By Luke Voogt
Officials crushed more than 2500 unsafe toys and products at Newcomb Wednesday in a warning to dodgy manufacturers.
Consumer Affairs Minister Marlene Kairouz supervised the crushing of the items including home-made bows, hundreds of ‘rip-off’ sunglasses and a monkey bike with faulty brakes.
“Kid’s safety comes first,” she said. “That’s why we have inspectors on the beat, enforcing tough standards on all toys and products.”
“Geelong traders are on notice – if you’re selling unsafe products, you can face fines of up to $1.1 million.”
Ms Kairouz admitted there was a fun side to preventing the items ending up children’s hands.
“I love crushing (them),” she said.
Toys made up the majority of the products, including blow-up pools which could cause a drowning hazard and battery-operated items.
Local Consumer Affair’s representative Philip Hunter warned parents to carefully check safety labels and make sure battery casings were secure.
“Look for small parts that can break off and become a choking hazard. Our other major concern is projectiles that can cause eye injuries.”
A number of toys were capable of shooting improvised projectiles, while testing revealed some of the bows were able to dint a wooden fence.
Mr Gardner said the authority seized large bags on sunglasses from rural shows and “two dollar shops” due to their lack of correct labelling.
“The majority offer no protection whatsoever,” he said.
Officials also destroyed unsafe cots and children’s nightwear.
Consumer Affairs Victoria inspectors in the Barwon South West region conducted 146 inspections and seized more than 300 non-compliant products during 2016.
Anyone with concerns about product safety can phone Consumer Affairs Victoria on 1300 36 48 94 or visit consumer.vic.gov.au
Suppliers that fail to comply with safety standards face fines of up to $220,000 for individuals and $1.1 million for companies.