The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
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Chris Bowen

Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs

3 December 2007 - 8 June 2009

Media Release of 08/05/2009

NO.037

Consumer Research & Advocacy

Consumer Affairs Minister, Chris Bowen MP, today released a discussion paper on the direction of consumer research and advocacy – Consumer Voices, Sustaining advocacy and research in Australia's new consumer policy framework.

The Productivity Commission recommended in the 2008 Review of Australia's Consumer Policy Framework Final Report that the Australian Government, in consultation with the Ministerial Council on Consumer Affairs, take the lead role in developing arrangements to provide additional funding in relation to consumer advocacy and policy-related consumer research.

"The Australian Government, with the States and Territories, is undertaking the most far-reaching changes to Australia's consumer laws for a generation," Mr Bowen said.

"The Australian Government and the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has wasted no time in developing and beginning to implement a single, national consumer law.

"The Rudd Government will shortly introduce the first tranche of consumer law reforms, including a national unfair contract terms provision, into the Parliament.

"It is therefore timely that we move to build on the work done by the Productivity Commission on the path to fostering effective consumer advocacy and research in Australia.

"Effective consumer advocacy and research highlights the issues that affect and concern consumers and assists in ensuring that governments can make sound and timely consumer policy interventions.

"I would encourage stakeholders – from the consumer movement and from industry – to get involved and make a submission."

Submissions are due by Friday, 17 July 2009.

Interested parties can access a copy of the discussion paper at www.treasury.gov.au.