Whoever forms the next government, CFA and its members would like to see increased attention to priority consumer issues.
CFA and its members have developed a Consumer Agenda for the next government. The Agenda identifies opportunities in a range of consumer policy areas including financial services, energy, communications and food. It identifies three key themes:
Consumers should be placed at the centre of all decision-making that affects their interests.
A robust market economy recognises that it should achieve outcomes that are in the interests of consumers. This has been acknowledged by governments including in the National Energy Policy where the explicit goal of the National Electricity Market (NEM) is to promote the long-term interests of consumers. That approach should be extended to all sectors and mechanisms within and outside government strengthened to achieve it.
Consumers should have ready access to information, advice, assistance and avenues for dispute resolution
While Australia has made great progress in access to better dispute resolution in some industries including financial services and communications, many consumers are left without adequate access to remedies for wrongful conduct by a business. Improvements are required in the legal assistance system, the provision of non-legal advice services including financial counselling and tenants advice, and in the establishment and refinement of dispute resolution schemes in key markets including motor vehicles.
Specific problems in particular industries should be fixed
There are a number of key areas where CFA and its members have identified particular challenges for consumers across the goods and services spectrum. While not an exhaustive list, they represent the current area of focus for the sector and policy solutions that would improve outcomes for consumers.
Download a copy of the CFA platform.
CFA has written to the major parties contesting the current election enclosing a copy of the agenda and will contact the incoming Treasurer, Minister responsible for Consumer Affairs and other relevant Ministers when they are announced.