View a showcase of our Current policy work to address inadequate consumer laws and shonky practices.
October 2023 Digital ID Bill and Digital ID Rules
CHOICE submission calling for the government to implement a Digital ID system with appropriate safeguards.
CHOICE submission calling for the government to include managed investment schemes in the compensation scheme of last resort.
September 2023 Environmental and sustainability claims
CHOICE submission to ACCC calling for stronger guidelines for businesses making green claims.
August 2023 Inquiry on data brokers
CHOICE submission to ACCC calling for stronger rules on data brokers to ensure people in Australia are protected.
August 2023 Safe and Responsible AI in Australia
CHOICE submission to DISR calling for strong protections from the use of artificial intelligence.
May 2023 – Retail bank deposits inquiry
CHOICE submission to the ACCC calling for action against Australia's banks for failing to offer accessible and fair savings rates.
March 2023 – Privacy Act Review
CHOICE submission to the Attorney-General's Department, identifying three key priority areas to make a fairer market possible for consumers in an increasingly digital world.
March 2023 – Aviation White Paper
Joint submission from CHOICE and Consumers' Federation of Australia (CFA) to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts in response to the terms of reference for the Aviation White Paper.
March 2023 – Influence of international digital platforms inquiry
CHOICE submission to the Senate Economic References Committee on "the Big Tech inquiry", recommending a number of policy reforms and actions around algorithm transparency, and data and privacy.
February 2023 – National Energy Performance Strategy
CHOICE submission to the the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water in response to the Department's call for feedback on the National Energy Performance Strategy.
December 2022 – Regulating Buy Now, Pay Later in Australia options paper
Joint submission from CHOICE, along with 21 other consumer organisations who make up the Close Lending Loopholes Coalition, to Treasury, calling for the federal government to apply full regulation to Buy Now, Pay Later products under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 and the National Credit Code, in addition to other consumer protections.
November 2022 – Review of the Modern Slavery Act
CHOICE submission to the Attorney-General's Department on the Review of Australia's Modern Slavery Act 2018, calling for the federal government to shift the responsibility to comply with the Act, and eradicate modern slavery from their supply chains, from consumers back to businesses.
November 2022 – National Electric Vehicle Strategy
CHOICE submission to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment, and Water in response to the Strategy, recommending that the federal government introduce strong mandatory fuel-efficiency standards.
November 2022 – Privacy Legislation Amendments
CHOICE submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee endorsing the passage of the Privacy Legislation Amendment (Enforcement and Other Measures) Bill 2022. This reform to Australia's privacy laws will empower privacy regulators to protect people from data misuse.
Joint submission by CHOICE and eight other consumer groups to the Senate Standing Committees on Economics in response to the Financial Sector Reform Bill 2022, supporting the passage of a well-designed Compensation Scheme of Last Resort and Financial Accountability Regime.
October 2022 – Consumer credit reforms
Joint submission by Consumer Action Law Centre to the Senate Economics Committee in regard to the Financial Sector Reform Bill 2022, Schedule 4: consumer credit reforms, supporting the federal government's proposal to regulate payday loans and consumer leases.
September 2022 – Quality of advice review
Joint submission from CHOICE, Consumer Action Law Centre, Financial Counselling Australia and Financial Rights Legal Centre to the Treasury opposing the proposed deregulation of the financial advice industry.
September 2022 – Infant sleep products consultation paper
CHOICE submission to the ACCC strongly supporting a ban on the supply of harmful inclined sleep products in Australia alongside holistic mandatory safety and information standards for infant sleep products.
July 2022 – National data security action plan issues paper
CHOICE submission to the Department of Home Affairs, urging the Australian Government to introduce a best interest duty for businesses that collect, use or disclose data.
CHOICE submission to ASIC, supporting the proposal to extend the ban.
CHOICE submission to the ACCC, supporting the ACCC's preliminary view of implementing Option 5(b) and including televisions within the scope of this reform.
