The Treasury provides advice on Australia’s competition and consumer policy framework — including the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and the Australian Consumer Law — and promoting competitive, efficient, well informed and safe markets that enhance the welfare of Australians.
Australian Consumer Law
On 1 January 2011, the Australian Consumer Law commenced and the Trade Practices Act 1974 was renamed the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
The Australian Consumer Law provides for:
- 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.
For further information, visit the Australian Consumer Law website.
Responsibility for developing and implementing consumer policy in Australia is shared between the Australian Government and the States and Territories. New Zealand also contributes actively in Australia's consumer policy development.
Australia and New Zealand are both members of the OECD Committee on Consumer Policy and contributed to the development of the 2010 OECD Consumer Policy toolkit.
Assistance is given to the Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council who provide advice to the Assistant Treasurer on consumer policy issues. The Advisory Council meets two to four times a year.
For information about consumer policy in Australia and our engagement internationally, visit the Australian Consumer Law website.
The Australian Government has responsibility for regulating consumer credit. This includes home loans, personal loans, credit cards, store credit and reverse mortgages available from both bank and non-bank lenders and mortgage brokers. The Government is examining whether to extend its regulatory responsibility to credit for small business and investment purposes.
For further information on the Consumer Credit reforms, visit the Consumer Credit website.
Treasury is responsible for providing advice on consumer protection for individual members of superannuation entities. Treasury works closely with the financial services consumer protection and market integrity regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
The Treasury provides advice on a range of key competition and regulatory reforms and co-ordinates the Productivity Commissions' work program. Since 1995, Australia's governments have been engaged in wide-ranging reforms to enhance the competitiveness of the Australia economy. For information about the National Competition Policy and its implementation, visit the National Competition Council website.
Australia is a member of the OECD Committee on Competition. In 2008, the OECD published the Competition Assessment Toolkit.
Competition and consumer laws are enforced by three national regulators.
- Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is responsible for enforcing the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and the Australian Consumer Law.
Contact: ACCC Infocentre on 1300 302 502 or visit the ACCC website.
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is responsible for promoting the confident and informed participation of consumers in the financial system through the enforcement of the consumer protection provisions of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001, the Corporations Act 2001 and the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.
Contact: 1300 300 630 or visit the ASIC website.
- 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.
Contact: Visit the NCC website.