This Friday the local councils of Tasmania will converge to vote on a motion of support for Keep Me Posted, the consumer campaign fighting paper charges imposed by large corporations.
Last Monday, the Devonport City Council voted in favour of a similar motion of support which requested endorsement of the Keep Me Posted campaign in its efforts to raise awareness of the charges some corporations slap on consumers who request a paper version of information or bills.
“We are fingers and toes crossed for the Local Government Association of Tasmania to pass the motion,” campaign executive director, Kellie Northwood says.
“Following Devonport’s example, we hope that Tasmania becomes the first state to promote the consumer’s right to choose, leading the rest of Australia.”
The motion follows news this week that Australia’s big four banks have transitioned to electronic land titles after destroying millions of paper certificates.
Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Westpac and ANZ have discarded a combined 1.6 million printed land certificates for mortgages in Victoria, forcing property owners to use bank-owned digital systems.
Land and property owners were informed by the Victorian government their paper titles would become ineffective as of the end of October. Legal experts have raised issue with the digital transition due to possible security breaches.
Commenting on the move, Northwood says this latest action by the big four banks highlights why campaigns such as Keep Me Posted are necessary.
“Where was the consultation before these critical documents were quietly destroyed and why is the consumer now expected to pay more?” she asks.
“In Australia, 1.3 million households do not have internet access at home, more often these people are disadvantaged, elderly, or low income families, it is the most vulnerable who carry the greater burden of the push to digital.”
Northwood and her fellow campaigners have written to all the Local Councils of Tasmania in the lead up to the vote to provide insights on the campaign and to invite discussions on the issue prior to any decisions being made.
Tasmania is the least digitally included state of Australia, according to the Australian Digital Inclusion Index released in August. With a score of 48.2, it is 6.3 points below the national average.
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