TCF move “on the agenda" for NT

TCF move “on the agenda" for NT
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The Travel Compensation Fund (TCF) will resume talks with the Northern Territory Government following local elections in August over the prospect of travel agents in the territory finally joining the financial protection scheme.

TFC chief executive Glen Wells said preliminary talks have been “positive”.

But any further progress has been put on hold until after NT residents go to the polls in August, he said.

The TCF opened talks with the NT following fraud allegations levelled at a Darwin travel agent earlier this year (Travel Today, February 15).

The agent, Travelscene Darwin City, was alleged to have swindled around $200,000 from clients who were left financially stranded by the Government’s decision to remain outside the financial protection scheme.

Wells told Travel Today the NT sought background on the fund and have “put the issue on the agenda”.

“But they said they are not in a position to make a commitment,” Wells said. “They have elections in August and that is their focus.

“They were concerned about the size of the agency collapse. The story attracted a lot of attention. Consumers were not protected if they booked through an agency in the NT but would have been had they gone to an interstate company.”

In the immediate aftermath of the collapse, Wells said agents and consumers has contacted the TCF.

“Agents have asked us how do they get into the fund and we’ve told them they have to speak to their ministers. It must be decreed by the Government,” Wells said.

“We’ve also had calls from consumers who were unaware the NT was not in the TCF. They have asked us how they can get protection and the only thing we can advise is to book through an agent outside of the NT, which of course is no good to agents up there.”

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