Consultations and Reviews

Australian Energy Regulator’s Consumer Vulnerability Strategy

The AER is prioritising protecting consumers experiencing vulnerability, while enabling consumers to participate in energy markets – as outlined in the AER 2020–2025 Strategic Plan. It is currently developing its first Consumer Vulnerability Strategy which will inform work across the AER and how it considers consumer issues.

The AER’s Strategy envisages 4 overarching outcomes for the energy market:

  1. Barriers to consumers engaging in the market are reduced and consumers can access the products and services that best meet their needs.
  2. Consumers facing payment difficulty receive effective, tailored assistance.
  3. The transitioning and future energy market meets the needs of consumers.
  4. Energy affordability is improved, including by reducing the cost to serve where possible.

The AER has devised a pathway of 5 key objectives showing the steps it will take to achieve these outcomes. These are informed by consumer research and data, stakeholder views and insights, leading international work and lessons from other sectors. They are to:

  1. improve identification of vulnerability
  2. reduce complexity and enhance accessibility for energy consumers
  3. strengthen protections for consumers facing payment difficulty
  4. use the consumer voice and lived experience to inform regulatory design and change
  5. balance affordability and consumer protections by minimising the overall cost to serve.

Submissions can be made via the AER website, and close at 5pm on the 28th February 2022. If you have any queries about the consultation process, please contact at Consumerpolicy@aer.gov.au.

Source: Australian Energy Regulator

Medical practitioners’ use of the title surgeon under the National Law

Victoria is leading a national consultation on behalf of all Australian Health Ministers on the use of the title surgeon by medical practitioners under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (National Law). 

Health ministers are concerned that the regulatory framework which currently enables all medical practitioners’ use of the title ‘surgeon’, including ‘cosmetic surgeon’, may be confusing for members of the public who may have a limited understanding of medical practitioners’ training and qualifications. 

A Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) has been developed to facilitate public consultation on this issue, with several policy and/or legislative options proposed to address issues outlined in the Consultation RIS. 

The Consultation RIS on medical practitioners’ use of the title surgeon under the National Law is now available to the public. The Consultation RIS and other supporting documents can be found at: https://engage.vic.gov.au/medical-practitioners-use-title-surgeon-under-national-law

Links to feedback templates, and a survey for consumers, will be published shortly.

Information collected from stakeholders will inform the development of a Decision RIS which will be released to the public. The Decision RIS will outline and explain the preferred option/s for implementation and discuss any potential impacts to the sector.

If you have any queries about the consultation process, please contact the NRAS Review Implementation Project Team at NRAS.Consultation@health.vic.gov.au.

Source: Department of Health