June 2022 – Quality of advice review issues paper
CHOICE submission to the Treasury, calling for strong protections for people that seek financial advice.
CHOICE submission to the Treasury, calling for the federal government to urgently regulate exchanges that sell crypto assets to provide protections for consumers.
CHOICE submission to the ACCC on updating competition and consumer law for digital platform services recommending a strengthening of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) to address consumer harms arising from digital platform services in Australia.
Joint consumer submission from CHOICE along with Consumer Action, Consumer Credit Legal Service WA and WEstjustice made a submission to the federal Treasury, supporting improvements to the Australian Consumer Law that ensure people are able to exercise their consumer guarantee rights.
February 2022 – Mandatory standards regulation under Australian Consumer Law
CHOICE submission to Treasury supporting the intent of the proposals outlined in the Consultation Regulation Impact Statement "Supporting business through improvements to mandatory standards regulation under the Australian Consumer Law".
February 2022 – Review of the Privacy Act
CHOICE submission to the Attorney-General's Department, supporting the introduction of reforms that place consumer needs at the fore, enabling them to better control and protect their data.
January 2022 – Proposed information standard for NSW travel industry
CHOICE submission to the NSW Department of Customer Service supporting an information standard that would help improve the experience of people travelling in New South Wales by helping to address poor information about consumer rights.
January 2022 – 2022-2023 Federal Budget
This pre-budget submission to Treasury includes budget-neutral ideas to make the Australian Consumer Law more effective.
December 2021 – Online Privacy Bill
CHOICE submission to the Attorney-General's Department, supporting measures that protect the rights of consumers both offline and online.
November 2021 – Inquiry into Sterling Income Trust
CHOICE submission to Senate Economics References Committee calling for the proposed compensation scheme of last resort be expanded to include managed investment scheme collapses, and for ASIC to be granted new directions power.
September 2021 – Strengthening protections against unfair contract terms
CHOICE submission to the Treasury, welcoming the proposal to change the ACL and ASIC Act, so that businesses using unfair contract terms will be fined for their bad behaviour.
September 2021 – Transitioning to the Financial Accountability Regime (FAR)
CHOICE submission to Treasury supporting the passage of the FAR legislation, and recommending a number of amendments to strengthen enforcement and increase the range of sanctions available for regulators.
August 2021 – Compensation Scheme of Last Resort (CSLR)
Joint consumer submission to Treasury welcoming the federal government's commitment to establish a CSLR.
August 2021 – Financial Accountability Regime
Joint consumer submission to Treasury recommending strengthening of the Financial Accountability Regime Bill 2021.
August 2021 – Issues paper on infant inclined products
CHOICE submission to the ACCC welcoming the review and strongly supporting a prohibition on inclined sleep products.
August 2021 – Toppling furniture
CHOICE submission to the ACCC recommending the introduction of a mandatory safety standard for items at high risk of toppling and an information standard for items at moderate risk of toppling.
August 2021 – Right to Repair Draft Report
CHOICE submission to the Productivity Commission supporting the draft recommendations, and recommending further reforms to improve the quality of information for consumers.
February 2021 – Issues Paper on the Right to Repair
CHOICE submission to the Productivity Commission, calling for a Right that encompasses improvements to the consumer experience of the repair market, for product design to be improved and for consumers and businesses to have clarity that they can refurbish single-use items.
CHOICE submission focussing on labels that better reflect how people actually use their appliances, and recommending new minimum water effieciency standards to discourage products that use excessively high amounts of water from being sold in the Australian market.
CHOICE submission to Treasury about the dismantling of consumer protections if the bill is passed. CHOICE does not support the government's proposal to axe safe lending laws.
January 2021 – Pre-budget submission to Treasury on the 2021-2022 Budget
CHOICE recommends adequate funding to continue nationally-coordinated consumer regulations, the review of the product safety system, and the Superannuation Consumer Advocate.
January 2021 – Payments System Review issues paper
CHOICE submission to Treasury, calling for ongoing problems with the payments system to be addressed, including regulatory gaps like the ones that are currently occurring with the Buy Now, Pay Later payment system.
