MEDIA RELEASE: TONY BURKE & TIM HAMMOND - ACCC ACTION ON FAKE INDIGENOUS ART ‘STEP IN RIGHT DIRECTION’
ACCC ACTION ON FAKE INDIGENOUS ART ‘STEP IN RIGHT DIRECTION’
Federal Labor has welcomed the announcement by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that it is taking Federal Court action in relation to alleged misleading Indigenous art claims, as a sensible next step on the road to protecting consumers and artists from fake Indigenous art.
The ACCC has alleged that Birubi Art Pty Ltd is likely to mislead consumers into thinking they are buying genuine handmade Aboriginal art when they are not – rather, their products were made in Indonesia.
The proliferation of fake ‘Indigenous-style’ art has come to prominence in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games, with tourist and souvenir stores stocking up on items such as decorated boomerangs or digeridoos that are made in China or Indonesia, and whose production had no Indigenous involvement.
As well as potentially misleading consumers, fake art undercuts legitimate artists and devalues genuine Indigenous cultural expression.
Labor supports the rights of Indigenous Australian to protect their cultural and intellectual property, and is committed to protecting consumers from false or misleading representations.
Growing concern about fake ‘Indigenous-style’ art led to the August 2017 establishment of the current House of Representatives Indigenous Affairs Standing Committee inquiry into the proliferation of inauthentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ‘style’ art and craft products.
We will be closely watching the ACCC’s progress in this case – and will also seriously consider the outcomes of the Committee’s inquiry.
The inquiry is ongoing, and submissions are available here:
The ACCC’s media release can be found here: