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Digital labelling pilot for authentic Indigenous products

The Australian Government is taking action in the fight against inauthentic Indigenous art through a $150,000 pilot to test digital codes to label authentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander products.

The pilot will be conducted by Desart who will work with the Copyright Agency and the Department of Communications and the Arts to implement the pilot in up to three remote Indigenous-owned art centres. The pilot will start in the first half of 2019.

“This initiative aims to assist consumers to make informed and ethical purchases and will increase economic and cultural opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and designers,” said Minister Fifield.

“The digital codes will allow consumers to track the artwork’s journey from a remote community to the store shelf, and see information on provenance and the artist.”

This initiative to improve authentic product labelling follows recent action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on inauthentic products that may presented to consumers as misleading under the Australian Consumer Law.

The sale of inauthentic Indigenous artworks and merchandise is the subject of an ongoing inquiry by the Parliament’s House of Representatives Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs.

More information about the inquiry, including the Terms of Reference, is available at: www.aph.gov.au/indigenousaffairs

Media contacts: 
Geraldine Mitchell | 0407 280 476 | Geraldine.Mitchell [at] communications.gov.au 
Guy Creighton | 0438 815 302 | Guy.Creighton [at] communications.gov.au