December 2020 – The Privacy Act Review: Issues Paper response
CHOICE submission to the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department focussing on consumers, and businesses that hold and use their data.
November 2020 – Protect safe lending laws
CHOICE does not support the proposal to axe safe lending laws. This submission to Treasury outlines five problems with the proposal.
CHOICE submission to the ACCC supporting continued operation of MBA past phase one of the National Broadband Network (NBN) roll out.
September 2020 – Country of Origin Labelling for Food Evaluation
CHOICE submission to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, supporting continuation of the labelling framework.
September 2020 – Review of competition, costs and pricing in the funeral industry
CHOICE submission to the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal about industry practices and the consumer experience of arranging funerals.
Joint submission to the Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs from CHOICE and Consumer Credit Legal Service (WA) Inc, Financial Counselling Australia and Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network calling for reasonable and fair prices for essential goods for all Australians regardless of their geographical location.
June 2020 – Stronger Health Star Ratings
CHOICE submission to the Front-of-Pack Labelling Secretariat urging Forum Ministers and FSANZ to roll out the strongest possible Health Star Rating system using Calculator – an improved formula that more accurately factors in salt and sugar.
CHOICE submission that focusses on three key areas of the CDR: potential areas of expansion, accessibility and consumer protection.
April 2020 – Button battery regulatory options paper
CHOICE submission to the ACCC supporting a robust mandatory standard requiring a secure battery compartment, child-resistant packaging, and safety information.
CHOICE submission to the Commonwealth Treasury urging the government to make unfair contract terms illegal in consumer and insurance contracts.
February 2020 – Banking Royal Commission draft legislation
A number of joint submissions from CHOICE and consumer groups Consumer Action Law Centre, Financial Rights Legal Centre, Consumer Credit Legal Service (WA) Inc, Financial Counselling Australia and more to Treasury, commenting on the exposure draft legislation relating to insurance, financial services and superannuation.
February 2020 – Compensation Scheme of Last Resort
Joint submission led by the Consumer Credit Legal Service (WA) Inc, with CHOICE, Financial Counselling Australia and the Financial Rights Legal Centre calling on the government to establish a compensation scheme of last resort with broad coverage.
February 2020 – Financial Accountability Regime
Joint consumer submission from CHOICE and Consumer Action Law Centre, Financial Counselling Australia, Financial Rights Legal Centre and Super Consumers Australia calling on the government to introduce a Regime that will hold finance executives to account.
February 2020 – National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment
CHOICE submission to the Standing Senate Committee on Economics outlining the need for action on payday loans and consumer leases.
February 2020 – Ticket Resale Information Standard
CHOICE submission to the Commonwealth Treasury recommending extension of the Standard to advertising and promotion of ticket resale sites.
January 2020 – RBA Review of Retail Payments Regulation: Issues Paper
Joint consumer submission led by the Consumer Action Law Centre, alongside CHOICE, Financial Counselling Australia and Financial Rights Legal Centre, calling on the introduction of surcharging for buy-now, pay-later schemes.
January 2020 – Making insurance claims handling a financial service
Joint submission to Treasury from CHOICE and Financial Rights Legal Centre and Consumer Action Law Centre and CHOICE calling on removal of the insurance "claims handling" loophole and regulation of the Insurance Claims Management Services industry.
Joint submission to Treasury from CHOICE alongside Consumer Action Law Centre, Financial Rights Legal Centre, CCLWSA, Financial Counselling Australia and Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network welcoming the proposal to establish a permanent body.
CHOICE submission to the Australian Energy Market Commission supporting the ban on conditional discounts.
January 2020 – Corporate Criminal Responsibility Discussion Paper
CHOICE submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission supporting reforms that benefit or protect consumers from the ill effects of corporate wrongdoing.
January 2020 – Review of the Model Defamation Provisions
CHOICE submission to the NSW Attorney-General's Department supporting a nationally consistent defamation law.
