19 March 2016
Transcript - #2016032, 2016

In the role of: Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer [21 September 2015 - 18 July 2016]

Interview on the Today Show

SUBJECTS: Interim ban on hoverboards, the Budget.

PRESENTER:

As of yesterday, a 60 day ban has been imposed on the selling of the toy by the Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O'Dwyer. The Minister joins us now this morning. Good morning Minister.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Good Morning.

PRESENTER:

Can you talk us through the detail, is this a ban on all hoverboards?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

It’s a ban on all hoverboards that don't meet the safety standards and it’s a ban that starts from today and runs for 60 days. The ACCC has conducted an investigation into these hoverboards and they have been linked with four house fires in Australia. Two homes have been completely destroyed. We have very serious concerns about the safety aspects of many of these hoverboards that have charging devices that can be faulty. So I encourage anyone who has purchased a hoverboard or who is contemplating purchasing a hoverboard to look on the ACCC website to make sure that the hoverboard that they're contemplating or that they have purchased isn't part of a voluntary recall already and does meet the safety standards.

PRESENTER:

Minister, this is a very popular Christmas gift, thousands of Aussie families already own one. Should they be taking them back? Can they keep using them? What is your advice?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Well, my first advice is that they should check the website and they should contact the retailer that they purchased it from. There could be a voluntary recall already in relation to that particular hoverboard in which case they can get their money back, or if there haven't been safety tests conducted on that particular hoverboard, that will need to be done by the supplier and again they can get the hoverboard back to that supplier and can receive their money.

PRESENTER:

Minister, how likely is a permanent ban, do you think? Obviously it is a 60 day one at the moment. Are we likely to see this become permanent?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Well, it's the usual process to have an interim ban first. After last year I put out a safety warning on these hoverboards and then to look at further evidence to see whether a permanent ban should apply. So after the 60 days, I will consider that and I don't want to be seen to be prejudging that particular question, but I will look at the evidence after the 60 days and it is entirely possible that it could be permanent.

PRESENTER:

Are there any other safety measures you are potentially looking at?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Well, this is the most effective safety measure we can put in place to actually ban the sale of these products that are not safe and it is a decision that isn't taken lightly. It is taken after extensive investigations which is why we are out there telling people to be very careful in relation to these particular products and very careful in relation to the charging of these products.

PRESENTER:

You're the Assistant Treasurer. Are we expecting a budget on the 10th of May or the 3rd?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

The usual time, which is the 10th of May, is the date that I think we can all be very keen to work towards.

PRESENTER:

And when are we going to see any tax policy from the government?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Well, the tax policy is universally announced at the time of the Budget and this will be no different. There has been a lot of speculation, I know, in relation to various different policies. That happens at this time of year. It happens every year where we see a lot of speculation in the lead-up to the Budget, but we don't announce the Budget before Budget night and I'm not going to be announcing it on your program today.

PRESENTER:

Unfortunately, but thank you very much, Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O’Dwyer, for joining us.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Great pleasure.