Consumer Affairs Forum meets to discuss consumer protection and fair trading

Animated computer screen against green background. On the screen is an animated online shopping checkout page

On Friday August 30, Commonwealth, State, Territory and New Zealand Ministers responsible for fair trading and consumer protection met to consider recent and future developments in consumer affairs.

The meeting included discussion of consumer guarantees, unfair contract terms, ticket reselling, financial consumer protection and Australia’s product safety framework. Below are the main outcomes of the meeting.

Consumer Guarantees

Endorsement of the preparation of a regulatory impact assessment of options to ensure that businesses comply with consumer guarantees and consumers can access the remedies that they are entitled to. This would include a proposed civil prohibition for failure to provide a consumer guarantees remedy.

Agreement that the Commonwealth Minister would write to the Treasurer to request that the issue of ‘right to repair’ be added to the Productivity Commission’s forward work agenda.

Ticket reselling

The Commonwealth will provide a written update to CAF on the consultation undertaken since the last meeting on options to ban ticket buying bots. Jurisdictions will also give an update at the next meeting in relation to their reforms.

Financial consumer protection

Agreement that Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) will undertake further research on observed practical issues with debt management firms and report back to CAF in 2020.

Acknowledgement that urgent action is needed on Small Amount Credit Contracts, particularly now that they are being provided through cash loan machines and online.

Product safety framework

A consultation regulation impact statement on options to improve Australia’s product safety framework is expected to be released by officials for public consultation by the end of the year.

The meeting included discussion of the progress of CAANZ in the implementation of ACL Review proposals, monitoring of the Takata airbag recall, and education campaigns on Debt Management Firms and paper billing.

Read the communiqué here.