December 2019 – 2020-21 Federal Budget (PDF)
CHOICE pre-budget submission to Treasury urging the federal government to prioritise key consumer issues in the 2020-21 Federal Budget. These issues include providing funding for a more efficient superannuation system, the introduction of a general safety provision, reducing health costs and improving food labelling.
December 2019 – National Obesity Strategy (PDF)
CHOICE submission calling for stronger food labelling practices and a National Obesity Strategy that ensures food environments aren't stacked against consumers.
November 2019 – Review of the consumer product safety system (PDF)
Joint submission from CHOICE and Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC) to Treasury calling for a general safety duty that requires businesses to ensure the products they sell are safe, and increased powers for regulators to enforce the new law.
October 2019 – Review of school banking programs (PDF)
CHOICE submission to ASIC calling for evaluation data on how these school banking schemes operate, the outcomes for customers and their potential impact on competition in the banking market.
Joint consumer submission from CHOICE and other consumer groups to Treasury supporting the government's proposed best interests duty and prohibition on certain forms of conflicted remuneration. We asked for the duty to be expanded to include all products and services that brokers recommend to people, amendment of clawback requirements, and bolstering penalties and strengthening of record keeping obligations for brokers.
September 2019 – Button battery safety issues paper (PDF)
CHOICE submission to ACCC calling for the federal government to make the voluntary industry code for products containing button batteries into mandatory safety standards. The mandatory standards should require child-resistant packaging, secure battery compartments, clear warning labels and poisons information on all products containing button batteries sold in Australia.
CHOICE submission to the Australian Energy Market Commission calling for conditional discounting practices to be banned in the energy market. Pay-on-time discounts are unreasonable, unfair and misleading.
Joint submission from CHOICE and Super Consumers Australia, recommending that the loophole for unfair contract terms for insurance contracts be closed. We also strongly support Treasury's proposal for a narrow statutory definition for 'main subject matter'.
CHOICE submission to APRA, recommending that APRA use its new BEAR powers to prosecute banks and their executives for sale of financial products or services that are unfair or not fit for purpose. For these laws to be effective, APRA must focus on the harm to people, rather than exclusively focusing on the prudential impact of poor product management.
August 2019 – Proposed Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019 (PDF)
CHOICE submission to the NSW Department of Customer Services, recommending prohibition on 'no pet' clauses in rental agreements and include a responsible pet ownership model in the standard form agreement to keep with modern community standards.
July 2019 – Proposed funeral information standard (PDF)
CHOICE submission to the NSW Department of Customer Service, welcoming the proposed funeral information standard where funeral suppliers will have to prominently display itemised costs of funeral goods and services online and at their place of business. We asked that the regulations also ensure suppliers make a distinction between the legal requirements and ceremonial components of a funeral in their price lists.
May 2019 – Capability Review Consultation (PDF)
Joint submission from CHOICE and Super Consumers Australia to APRA, recommending more effective delivery on APRA's mandate by increasing the data it captures and releases about the financial system. They also recommended that APRA's mandate be updated to specifically recognise that its work aims to enhance the welfare of Australians, and that it strengthen its partnerships with consumer groups.
Super Consumers Australia and the Financial Rights Legal Centre submission to Treasury, recommending that the federal government establish an independent inquiry into insurance in superannuation, with a focus on determining how best to support people who can no longer support themselves or their families due to death or disability.
May 2019 – Banking data (PDF)
CHOICE submission to the ACCC calling for development of additional consumer protections under the Consumer Data Right Rules in the banking sector.
Joint submission from CHOICE and Super Consumers Australia calling on APRA to increase the data it captures and releases about the financial system, and deepening its connection with consumer groups.
April 2019 – Making industry codes work (PDF)
Joint submission from CHOICE and Super Consumers Australia to Treasury, calling out industry codes for consistently failing to address widespread consumer harm. We call for new rule-making powers for ASIC to write and administer mandatory financial services codes.
