Government and regulators have established a number of consumer advisory committees as one way to get consumer perspectives into policy making.
Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) Consumer Advisory Panel
ASIC’s ConsumerAdvisory Panel was established in 1999 to advise ASIC on consumer protection issues. The Panel provides feedback to ASIC on policy, research and education programs, and on their related consumerissues.
Find out more about ASIC’s Consumer Advisory Panel here.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Consumer Consultative Committee
The ACCC’s Consumer Consultative Committee was formed in 2001 to allow consumer protection issues to be considered and addressed by a collaboration between the ACCC and consumer representatives. Membership of the Consumer Consultative Committee is spread across consumer representatives and community groups and currently includes CFA members ACCAN, CHOICE, CALC and Financial Counselling Australia.
Find out more about the ACCC’s Consumer Consultative Committee here.
Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) Consumer Consultative Forum
ACMA’sConsumer Consultative Forum was formed to assist ACMA in relation to consumer issues. It establishes a forum between suppliers and consumers to provide ACMA with informed and representative advice on communications and media issues.
Find out more about ACMA’s Consumer Consultative Forum here.
Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council (CCAAC)
CCAAC’s role is to consider papers and issues which are referred to it by government ministers and to report on their likely consumerimpacts. Along with this CCAAC is tasked with identifying, and drawing to the government’s attention, emerging issues which are impacting upon Australian consumers.
The members of CCAAC are listed here.
Improved consumer research and advocacy
CFA strongly supports the activities of the above committees. Some work very well while others could be improved. ASIC CAP in particular has a strong structure with an independent chair and control of its own research budget – initiatives that the ACCC and ACMA committees could consider adopting.
Advisory committees can only go so far however. CFA believes that Australian governments should implement the recommendations of the 2008 Productivity Commission Report on Australia’s Consumer Policy Framework that urged government financial support for independent consumer research and for a national peak consumer organisation.