare helps receivers of health and aged care services to know their rights and make necessary complaints.
  • Consumers' Association of WA is a non-profit, voluntary organisation which successfully campaigned for a product safety ban and the introduction of a service to tell car-buyers if there is any money owing on vehicles.
  • Consumer Credit Legal Service (WA) provides legal advice on consumer credit, banking and finance; particularly to those who are on a low income, vulnerable, disadvantaged or speak English as a second language.

Kidsafe WA Award (any contributor to advancement of injury prevention for children)

  • RAC bstreetsmart – a road safety initiative to reduce fatality and injury rates among young people.
  • Samantha Menezes petitioned for laws to prevent the supply of alcohol to minors without parental permission.

Media Award (for journalists and media outlets)

  • David Weber of ABC Radio has produced property scam and romance fraud stories.
  • Natalie Bonjolo from Today Tonight has exposed dodgy tradespeople and businesses.
  • Rashelle Predovnik at The Echo Newspaper reports on consumer affairs, including investigations into service providers and safety warnings for shoppers.

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