April 2019 – Draft Mobile Premium Services Code (PDF)
CHOICE submission to the Communications Alliance, suggesting changes to the draft Code, to better protect consumers from unexpected bills relating to premium mobile services.
April 2019 – Model Defamation Provisions (PDF)
CHOICE submission to the NSW Department of Justice, providing views on Australia's defamation laws, noting particularly that large companies should not be given the ability to sue for defamation.
March 2019 – Determination of default offer prices (PDF)
CHOICE submission to the Australian Energy Regulator, calling for a default offer that is affordable, available to everyone in a deregulated market, free from excessive marketing costs, and is a safety net when a customer has not chosen an energy offer, or their contract has expired.
CHOICE submission to the Commonwealth Government putting forward recommendations for improvement including calling for the system to be mandatory, and for sugar to receive greater penalties in the HSR algorithm.
CHOICE submission to Treasury, welcoming the proposal to prohibit grandfathered commissions. We call for strong regulatory oversight during the transition away from grandfathered advice, and for the removal of all conflicted remuneration, including asset-based fees, in the advice industry.
CHOICE submission to Treasury commenting on a proposed mandatory scheme for sharing motor vehicle repair and service information. We support the scheme, as it will provide consumers with a broader range of more competitive options for servicing and repairing vehicles.
March 2019 – Energy data access models (PDF)
CHOICE submission to the ACCC, encouraging a design of the Consumer Data Right (CDR) that ensures consistent outcomes across sectors. While the systems and infrastructure that underpin the CDR may require considerable variation across sectors, the CDR should be designed with the goal of creating simple, consistent user experiences for consumers across the board.
March 2019 – Consumer Data Right (CDR) (PDF)
CHOICE submission to the Economics Legislation Committee, recommending more work be done to ensure that appropriate protections are in place to protect consumers from harm before it occurs, and urges the Committee to consider amending the Bill. With the right design, the Consumer Data Right has the potential to deliver substantial benefits to consumers.
February 2019 – Disclosure in general insurance (PDF)
CHOICE submission to Treasury calling for stronger protections in general insurance industry, including improvements to renewal notices, standardised definitions of key terms, and a review of key fact sheets (KFS).
February 2019 – Private health insurance (PDF)
CHOICE submission to the Australian Labor Party providing views on priority areas to be examined under a proposed inquiry into the private health insurance sector.
February 2019 – Unit Pricing Code (PDF)
CHOICE submission to Treasury calling for major reforms to improve unit pricing in supermarkets. The code needs to be strengthened and expanded in order to deliver more consistent, accurate and visible unit pricing.
January 2019 – 2019-20 Federal Budget (PDF)
CHOICE submission to the Treasury urging the federal government to prioritise key consumer issues in the 2019-20 Federal Budget. These issues include superannuation, banking, the new consumer data right and private rentals.
December 2018 – Default Market Offer Price (PDF)
CHOICE submission to the Australian Energy Regulator supporting the introduction of default energy offers, and are calling on the Regulator to ensure that the design of these offers is affordable and effective.
October 2018 – Human Rights and Technology (PDF)
CHOICE's response to the Australian Human Rights Commission Issues Paper on 'Human Rights and Technology' outlines how technology can be used by businesses to unfairly discriminate and harm people. We call on the AHRC to investigate existing and emerging issues across insurance, finance, renting, energy and data, and outline the need for new, improved legislation.
October 2018 – Consumer Data Right (CDR) – Second Stage (PDF)
CHOICE submission to Treasury, calling for a CDR system that is simple to navigate and delivers equitable outcomes for consumers. We advocated for greater consumer protections, and supported increased powers for the ACCC.
CHOICE made comments on the ACCC's proposed Rules Framework. We supported free access to designated data sets, strong standards for consent, and protections that prevent businesses from unfairly discriminating against consumers using CDR data.
CHOICE responded to the Royal Commission's Interim Report. We called for widespread reforms, including changes to the way financial services entities remunerate and reward staff. We also called for an expansion of ASIC's compliance and enforcement toolkit to better enable the regulator to investigate and take action.
