Toward a meaningful right to repair

A ‘right to repair’ is the ability of consumers to have their products repaired at a competitive price using a repairer of their choice. A recent CHOICE consumer pulse survey identified that more than eight in ten (85%) people said that buying products that will last a long time is important to them and more than seven in ten (73%) said repairability is important.

Although Australia lags behind the US and Europe when it comes to product repair,  Mend It Australia’s goal is to raise awareness of the value of reusing and repairing things before downcycling them, and supports the worldwide Repair Cafe movement locally. Recently, the Australian Repair Summit (July 2021) discussed developments in Australia including a mandatory data sharing scheme for car repairs, the role of repair in product stewardship and in the circular economy and other consumer issues.

The right to repair is a multifaceted policy issue and realising it in a practical way involves a range of policies, including consumer and competition law (for example acceptable quality, availability of spare parts and guarantees/warranties), intellectual property protections, product design and labelling standards, and environmental and resource management. Find out more in the Productivity Commission Right to Repair. The draft report (June 2021) assesses the case for a right to repair in Australia, with a focus on whether consumers face any unnecessary barriers to repair that require an Australian Government policy response.

Several CFA members are participating in the consultation on the draft report.

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