Call to action: Lets shake things up with the Royal Commission

 

Inaccessible EFTPOS machines and ATMs continue to be rolled out across Australia, compromising the dignity, independence and privacy of many people who are blind or vision impaired. You may be aware that a Royal Commission is currently underway to inquire into instances of misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry. This provides us with a unique opportunity to draw attention to this very important issue.

We are asking people to consider lodging a short submission with the Royal Commission every time they encounter an inaccessible EFTPOS machine or ATM that impacts on their ability to access financial services. The squeakiest wheel gets the most attention and by following this call to action, you will be helping to demonstrate how many people are being negatively impacted by the roll out of inaccessible touchscreen devices.

The terms of reference for the Royal Commission state:

“All Australians have the right to be treated honestly and fairly in their dealings with banking, superannuation and financial service providers. The highest standards of conduct are critical to the good governance and corporate culture of those providers.

And these standards should continue to be complemented by strong regulatory and supervisory frameworks that ensure that all Australian consumers, including business, have confidence and trust in the financial system.”

Clauses B and F of the terms of reference hold the most relevance to the issues that are faced by people who are blind or vision impaired. These clauses require the Commission to investigate:

“B) whether any conduct, practices, behaviour or business activities by financial services entities fall below community standards and expectations.

F) the adequacy of forms of industry self-regulation, including industry codes of conduct; to identify, regulate and address misconduct in the relevant industry, to meet community standards and expectations and to provide appropriate redress to consumers”

The Commission’s preference for receiving submissions is via an online submissions form, but there are also other options available. The online form will ask you to:

  • Describe the misconduct of the relevant financial services entity
  • When this conduct occurred
  • Your views on what contributed to this misconduct, and
  • Any steps you have taken to complain about the conduct and the outcome of your complaint.

The form also enables you to provide the Royal Commission with other comments, including your views on what changes you would like them to recommend.

You can complete the online submission form here.

If you need assistance to complete the form or require the form in another format, you can contact the Commission by phone on 1800 909 826, or by email at FSRCenquiries@royalcommission.gov.au

Thanks for reading, and please consider taking up this call to action to support the work we are doing at a national level. If we don’t speak out about this issue, no one else will.

 

 

Blind Citizens Australia’s summary of the 2018-19 federal budget

The 2018-19 federal budget was released on Tuesday 8th May 2018. Blind Citizens Australia has long advocated for budget measures that support people who are blind or vision impaired and as such, the following areas may be of relevance: Read more.

Introducing the new editor of Blind Citizens News

“As editor, I hope to bring a wider variety of voices and views to BC News, to reflect the incredible diversity of ideas and perspectives which I see in the Australian blind community. I’m here to help you tell your stories.”

Find out more about Jonathan Craig, and about how you can contribute to the next edition of BC News this April.

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2018

On Thursday 8 March our CEO Emma Bennison spoke at an International Women’s Day event hosted by Amnesty International. The theme was “Inspiring Women”, and you can read her words here.

 

Next Generation of Banknotes: $5 Banknote Design Reveal

Media Release
Next Generation of Banknotes: $5 Banknote Design Reveal Number 2016-09 Date 12 April 2016

The Bank has today released images of the new $5 banknote that will be issued into circulation from 1 September 2016.

The images show the basic design artwork of each side of the banknote. As previously announced, key aspects of the existing design – colour, size and people portrayed – are retained for ease of recognition and to minimise the disruption to businesses.

There is a new ‘tactile’ feature to help the vision-impaired community distinguish between different denominations of banknotes.

The Governor, Glenn Stevens, said: “Innovative new security features have been incorporated to help keep Australia’s banknotes secure from counterfeiting into the future. As can be seen in the images, these include a distinctive top-to-bottom window. Each banknote in the new series will depict a different species of Australian wattle and a native bird within a number of the elements. On the $5 banknote, these are the Prickly Moses wattle and the Eastern Spinebill.”

The designs are the culmination of a process of extensive consultation with subject-matter experts and the cash-handling industry, as well as qualitative research involving focus groups. Images of the design artwork for the new $5 banknote have been revealed today to facilitate preparations for the smooth introduction of the new banknotes.

Information on the new design and security features (which will be common to all banknotes in the new series) and how they work will be part of a public awareness campaign over coming months. The objective of this campaign will be to ensure that members of the public are able to identify and use the range of new security features on the new $5 banknotes when they start to receive them.

Issuance of the new $5 banknote will commence on 1 September, although it will take some time for the new banknotes to be widely circulated. The current series of banknotes can continue to be used even after the new banknotes are issued.

Enquiries
Media and Communications
Information Department
Reserve Bank of Australia
SYDNEY
Phone: +61 2 9551 9720
Fax: +61 2 9551 8033
E-mail: rbainfo@rba.gov.au