Intergovernmental Agreement Australian Consumer Law

April 10, 2021

The work of NEIAT and CCAAC is a model for consumer policy: by inserting their development within the framework of a detailed empirical and general policy; Examining the nature and impact of market issues; and enabling policy makers to identify and address real consumer problems, not consumer perceptions. Ministers agreed to check the effectiveness of existing laws with respect to legal conditions and safeguards. To this end, the National Education and Information Advisory Task has conducted a detailed quantitative and qualitative study of Australian consumers` experience with legislation.14 At present, Australian General Consumer Legislation consists of 13 laws covering the same subject, including two national laws, in the form of the provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974 and the ASIC Act 2001 and eight National and Fair Trade Acts. “5 plus – in three jurisdictions – three other laws dealing with generic consumer protection6 There are also some general consumer provisions in eight other national and territorial laws on the sale of goods.7 The benefits of a national approach to consumer law have been evident in recent decades. In fact, in the 1980s, there was a largely successful attempt to implement common consumer legislation through a standard system of legislation based on Part V of the Trade Practices Act 1 In Australia, as the Productivity Commission found, we have a largely effective system of consumer laws.2 But the PC has also found that these laws have found , by their complexity, dual work and consistency, can prevent improvements to Australia`s well-being. They increase costs for consumers by making them pay for the inefficiencies they impose on businesses. They also reduce consumer confidence in decisions, exercise their rights and seek redress when things go wrong. Based on a census of the physical provisions of consumers, the Australian Consumer Act will replace at least 850 sections of these laws, excluding most of the complementary provisions that support them. As an economist who has just entered this political field, I am often surprised by the ability of lawyers and legislation to introduce complexity into seemingly simple ideas. Each jurisdiction also has a wide range of sectoral consumer protection laws tailored to the needs of different economic sectors, from hairdressers` regulation to electricity retailing8. These other laws are under discussion in this process – and I will talk about them later – but the first step in reforming our consumer legislation will be the implementation of the Australian Consumer Act.

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