WA consumer laws now synchronised with national changes

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National changes to consumer laws will be more easily and more quickly reflected in state laws with a new mechanism now being adopted.

WA consumers and businesses will benefit greatly from the amendments to the Fair Trading Act that bring the state’s Australian Consumer Law (ACL) in line with its federal equivalent, offering a consistent national approach to regulation to protect consumers.

The changes will be automatic, however, there will be an option for the changes to be reviewed by a parliamentary committee and disallowed by Parliament if any concerns are raised.

Prior to this mechanism being in place, delays and short-term discrepancies would disadvantage some WA small businesses and their customers as well as create confusion and inconsistencies for national traders.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Gary Newcombe emphasised the importance of state consumer laws reflecting the national ACL.

“These amendments will result in consistency with an easier and quicker adoption mechanism,” Mr Newcombe said.

“WA will no longer fall behind other jurisdictions when the ACL is amended, as WA will now automatically adopt any amendments, keeping our laws up-to-date. However, the WA Parliament will retain the ability to disallow any amendments should they not be in the best interests of Western Australians.

“All WA consumers and businesses will be able to enjoy the rights and protections that are currently available to those in the eastern states.

“It’s important that regulators keep up with the latest consumer trends while tackling issues that arise in the Australian marketplace, and to reduce unnecessary red tape for businesses by not requiring them to comply with different laws in different states.”