CHOICE responded to the insurance policy questions posed by the Royal Commission. We found a series of systemic failings which industry has failed to deal with through self-regulation. As a response we've called for stronger regulators and consumer protections.
September 2018 – Consumer Data Right (PDF)
CHOICE submission to Treasury, that calls for a Consumer Data Right that is consumer-focused, efficient and fair.
CHOICE responded to the superannuation policy questions posed by the Royal Commission and also called for the establishment of long-term funding for the Superannuation Consumers' Centre so that people can be represented by a strong independent voice in this important market.
CHOICE has called for improvements to the TCP Code, to promote better customer service in the industry.
August 2018 – Gift card expiry dates (PDF)
CHOICE made a submission on draft exposure legislation dealing with gift cards. The legislation will ensure gift cards have a minimum expiry date of three years from the date of supply.
The food and beverage industry play an overly influential role in food and health policy in Australia. CHOICE made two submissions to the Senate Select Committee into the Obesity Epidemic in Australia to highlight these issues.
July 2018 – Inquiry into class action proceedings (PDF)
Class actions can provide consumers with access to justice in circumstances where they otherwise could not afford to take action. CHOICE made a submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission in support of the class action system.
CHOICE responded to the Senate inquiry on improvements to pet food regulations. We recommended that Parliament introduce a mandatory standard for pet food, appoint an independent regulator and improve recall processes.
CHOICE responded to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee into the proposed 'Protecting Your Superannuation' package which would cap fees, auto-consolidate accounts and make insurance within superannuation more appropriate to people's needs.
CHOICE responded to a Treasury consultation into the proposed 'Protecting Your Superannuation' package which would cap fees, auto-consolidate accounts and make insurance within superannuation more appropriate to people's needs.
CHOICE responded to the Royal Commission's questions on the financial advice industry. We called for an end to all forms of conflicted remuneration that still persist in the industry, including banning commissions on the sale of life insurance, asset-based fees, and existing grandfathered commissions.
May 2018 – Expiry dates on gift cards (PDF)
CHOICE and Consumer Action Law Centre made a submission to Treasury, calling for a ban on expiry dates for gift cards, or at least a national version of NSW's ban on expiry dates of less than three years.
May 2018 – NSW Fair Trading Complaints Register (PDF)
The NSW Complaints Register publishes information about individual traders who are the subject of a high number of complaints and empowers consumers to make informed decisions about where to buy goods and services. CHOICE and Consumer Action Law Centre made a submission in support of the Register, and called for more contextual information about complaints to be released.
CHOICE submission calling for the expansion of the product portfolio covered by the GEMS Act, increased compliance activities, and harmonisation with international standards that are relevant for Australian consumers. The GEMS Act is key to helping Australian consumers make informed choices concerning their energy usage.
April 2018 – Preventing discounts on inflated energy rates (PDF)
CHOICE called for urgent reform to harmful discounting practices, while arguing that the proposed rule change did little to improve consumer outcomes.
April 2018 – Facilitating access to consumer energy data (PDF)
The implementation of the Consumer Data Right has the potential do drive improved consumer outcomes. CHOICE supports an implementation of a Consumer Data Right that is customer focused, efficient, and fair. CHOICE called for the implementation of the Consumer Data Right to be guided by unified consumer protections, privacy principles, and objectives that ensure consistency across sections.
Drawing on feedback from hundreds of consumers, CHOICE made a submission in response to Treasury's consultation Regulatory Impact Statement on proposed changes to the consumer guarantees found in the Australian Consumer Law. CHOICE called for stronger, clearer refund rights in relation to products that experience failures shortly after purchase, and products that experience multiple small failures.
CHOICE made a submission to the Australian Communications and Media Authority on a new complaints-handling standard for the NBN.
CHOICE responded to the Royal Commission's questions on the consumer lending market, in particular mortgage brokers. We called for an end to conflicted remuneration and the introduction of a best interest duty to protect consumers from conflicted brokers.
