Sector articles of interest - 18 November

Written on the 18 November 2020 by SAFCA

  • FCA Weekly Digest 9-13 November
  • Education and Ambulance debts now being managed by Fines Enforcement
  • Wesnet Webinar Technology abuse and Domestic Violence in Australia
  • Consumers and Covid-19 Renters find it harder to make ends meet


FCA Weekly Digest 9-13 November

Monday 9 - Friday 13 November

Introduction: Monday 9 - Friday 13 November

Welcome to the fifth edition of our Weekly Digest, to keep you across recent news and website/toolkit updates.

We decided we should offer an alternative to the Facebook group, as not everyone is engaged via that platform. The Facebook group will remain active and this newsletter reflects the posts we make each week.

Looking for a different Weekly Digest? You can find all our previous versions on the Weekly Digest Toolkit page.

News and Updates

Posted on Facebook Toolkit Group throughout the week.

Save Safe Lending Campaign Update 

3:30pm Wednesday 18th November 

Our campaign to save safe lending protections is well underway. 

Together, we're making significant progress. This week Senators from the ALP, Greens and cross bench joined forces to condemn the Government's plans. The Australian Financial Review is also reporting this week that the 'Axing of responsible lending laws is in doubt'. This is a credit to the amazing advocacy that is happening across the sector!

The coming weeks are critical for keeping the pressure on our decision makers now the Government has released its draft laws to weaken responsible lending protections.

We invite you to join us Wednesday 18th November at 3:30pm for a campaign update briefing on Zoom.

The briefing will cover:

  • Legislation update 
  • Details about the Government's draft Bill
  • Campaign update
  • What's happened so far, including a political and media update
  • What's coming up, including the launch of our campaign website 
  • What you can do in the coming weeks

There will be time for discussion and questions during the briefing.

Date: Wednesday 18 November 
Time: 3.30pm - 4.30pm AEDT
Where: the briefing will be on Zoom, you'll receive the details via email shortly after you register
Register here to join us next Wednesday

Reminder to Please Take Our Responsible Lending Survey

We'd like to hear your thoughts about the proposed repeal of responsible lending laws! The survey is available here

We'll use the information in our campaign arguing that these changes should not go ahead.

The campaign is coordinated by FCA in collaboration with the State and Territory financial counselling associations.

Your contribution is greatly appreciated, thank you to those who have already done the survey.

If you have any questions, contact James Sleep ( ).

AFSA Warns People to Steer Clear of Dodgy Insolvency Advisors

The Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) has launched a campaign to raise awareness of dodgy insolvency advisors who exploit people when they seek help.

AFSA is particularly concerned that those experiencing financial stress due to COVID-19 may be easy targets.

"People who find themselves dealing with large debts for the first time... may be tempted to turn to advisors who say they have a quick fix and later find out what they've done is illegal," AFSA's Deputy Chief Executive Gavin McCosker explained.

Read the media release for further information.

Education and Ambulance Debts now being managed by Fines Enforcement

Department of Education and SA Ambulance Service debts are now being managed by Fines Enforcement and Recovery Unit.  The debts are being transferred to FERU before judgement, giving consumers a chance to enter into a payment arrangement, without hefty legal fees being added.

Sean Turtur from Fines Enforcement and Recovery Unit has also confirmed that they will not be using AfterPay services for the debts and fines which they manage.

Training will be provided in the new year for Financial Counsellors who wish to learn about changes to the FERU Approved Drug and Alcohol treatment program.  Watch this space.


Wesnet Webinar


Early this year WESNET, along with Dr Delanie Woodlock and researchers from Curtin University, conducted the Second National Survey on Technology Abuse and Domestic Violence.

Funded by Telstra, the survey was completed by 442 domestic violence workers across all states and territories in Australia. The survey repeats and expands on the original survey conducted in 2015 by the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria.

Join us on 24 November as Karen Bentley, CEO of WESNET, and Professor Donna Chung of Curtin University discuss the survey findings. We share the knowledge and insights gained from the 442 domestic and family violence practitioners, such as how perpetrators of domestic violence are misusing technology as a tactic for abuse, threats, monitoring and surveillance. We also explore what has changed over the last five years and gain insights into the way technology is being misused during COVID-19.

The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with the presenters and the research team Natasha Mahony, Darcee Shulze and Amy Pracilio.

The Survey Report Publication will be released on 24 November 2020.

REGISTER HERE - 24 November 2020, 12.30PM SA


Consumers and Covid-19 Renters find it harder to make ends meet

The Consumer Policy Research Centre issued their Consumer & Covid-19 September Results Snapshot which reveal a stark contrast in the experiences of renters and mortgage holders trying to maintain their financial, emotional and physical wellbeing during the pandemic.

Higher levels of financial stress are bearing down on rental households compared to homeowners with a mortgage, exposing deep crascks in the Australian housing market.

To read the results, click here




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