[quote style=”boxed” float=”left”]Properly funded, CFA would give policy makers access to an evidence base of consumer casework data and member groups experiences.[/quote] An important CFA report, Strengthening Consumer Voices, sets out a proposal for the transformation of the Consumers’ Federation of Australia from a largely volunteer organisation, primarily focused on consumer credit and other financial services, to a sustainable funded national peak consumer body, with capacity to strengthen the voices of Australian consumers in a broad range of policy areas. This remains one of the only outstanding recommendations from the Productivity Commission’s Review of Australia’s Consumer Policy Framework, concluded in 2008.

A sustainable, funded CFA will be independent of industry and government, and will:

  • Be a source of policy ideas and undertake policy development and advocacy across the range of consumer issues
  • Offer a view across policy silos – so that good ideas in one market can be applied in others
  • Coordinate emerging evidence from members across each Australian State and Territory
  • Provide government and industry with access to clusters of expertise in consumer law, policy and practice
  • Coordinate and support consumer representation
  • Facilitate networking and information sharing amongst consumer organisations.

[ilink url=”http://consumersfederation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/CFA-Strenthening-Consumer-voices.pdf” style=”download”]Strengthening Consumer Voices[/ilink]