CHOICE responded to the Productivity Commission's Draft Report on Competition in the Australian Financial System. We called for reforms in the home loan-market, including abolishing Lender's Mortgage Insurance and introducing a 'best interest' duty for mortgage brokers.
February 2018 – Draft Performance and Reporting Guidelines (PDF)
CHOICE submission to the Australian Energy Regulator, calling for improved performance reporting standards in the energy market. We raised concerns about a lack of detailed data about switching rates, smart meters, pay on time discounts and disconnections.
CHOICE provided comments to Treasury on a range of proposed amendments to the consumer law, particularly focusing on unsolicited sales.
CHOICE provided the Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs with a summary of our investigation into inauthentic Indigenous art and souvenirs, and how difficult it can be for consumers to find the real deal.
CHOICE drew on the feedback of over 2800 people who had experienced conduct at the hands of banks and financial service providers which fell below these people's standards and expectations. We've called for an end to bank self-regulation as a first response and for better equipped regulators to step in to prevent people being harmed.
CHOICE raised concerns about the Bill's broad number of proposed permitted indications, many of which are not backed by scientific evidence, and the ceasing of the pre-approval process for advertising therapeutic goods.
CHOICE wrote to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, to raise concerns about the broad scope of this Bill and the unreasonable administrative burden it will place on not-for-profit advocacy groups.
January 2018 – The 2018-19 Federal Budget (PDF)
The three key areas CHOICE highlighted in this years' pre-budget submission are private health insurance, housing and airline passengers' rights.
Given poor levels of compliance and a poor track record in complaint handling, CHOICE raised serious concerns about the proposal to allow industry to self-regulate.
November 2017 – FinTech Sandbox Regulatory Licensing Exemptions (PDF)
Consumer groups CHOICE, Consumer Action Law Centre and Financial Rights Legal Centre provided Treasury with comments on a Bill dealing with regulatory licensing exemptions for FinTech companies.
CHOICE provided the ACCC with additional case studies from consumers who had difficulty enforcing their rights to a remedy when something went wrong with their new cars.
October 2017 – Proposed recall notice for Takata airbags (PDF)
CHOICE wrote to the ACCC in support of a proposed compulsory recall of Takata airbags in cars.
October 2017 – Draft Insurance in Superannuation Code of Practice (PDF)
We wrote to the superannuation industry calling for much tighter time frames for closing down inactive accounts and improving insurance product design and affordability to ensure they match consumer needs.
September 2017 – New Cars Retailing Market Study (PDF)
CHOICE wrote to the ACCC about issues in the new car market, particularly for consumers who experience difficulties in having problems with their new cars remedied.
September 2017 - Superannuation accountability, member outcomes and governance (PDF)
CHOICE wrote to the Senate Standing Committee on Economics to express our support for changes to superannuation law which would make funds much more accountable to their members.
September 2017 – Superannuation: Assessing Competitiveness and Efficiency (PDF)
We wrote to the Productivity Commission to share with them a sample of over 2,500 consumers on their experience with superannuation. Feedback included concern over high fees, multiple accounts and difficulty in switching funds.
August 2017 – Collection models for GST low value imported goods (PDF)
CHOICE wrote to the Productivity Commission about collecting the GST on goods that cost less than $100 purchased from overseas online stores. CHOICE feels the tax should not be applied unless revenue raised outweighs collection costs.
August 2017 – Banking Executive Accountability Regime (the BEAR) (PDF)
CHOICE and Consumer Action have written the Treasury about how banking executives should be held accountable when the institutions they're responsible break the law or harm consumers.
CHOICE supports the work of other consumer organisations, including Community Legal Centres. These types of organisations often have DGR status. We wrote to Treasury to show our support for these organisations' advocacy activities, and tell Treasury there should be no reason to limit these activities through changes to the current DGR system.
