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December 2019 | Newsletter of Consumer and Business Services
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From the Commissioner

This time of year is synonymous with generosity and gift-giving but it's important that the festive season does not create an unnecessary New Year burden for consumers.

This newsletter features a range of advice for consumers on their purchasing rights and what to be aware of this festive season. 

The final stage of the reform to liquor licensing in South Australia came into operation recently, which aims to create a modern and flexible licensing system that supports the hospitality and liquor industry, while protecting the South Australian community. 

Licence holders should know about what the changes will mean for them. Visit our website for more. 

Wishing you all the best for the festive season and a happy, healthy New Year.

Dini Soulio


Liquor and gambling

Liquor licensing reforms

The final phase of liquor licensing reforms commenced on 18 November 2019. Liquor licence categories have been streamlined and obsolete conditions removed from licences. This forms part of an overall package of reforms to modernise the licensing system, reduce red tape, and encourage a safe drinking culture. All licensees have now received their updated licences.

A risk based annual licensing fee has been adopted, recognising that venues that are open late, in a high-risk location or host higher risk activities should contribute to the added costs of ensuring public safety. The new fee structure will apply to existing licences from mid-2020. 

Licensees can calculate their new annual licensing fees using the fee calculator. Licensees can potentially reduce their fees by reducing their trading hours and other conditions. This can be done through Liquor and Gaming Online.

Read more about the liquor licensing reforms

Fair trading

Gift cards

Laws changed on 1 November 2019 bringing a nationally consistent approach to gift cards. This means that most gift cards and vouchers sold in Australia now must have a minimum three-year expiry period. Once a gift card has been issued, you cannot be charged any other fee - e.g. activation fee, account keeping fee or balance enquiry fee.
Read more about your gift card rights

Online shopping & pre-selected options

Businesses must advertise the complete price of items they sell online. If there are any extra fees or charges, or pre-selected options, these need to be included in the headline price that you see. These changes commenced 26 October 2019.
More info about pre-selected options

Can you pick the travelling conmen?

They all could be. South Australians are being targeted by people going door-to-door, claiming to offer discounts for home repairs and other trades services. They often use high pressure tactics to try and get people to hand over their money. CBS has received reports of unlicensed operators claiming to offer discounted services in the Riverland. 

If you're approached by someone going door-to-door, remember - don't give in to high pressure tactics.

Take common-sense precautions to ensure the person you're dealing with is legitimate. Check that the individual is licensed, go online or talk to friends who've used that contractor and always shop around. The cheapest quote may not be the best.

Report suspicious tradepeople to CBS

Product safety

Summer safety tips

We want you to have a safe, happy and healthy summer. It's important to be aware that many summer products can be unsafe if they are left unattended or aren’t used properly.

To have a safe summer, follow our top tips for pool safety, trampolines, quad bikes, items with button batteries, and buying Christmas toys and gifts.

See our summer safety tips

Portable pools

We don’t want to put a dampener on your summer fun, but 3cm of water and 20 seconds is it all takes for a young child to drown. Don't duck out from your responsibilities. Make it S.A.F.E.

  • Supervise children within arm's reach so you can prevent anything from going wrong.
  • Act. Learn what to do if there's a drowning incident. You’ll need to know CPR.
  • Fence. Laws apply to ANY type of pool filled with more than 30cm of water.
  • Empty and safely store away smaller portable pools.

Check out this portable pool safety video. It could be a life-saver.

More portable pools safety tips

Compliance and enforcement

Electricians penalised after negligent work

An electrician and his subbie faced court over slapdash work on a switchboard upgrade for a solar installation.  Mains voltage was put on the home's earthing system, causing all taps, sinks and earthed appliances to be at full voltage of 240V. The home owner suffered a serious electrical shock from his garden tap, but despite reporting the shock to the electricians, neither returned to fix the fault. 

One of the electricians was reprimanded and fined $8,000. The other was disqualified from being licensed until he completes retraining and the Commissioner considers him fit and proper to be licensed. 

This incident should serve as a warning to other tradespeople to not cut corners and to take adequate remedial action quickly.

Please report any incidents of shoddy trades work to CBS

Licensing and registration

Counter terrorism awareness for security industry

A new publication developed by Consumer and Business Services and SAPOL is now available, providing information and advice about how to prepare for and respond to terrorism-related incidents.

The publication aims to better equip security guards to help police and other law enforcement agencies in responding to a serious public safety or terrorist related incident.

Counter Terrorism Awareness for Security Industry Personnel

Testing and inspecting fire sprinklers

Two additional registration categories have been created for people who only ‘test and inspect’ fire suppression systems:

  • General ‘test and inspect’ registration
  • Hydrant and hose reel ‘test and inspect’ registration.
There are different registration requirements for people performing installation or repair work.
More information about the updated registration requirements


Repairs and maintenance

Sometimes landlords might be uncertain about their responsibilities when it comes to repairs and maintenance of their tenanted property. 

How long do landlords have to fix a problem?
How much notice is needed to enter a property?
Who is responsible for changing light globes? 

Answers to these questions and more are available on the website. 
More information about repairs and maintenance responsibilities


Do not knock stickers

Do not knock stickers are available from CBS, which can be used to show visitors to your home that you do not want to be disturbed by door-to-door salespeople. If a sticker is clearly displayed by your door or front gate, it is illegal for a seller to knock at your door.

Visit the website or telephone 131 882 to order your free sticker. 

Order your free Do not knock sticker
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Consumer and Business Services

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