Competition and Consumer Policy
The Treasury provides advice to the Government on Australia’s competition and consumer policy framework — including Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) and the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) — and promoting competitive, efficient, well informed and safe markets that enhance the welfare of Australians.
The Hon Wayne Swan MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, is assisted on competition policy and consumer affairs issues by the Hon David Bradbury MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer. Mr Bradbury was appointed on 13 September 2010. For more information about Mr Bradbury, please visit the Minister's website.
Competition and consumer laws are enforced by three national regulators.
- The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is responsible for enforcing the CCA and the ACL. More information about the ACCC is available on the ACCC website, or by calling the ACCC Infocentre on 1300 302 502.
- The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is responsible for enforcing the consumer protection provisions of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001, the Corporations Act 2001 and the National Credit Code. More information about ASIC is available on the ASIC website or by calling ASIC on 1300 300 630.
- The National Competition Council (NCC) is responsible for making recommendations on the regulation of third party access to services provided by monopoly infrastructure under Part IIIA of the CCA. For more information about the NCC please visit the NCC website.
Do you have an question or complaint about a good or service?
Please visit www.consumerlaw.gov.au for information about who you can contact to discuss your question or complaint.
Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and the Australian Consumer Law
On 1 January 2011, the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) commenced and the Trade Practices Act 1974 (TPA) was renamed the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA). A compilation of the CCA, which includes the ACL, consequential changes to the CCA relating to the ACL and recent changes to Parts IIIA and IVB of the CCA, is available on ComLaw. As part of the transition from the TPA to the CCA, the Treasury is reviewing this website and its publications to account for the change of name and the other reforms to the Act resulting from the implementation of the ACL.
The ACL includes:
- national consumer protection and fair trading laws;
- enhanced enforcement powers and redress mechanisms;
- a national unfair contract terms law;
- a new national product safety regime; and
- a new national consumer guarantees law.
Industry Codes of Conduct
Part IVB of the CCA provides for the making of mandatory codes of conduct to apply to specific industries. Current codes of conduct are:
- the Franchising Code of Conduct;
- the Horticulture Code of Conduct;
- the Oilcode; and
- the Unit Pricing Code.
The Treasury has issued guidance to assist stakeholders and government agencies when considering a proposal for a new mandatory code of conduct.
Consent when alleging conduct that occurred overseas is in breach of the CCA or the ASIC Act
Section 5 of the CCA and section 12AC of the ASIC Act require that litigants seek the consent of the relevant minister when alleging conduct that occurred overseas is in breach of the CCA or certain provisions of the ASIC Act. The Treasury has issued guidance to assist litigants and legal practitioners when making applications for consent.
Since 1995, Australia’s governments have been engaged in wide-ranging reforms to enhance the competitiveness of the Australian economy. For information about the National Competition Policy and its implementation, visit the National Competition Council. Further reforms to improve the competitiveness of Australia’s economy and to reform business regulation are being progressed by the Council of Australian Governments.Australia is a member of the OECD Committee on Competition. In 2008, the OECD published the Competition Assessment Toolkit.
For information about consumer policy in Australia and our engagement internationally, please visit www.consumerlaw.gov.au.
Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council (CCAAC)
CCAAC provides advice to the Minister on consumer policy issues. It meets two to four times a year. The Chair of CCAAC is Mr Colin Neave AM. Details of CCAAC’s members are available on the Government Online Directory.