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New laws make gift card shopping easier

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New national gift card laws give consumers three years to spend up.

Bundaberg Region residents who wake up to find a gift card in their Christmas stocking later this month will now have longer to spend it under new national laws.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said new national gift card laws which took effect in November give consumers three years to spend up.

“Queenslanders love giving gift cards at Christmas and they can now purchase in the knowledge that it comes with a three-year spending window,” Mrs D’Ath said.

“We’ve all heard stories of consumers having their gift cards rejected, without even getting the chance to spend them.

“Now, with the exception of a few limited-use gift cards and vouchers, all gift cards automatically come with a minimum three-year expiry period.

“The expiry date also needs to be clearly marked on the card and even if gift cards state an earlier expiry date, the statement will be invalid.

“Consumers will still be entitled to the mandatory three-year period from date of purchase.

“This will help to protect consumers from losing an estimated $70 million on gift cards each year.

“Gift cards are big money in Australia, both for their convenience and flexibility.

“These new laws will help prevent millions of dollars in losses and make gift cards fairer for consumers.”

There are some limited exceptions to the new rules. For full details visit www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or www.consumerlaw.gov.au or call 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

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