Australian consumers better protected under new law

Landmark legislation includes banning unfair contracts

Consumer advocate CHOICE is celebrating the passage of the new Australian Consumer Law in the Senate today, heralding a new era in consumer protection.

Most significantly, the Australian Consumer Law includes provisions to ban unfair contract terms, which will see an end to contracts which benefit businesses over consumers – terms that are often tucked away in the small print.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will also have greater enforcement powers to impose tougher fines on companies that breach the law.

“CHOICE congratulates the Rudd government on the passing of the Australian Consumer Law which will offer consumers much greater protection against unscrupulous operators. It is a significant piece of reform and is a real win for consumers, as well as consumer organisations like CHOICE who aim to empower them,” said CHOICE CEO Nick Stace.

“The new law brings Australia into line with many other countries, and now is the time to use this as a platform for change. Regulators need to use their powers and ministers need to introduce supercomplaint powers for consumer groups,” said Stace.

CHOICE also welcomes changes which will see the introduction of a national product safety system, which will mean all Australians are offered the same protection and aims to simplify processes like product bans and recalls.

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