New commissioner targets updated consumer protections

Published: 15 Dec 2021

Released by: Fair Trading

Strengthening protections for consumers in the wake of COVID-19 will be one of the priorities of newly-appointed NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Natasha Mann.

Ms Mann has replaced Rose Webb who is retiring after four years as both Fair Trading Commissioner and head of the Department of Customer Service’s Better Regulation Division.    

She has more than 18 years’ regulatory, legal and public policy experience in the NSW public sector and most recently held a senior executive role in the NSW Department of Communities & Justice.

Ms Mann said she was excited to lead reforms to protect NSW consumer rights as they engage with businesses in innovative new ways.  

“I am delighted and privileged to have been appointed as the Commissioner for Fair Trading and the Deputy Secretary of the Better Regulation Division,” Ms Mann said.

“We will continue to make sure we are a risk-based regulator with the right tools, including putting in place the best intelligence and regulatory systems to protect consumers.

“Engaging with community, industry and other stakeholders is an integral part of our role – and placing people at the centre of our work is an important part of how we tackle regulatory challenges.

“I look forward to continuing Fair Trading’s active participation in national reforms to monitor changes to consumer habits and regulation, including issues arising during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We will really examine how the Australian Consumer Law can be improved as a result.”

Ms Mann said Minister Kevin Anderson’s recently announced development of a new information standard for the travel industry will give consumers greater understanding and awareness in relation to travel cancellations and refunds. 

“NSW Fair Trading is leading the way on this national reform and I look forward to working with other consumer regulators to ensure consumer rights are protected,” Ms Mann said.

Ms Webb is retiring after a high-profile career which has seen her work in senior leadership roles at Hong Kong’s Competition Commission, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

“It has been a great privilege and a career highlight to be Deputy Secretary of the Better Regulation Division working with all the team members from Fair Trading, SafeWork, Liquor & Gaming and our other regulators,” Ms Webb said.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Better Regulation Division has helped NSW businesses and the community continue to operate with unprecedented changes to the way we do business.

“In the way our inspectors and other staff responded to new regulations from health orders, including QR code check in and social distancing requirements, I leave knowing the organisation is equipped to respond with flexibility and determination to further challenges ahead.”

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