AUD$2.3M penalty for fake Indigenous Australian art

The Federal Court of Australia has ordered Birubi Art Pty Ltd (Birubi) to pay $2.3 million for making false or misleading representations about products it sold in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

In October 2018, following action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Court found that Birubi falsely claimed that products it sold were hand painted by Australian Aboriginal persons and made in Australia when that was not true. Birubi supplied almost 50,000 boomerangs, bullroarers, didgeridoos and message stones to retail outlets across Australia between July 2015 and November 2017.

These products featured images, symbols and designs associated with Australian Aboriginal art and words such as ‘Authentic Aboriginal Art’, ‘Hand Painted’, and ‘Australia’, but were all made in Indonesia. 

Image of Birubi art

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