Safety checks for thousands of show bag items

Shane Rattenbury, MLA

As the Royal Canberra Show kicks off, Access Canberra Fair Trading compliance officers have checked more than 1,000 items in hundreds of showbags to ensure they meet safety requirements.

The checks help to minimise the risk of public harm by ensuring that products provided in the showbags meet the mandatory product safety requirements under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), Mandatory Product Safety Standards and Product Bans.

Minister for Consumer Affairs Shane Rattenbury said the pre-Show checks were just one of the proactive activities the Access Canberra Fair Trading team do throughout the year to support product safety and consumer rights.

“It also has an educative element for suppliers about product safety requirements to ensure they are informed and are confident when trading at the Show.”

Suppliers must demonstrate that products are safe ahead of sale. Compliance officers check for a range of potential items of concern, including:

  • choking hazards for children aged three years and under;
  • ingredient labels on products such as temporary tattoos, makeup and face paint;
  • UV protection ratings on sunglasses;
  • toys that rapidly fire projectiles;
  • products containing button batteries, ensuring these are labelled and batteries are secured.

No significant Product Safety or ACL breaches identified during the inspection activity, with annual checks resulting in a high level of compliance by suppliers.

“Some minor issues were identified and raised with Show representatives and suppliers such as bags missing items contained on their content list or the description of an item was different to the content list,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“While these checks can give parents confidence, it is important that children are still supervised when they play with items in show bags and that parents purchase bags which are age appropriate.”

Minister Rattenbury said like purchasing any item it was also important for consumers to exercise thoughtful and sustainable purchasing.

“Think value for money and also how quickly the contents, which are often cheaply made, may end up in landfill after purchase,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“There may be an item that could be purchased instead which may have a longer and more useful product lifespan.”