Consumer Policy Agenda 2022 launched ahead of Federal Election

The Consumers’ Federation of Australia (CFA) has launched its Consumer Policy Agenda 2022.

CFA is calling for new consumer policy reforms to be urgently implemented to put consumers in the economy recovery. Competition in key markets is flailing, consumer protections are falling behind best practice, and our institutional arrangements for consumer protection are not supporting effective reform.

Consumer advocates urge the incoming Federal Government and the 47th Parliament to review the agenda, engage with consumer advocates on the ideas presented, and implement enabling policies, regulation and legislation as opportunities arise or where urgency requires swift action.

The agenda calls for the following strategic reforms that would better focus governments, regulators and industry on good consumer outcomes:

  1. Appoint a Minister for Consumer Affairs in Federal Cabinet.
  2. Re-establish a national Ministerial Council for Consumer Affairs.
  3. Give consumers a voice in national policy and regulatory reform.
  4. Modernise the Australian Consumer Law through an economy-wide prohibition on unfair trading.
  5. Meet community expectations for safety by enacting a General Safety Provision.
  6. Quickly implement existing proposals to allow regulators to impose penalties for consumer guarantees and unfair terms.

The following specific reforms will also make particular markets work better:

  1. Modernise travel consumer protection.
  2. Address ballooning scam losses through payment system reforms, a new regulator, and a whole-of-government response.
  3. Regulate digital platforms to promote competitive outcomes.
  4. Target inflationary pressures through improving and expanding Unit Pricing.
  5. Renew consumer credit laws to respond to market changes.
  6. Help consumers transition to respond to climate change and sustainability.

Read the Full Agenda.

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