New national laws for co-ops                                 
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Greetings to you all!

Welcome to the March 2017 edition of our Think Smart quarterly newsletter

We hope you find the information in this edition useful. Please help us spread the information by forwarding this newsletter to your networks.

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For more information about the topics in this newsletter visit our website at


Improve online shopping: take the survey


Do you go online to do your shopping? You're not alone.

While there are lots of benefits to shopping online, there can also be problems. These can include products not being delivered or products not matching the online description.

Help us better understand your experience of online shopping. We want to:

  • understand people’s experience (positive and negative) of online shopping
  • understand people’s experience with Australian-based suppliers versus overseas-based suppliers
  • identify the key issues consumers encounter while shopping online
  • gauge consumers’ awareness of their rights while shopping online

Take a few minutes of your time to complete this online shopping survey so we can all work to make a better digital world. The survey will run until 18 April 2017.


New strata laws - information in community languages


As you're aware, the new strata laws commenced on 30 November 2016. They have been modernised to fit the reality of living in a strata townhouse or apartment today. Key changes include:

  • making it easier for owners to complete cosmetic and minor renovations
  • making it easier to hold meetings and vote on decisions using modern forms of communication
  • new options for addressing the issues of parking, pets and nuisance smoking
  • ensuring tenants can play a valuable role in the life of their strata scheme
  • a new collective sale process enabling owners to jointly sell and/or redevelop their strata scheme, which the NSW Land and Environment Court must ensure is ‘just and equitable’ for the owners.
These changes will improve strata living for over two million people who own, live in or manage strata schemes across the state. To become familiar with the new laws, we have translated the following fact sheets and poster into five community languages (Arabic, Chinese (Simplified/Traditional), Korean and Vietnamese). Topics include:
  • Buying a strata property
  • Dealing with problems in strata
  • Renovations to your strata property
  • Understanding your strata by-laws
  • Strata A3 poster in six languages
  • Strata A4 poster

To learn more about strata law reform visit our website and download the above fact sheets from our publications page or from our community language pages


Toppling furniture education campaign


Tragically, up to two children die every year from furniture or TVs toppling over. Toppling furniture and TVs also cause hundreds of serious injuries each year.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Take steps to prevent furniture from toppling over by installing an anchor device.

Secure furniture and TVs using furniture straps, angle braces or anchors screwed into walls. If they are supplied with furniture or TVs, you should use them. They can also be purchased from your local hardware store or furniture supplier.

If you’re renting your home, speak to your landlord or agent to get permission to install a furniture strap, angle brace or anchor to the wall. Explain why you want to install the device and assure them that if any damage is caused by the installation, you will repair it when the tenancy ends. Make sure you get the landlord's or agent’s approval in writing.

Watch a safety video at the Product Safety Australia website to find out how you can keep your children safe.

Please help us promote positive messages about securing furniture safely, order copies of the above postcard from


Consumer rights education for people with disability 

Your shopping rights

Fair Trading is committed to informing vulnerable consumers of their rights and protections under the Australian Consumer Law, and to building the capacity of people with disabilities to exercise their rights. 

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides individualised funding for consumers with disabilities. People with disabilities, including many without prior experience in the marketplace, are now responsible for buying products and entering contracts with service providers. Fair Trading runs free education sessions to help people with a disability learn how to ‘self-protect’ when buying or hiring and to raise an issue if something goes wrong. This initiative is part of a two-year collaborative project funded by NSW Family and Community Services. For further information for people with a disability and other learning resources visit our website.

Free community talks

Experienced Fair Trading staff deliver free education talks through organised group events and local meetings across NSW. Fair Trading welcomes invitations to speak with community groups, providers, agency staff, and people working in the disability sector, however, advanced bookings are a must due to demand. To request a speaker, call (02) 9895 0051 or email


Consumer guide for international students


In Australia, every person has consumer rights and responsibilities, and our trade practices are different from many overseas countries. Every person has the right to be protected from unfair business practices. 

NSW Fair Trading has developed the Consumer guide for international students to help international students understand their consumer rights and responsibilities while living in NSW.

The guide covers topics such as shopping and refunds, mobile phones and data plans, buying a car, renting, gym memberships, scams and more.

This guide is a valuable tool to help international students, especially to those who are new to Australia, negotiate the marketplace and enhance their shopping experience. To order copies of the brochure email

Visit our international students page or contact us on 13 32 20 for more information about your consumer rights and responsibilities in NSW.


Update - Mandarin videos on WeChat


In our last issue, we informed you that Fair Trading is working in collaboration with the Australia Nanhai Culture Media Group to develop educational videos to help Mandarin-speaking communities in NSW better understand their consumer rights and responsibilities under the Australian Consumer Law. 

To date, six videos have been produced covering topics such as online shopping, refunds, deposits, the new strata laws, complaint register and Fair Trading's role and services delivered by Xiaojing, a Fair Trading Mandarin-speaking staff member and a presenter. These videos are now available through WeChat channel and on YouTube. You can view the videos on our website.

Please help us promote this video to your Chinese community groups, clients, Mandarin-speaking staff and other relevant networks.


Chinese Lantern Festival - Darling Harbour 

Lunar Chinese NY information stall

In February this year, Fair Trading took the opportunity to share an information stall with our Think Smart partner Nanhai media. Information available at community events such as this provides direct access and face-to-face engagement by Fair Trading staff with the Chinese communities. It also encourages community members to seek information from Fair Trading staff on the spot.

Below: Visitors and staff at the Fair Trading's information stall. 

Lunar_new_year_info_stall.jpg Think_Smart/Lunar_NY_info_stall.jpg

Ask a Fair Trading expert to speak at your next event

Think Smart consultation photo

Fair Trading works with community groups to deliver FREE tailored information sessions to consumers.

Why not ask a Fair Trading speaker to attend your next event? We can adapt one or more topics to suit your audience.

Topics include:

  • Know your shopping rights
  • Be scam aware
  • Buying safe products
  • Buying a car
  • Hiring a tradesperson
  • Renting a home.

Fair Trading's community engagement team will work with you to develop an interactive session tailored to your group's size and needs. Our information will cater for your specific audience (eg. young people, CALD, seniors, Aboriginal communities, or people with a disability).

Participants will also have the opportunity to ask questions and receive tools and tips to better protect themselves in today’s market.

To find out more and to request a free speaker, email or call 13 32 20 and speak to your local Community Liaison Coordinator. We can attend locations throughout NSW.


Resources in other languages 

Think Smart publication icon
Fair Trading provides a range of FREE information in other languages to help educate consumers. Visit our website and select 'Languages' to access web pages and publications in over 30 languages. You can also access video and audio resources in community languages on specific topics relating to consumers and traders.


Think Smart community partners

Think Smart community partners

Think Smart program

Fair Trading runs a community education initiative through partnerships with community organisations and multicultural media to increase awareness and understanding of consumer rights issues by community members from CALD communities... Read more about the Think Smart program