Taking it to the people

After the election campaign comes the CHOICE tour

The Federal Election has come and gone and as we wait to see who will form the next government, CHOICE is about to embark on its own campaign trail to gauge the mood of the electorate on a range of consumer issues.

Over the next 12 months, CHOICE CEO Nick Stace will speak to more than 30 community organisations as part of a national-wide tour, starting next Tuesday (August 31) with an address to the Rotary Club of Caloundra on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

"Unlike Julia and Tony, the difference with this national tour is one, I've been invited, two, I'll be going to listen and learn and thirdly, the tour won't end in five weeks time," says Stace.

"I'll be talking to various community groups about the key issues that are important to consumers such as food labeling, supermarket competition and getting a better deal for bank customers.

"In a pre-election survey of visitors to our website, these were the issues that mattered most to voters, yet none of the major parties provided any clear policies to address these concerns."

On food labeling, CHOICE has proposed a traffic-light labeling scheme to give consumers clear, simple nutrition information on the front of packets.

"We also want to talk to communities about their views on fast food labeling as well as our proposal for a Supermarket Ombudsman.

"Grocery prices and supermarket competition are front of mind for consumers as are bank fees and the lack of banking competition.

"During the Global Financial Crisis the government's priority was to secure the stability of the banking sector, but now the worst is over it's time consumers received a dividend in the form of credit card reform and bank about portability.

"After the failure of our politicians in the election, this tour is aimed at getting consumers to drive change and to instill a consumer culture that we should no longer settle for second best," says Stace.

Nick Stace will be accompanied on his Caloundra visit by Christopher Zinn, CHOICE's director of Campaigns and Communications.

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