Retailer fined for safety breaches
A Hurstville retailer with stores in Hurstville and Wellington and formerly at Bankstown has been fined more than $20,000 by a magistrate for nine breaches of product safety regulations.
New South Wales Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts said the fines issued to Metlej Pty Ltd resulted from inspections dating back to June 2009.
“Metlej Pty Ltd t/as Stokland Depot and Bag a Bargain Wellington has been dealt with by the court for breaching product safety standards regarding children’s toys and consumer items it sells to the public,” he said.
“NSW Fair Trading investigators conducted five inspections at Metlej’s retail outlets between June 2009 and October 2010.
“Investigators found eight non-compliant products including four children’s toys, a projectile toy, a baby’s pacifier, a hot water bottle and elastic luggage straps that did not meet regulated safety standards, being offered for sale.
“The toys included battery operated toys, bow and arrow sets and bathtub squeeze toys that had the potential to cause serious or potentially fatal injury to young children.
“Of particular concern was a baby’s pacifier with the potential to choke a child, being offered for sale, on two separate occasions.”
Mr Roberts said Metlej Pty Ltd t/as ‘Stokland Depot’ currently operates a retail variety store in Hurstville and Bag a Bargain in Wellington in the state’s central west.
“On 7 April 2011 Metlej Pty Ltd pleaded guilty before the Bankstown Local Court and was fined $2,000 for each of the nine breaches of the Fair Trading Act 1987, as well as costs, for a total of $20,445,” he said.
“The court’s decision sends a strong message to retailers that Fair Trading is active in the marketplace and will enforce product safety standards to protect the community.
“There is no place for dangerous toys and non-compliant consumer goods in the market.
“Consumers should have the confidence of knowing the toys they buy for their children are safe.”
Under the Australian Consumer Law introduced on 1 January 2011, traders face fines of up to $1,110,000 for corporations and $220,000 for individuals for supplying products that do not meet product safety regulations.
Mr Roberts said NSW Fair Trading would not hesitate to take similar action against any supplier exposing the public to such dangerous products.
NSW Fair Trading 13 32 20
ACCC Infocentre 1300 302 502