17 October 2016

Consumer law in spotlight as Australians urged to have their say

Reviews of Australia’s consumer law are set to take centre stage, following last week’s release of an Interim Report as part of the Review of the Australian Consumer Law, Small Business Minister Michael McCormack has said.

Prepared by Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ), the review invites interested Australians to make a submission with their ideas for consideration.

"This is a significant opportunity for businesses and consumers to have their say on how the law is working and what can be improved," Mr McCormack said.

"The release of the Interim Report marks a milestone in this process and I am keen to hear directly from industry about how our Consumer Laws are working and to hear some helpful ideas and practical solutions."

Mr McCormack invited industry to make a submission, saying it is key in ensuring Consumer Law works for everyone.

"Correctly identifying and addressing the key issues is an essential part of the Review process and CAANZ is relying on stakeholders to assist them in doing this.

"Feedback to date has indicated that stakeholders generally consider the Australian Consumer Law is operating well, however, it is clear there may be room for improvement in a range of areas, such as consumer guarantees, product safety and unfair contract terms."

The Interim Report draws on feedback from the more than 160 submissions received on the review’s Issues Paper released on 31 March 2016, as well as from face-to-face stakeholder consultations held across Australia, findings from the Australian Consumer Survey 2016 and a study into overseas consumer laws. The report identifies a range of issues and seeks views on potential options for reform.

Submissions can be made via the Australian Consumer Law website until Friday 9 December 2016 through the Have Your Say page. A Final Report will be presented to consumer affairs Ministers by March 2017.

The Australian Consumer Law is a national law which confers rights, protections and obligations on consumers and businesses. It commenced on 1 January 2011, it is being reviewed to determine whether it is working effectively and what could be improved. The Review commenced on 31 March 2016.

Further information about the Australian Consumer Law Review is available on the Australian Consumer Law website.