Polaris Solar Pty Ltd and ACT Renewable Energy Pty Ltd are two of the first businesses in Australia who feel victim to the full force of the ACCC, when both businesses made representations relating to the price of household electricity quoting the sources of such information from ‘independent studies’ . The representations were held to be misleading as the information was unverified and was actually from a newspaper article.
Both companies have made informal agreements with the ACCC to send their directors to compliance training to avoid such representations in the future.
The Retail Food Group are also under investigation by the ACCC after the ACCC received a copy of an internal memorandum suggesting Brumby’s franchisees increase their prices and attribute such increase to the carbon tax.
Springvale Cemetery were also the subject of media attention earlier this week when they imposed a $55.00 surcharge on a burial plot ‘due to the carbon tax’. Such price hike was subsequently withdrawn and an apology issued for the false statement. Currently, cemetery’s and crematoriums are not liable under the carbon price mechanism.
Penalties for misleading carbon pricing claims range from infringement notices (similar to ‘on the spot fines’) of $6,600 and in serious cases, businesses and/or
individuals could incur penalties of up to $1.1 million and $220,000 respectively.
To avoid such ramifications, it is recommended:
- Be careful about attributing a price increase to the carbon tax unless it is truthful and can be substantiated; and
- Be careful about relying on claims by any third parties to substantiate a price increase.
If you would like any information or assistance to avoid such ramifications, please contact Attwood Marshall Lawyers on 1800 621 071 or use our Online Enquiry Form to send us your details.
With three offices conveniently located at Robina, Coolangatta – Tweed and Kingscliff you can also visit us at an office near you.