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Federal Court ruling a win for crackdown on fake Indigenous ‘style’ products

Joint Media Release

The Hon Paul Fletcher MP
Minister for Ministers for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts

The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP
Minister for Indigenous Australians

The Morrison Government welcomes today's announcement of the Federal Court issuing a $2.3 million fine to a company that sold thousands of fake Indigenous ‘style' products.

The Federal Court found Birubi Art breached the Australian Consumer Law by selling almost 50,000 products marketed as genuine products, made in Australia and hand painted by Australian Aboriginal persons.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the ruling is an important step in the fight to protect authentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural expressions.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' art and culture are dynamic and unique, and make a significant contribution to our national identity and economy,” Minister Fletcher said.

“Today's ruling sends a strong message to companies looking to sell imitation Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander products that this practice will not be tolerated.”

The Government has provided $150,000 to Desart to trial the use of QR Code labelling for authentic Aboriginal and Torres Islander products. The digital labelling will help consumers make informed, ethical purchases by providing them with information about the product, its provenance and the artist or designer. 

Media contacts:

Minister Fletcher: Matthew O'Brien | 0438 898 606 | Matthew.O'Brien [at] communications.gov.au

Minister Wyatt: Nick Way | 0419 835 449 | Nick.Way [at] ia.pm.gov.au