The mandatory Code for Scams consultation paper announced by the Federal Treasury today sets out some proposals to tackle the scams crisis, however the final regulation must land on clearer stipulated standards and consumers’ rights to reimbursement of scams losses from banks if standards are not met.
“Mandatory and enforceable codes are a step forward, but consumers must be able to seek reimbursement easily, and there needs to be clarity on the high standard expected of banks and their liability,”
Read More Mandatory Code for Scams Promising But More Regulation Needed
“It is important that we remain focused on progressing reforms to the Australian Consumer Law to strengthen protections for consumers and small business and improve consumer confidence.”
“The agreed priorities for 2024 build on the important enhancements to consumer protections that have been delivered in 2023, such as strengthening Unfair Contract Term Protections, increasing penalties for breaches of the competition and consumer laws, and establishing the National Anti-Scam Centre.”
Read More Consumer Affairs Ministers Agree on 2024 Priorities
Previously, the Consumers’ Federation of Australia has campaigned for changes to current labelling laws for seafood at cafes, restaurants and clubs – advocating for country of origin-specific labelling. Recently, the Albanese government has announced that while there will be changes to seafood country of origin labelling, the labelling will be restricted to differentiating between Australia and overseas.
The below press release from Senator the Hon Tim Ayres, Assistant Minister for Manufacturing and Assistant Minister for Trade explains some of the reasoning behind the conversation and the government’s approach.
Read More Seafood Country of Origin Labelling Changes
A few days ago, on November 20th 2023 the Albanese Government’s Competition Taskforce released a Consultation Review on Australia’s laws and practices surrounding mergers. Below is information from the Treasury website on the consultation paper as well as how to make a submission and what to include. The Treasurer has also issued a media release on the consultation which is available here. Submissions for the merger consultation paper close on January 19th 2024.
Read More Submissions Open for Consultation Paper on Merger Reform
Original media release by the ACCC (20/11/2023). Following a recommendation by the ACCC, the Assistant Treasurer, the Hon. Stephen Jones, has today issued a national safety warning notice to warn consumers of fire risks associated with recalled LG solar lithium-ion batteries which are installed in solar energy systems across the country. The safety warning notice was issued…
Read More National Safety Notice Issued for Recalled LG Solar Batteries
The Albanese Government’s additional protections for small businesses and consumers take effect today outlawing unfair contract terms to help level the playing field in negotiations between big corporations and both small businesses and consumers.
Read More Unfair Contract Terms Banned
The USO is a longstanding telecommunications safeguard that ensures all Australians can access fixed phone services and payphones, regardless of where they live. The USO is currently delivered by Telstra, and relies on ageing copper wire that is increasingly expensive to maintain.
Read More Consultation Launches for Modern Universal Service Obligation
The consultation process will explore options to deliver better communications outcomes – particularly for rural and regional, and First Nations communities who currently rely on fixed phone services to stay connected.
This information is shared so consumer representatives can keep up-to-date with developments in industry food labelling.
Read More Guidelines for Plant-Based Product Labelling
“We know all too well the harm that inadequate privacy protections cause. Gambling companies hound at-risk people with targeted advertising, data brokers sell our information without consent, and automated systems discriminate against marginalised people. We’ve also seen millions of consumers harmed by data breaches when businesses store too much personal information,” says CHOICE Senior Campaigns and Policy Advisor, Rafi Alam.
Read More Over 20 Advocates and Researchers Call for Urgent Privacy Reform
The ACCC will enforce the new toy safety standard which will make it mandatory for all toys marketed at children under three to adhere to strict design and testing requirements ensuring toys do not contain small parts.
Read More New Mandatory Safety Standards to Protect Children from Choking Hazards
Original media release from the Hon. Mark Dreyfus KC MP (28/09/2023). The Albanese Government has committed to stronger privacy protections for Australians in its response today to the landmark review of the Privacy Act. Australians increasingly rely on digital technologies for work, education, health care and daily commercial transactions and to connect with loved ones.…
Read More Government to Strengthen Privacy Protections
“This legislation is terrific,” Ms Levin said. “We’re delighted that it covers not only credit cards, but also digital wallets and digital currencies.”
Read More FCA on the Credit and Crypto Gambling Ban
Ms Levin said the one area of disappointment was a carve-out for online lotteries.