Consultation Opens as Parliament Passes Designated Complaints Measure

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Yesterday the Parliament passed the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Fair Go for Consumers and Small Business) Bill 2024. This reform, which forms part of the Albanese Government’s Better Competition election commitment, establishes a designated complaints function within the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) from July 2024.

Today the Albanese Government releases the draft designated complaints determination. This sets out additional details including matters to be considered by the Minister when approving a designated complainant, matters relevant to decisions to take no further action and circumstances when the ACCC is not required to publish information.

Initially a maximum of three complainants will be designated, with each able to lodge one designated complaint every 12 months. This will ensure that the ACCC has sufficient resources to respond to designated complaints.

The function will be reviewed after two years of operation.

An application process for consumer and small business advocates interested in becoming a designated complainant is expected to open in May. Further information on the application process, including how to apply, will be made available on the Treasury website in due course.

Public consultation on the draft determination opens today and will close on Thursday 11 April 2024. Further information and a copy of the draft determination is available on the Treasury website.

Above is a joint media release (27/03/2024) from the Hon Julie Collins MP (Minister for Housing, Minister for Homelessness, Minister for Small Business) and the Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP (Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, Assistant Minister for Employment).

The Treasury website consultation page for designated complaints can be found here. Consultations close April 11th.