CHOICE collected over 1000 case studies of consumers' experiences in the private health insurance market and conducted a representative survey of private health insurance policy holders for this submission to the Senate's inquiry into private health insurance.
July 2017 – Mortgage broker remuneration (PDF)
CHOICE, Financial Rights Legal Centre, Consumer Action and Financial Counselling Australia worked together to look at how mortgage brokers are paid and what this means for consumers. We call for major changes to the way brokers are paid to protect consumers and for new standards so that brokers have to act in the best interests of their clients.
June 2017 – Insurance in super: member engagement (PDF)
The Insurance in Superannuation Working Group was looking for feedback on how it could help consumers understand what insurance they have within superannuation. We called on the industry to provide more simplified information, such as a Key Fact Sheet and commit to user testing to ensure information remains relevant and engaging.
May 2017 – Insurance in super: claims handling (PDF)
The Insurance in Superannuation Working Group proposed changes to the way superannuation funds process life insurance claims. We said the entire industry needs to commit to improved claims handling time-frames and release data on how they perform.
The Productivity Commission proposed reforming the way consumers are defaulted into superannuation funds. We said it was important to make changes which would cut down on the $150 million a year wastage caused by multiple default funds and to introduce consumer-led competition into fund selection.
April 2017 – Insurance in super: account balance erosion (PDF)
The Insurance in Superannuation Working Group proposed changes to reduce the erosion of superannuation balances due to insurance premiums. We said the industry needs to improve the design of insurance so it better matches the needs of consumers at an affordable price.
April 2017 – Changes to the GST Low Value Threshold (PDF)
The Senate Economics Committee asked what we thought of proposed changes to the GST on low-cost imported goods. We said we're worried that no one has assessed the impact on consumers or competition in retail markets.
Consumers are getting a bad deal from the banking sector in big and small ways. We told the Senate Economics Committee that urgent action is needed to address the lack of competitive pressure, to lift standards for professionals and improve consumer support across the banking sector.
February 2017 – Inquiry into Australia's General Insurance Industry (PDF)
Consumers are getting squeezed as premiums increase and policies become more restrictive. There is a lack of publicly available data to help consumers easily compare policies and help find more competitive offers. We need to find simple, well tested ways to improve consumer access to and understanding of insurance policy comparison data.
January 2017 – Australian Consumer Law enforcement and administration (PDF)
Our consumer law may be strong in theory, but penalties are too low to be an effective deterrent to bad behaviour. We wrote to the Productivity Commission to call for higher penalties for breaches of the Australian Consumer Law.
Consumer needs must be a priority for the next Federal Budget. We called for action to address poor value health insurance, high cost credit cards and a gap in consumer protections in the financial sector.
January 2017 – Timesharing schemes (PDF)
Timeshare schemes are sold using aggressive and likely misleading tactics. We argue that current exemptions and special protections for the timeshare industry need to be rolled back and replaced with stronger consumer protections to help people easily find out what they'll be getting for excessively high prices.
22 December 2016 – Objective of superannuation (PDF)
Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Economics calling for a clear objective for superannuation to improve policy making and fairness.
CHOICE and the Consumer Action Law Centre supported the Federal Government's proposal to make the finance sector pay for to regulate their industry but the model must lead to better consumer outcomes and maintain ASIC's independence.
19 December 2016 – Data availability and use (PDF)
Submission to the Productivity Commission's final report regarding access to data.
16 December 2016 – Indigenous consumers and unsolicited sales (PDF)
Joint submission to Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand from CHOICE and nine other organisations regarding door-to-door sales in Indigenous communities.
9 December 2016 – Interim report for the review of the Australian Consumer Law (PDF)
Submission to Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand regarding the review of the Australian Consumer Law.
7 December 2016 – The telemarketing and research industry standard (PDF)
Submission to the Australian Communications and Media Authority regarding nuisance calls and the Telemarketing and Research Industry Standard.
2 December 2016 – Applying GST to low value goods imported by consumers (PDF)
We fear that proposed changes to the GST low value threshold (LVT) are a poorly designed and would restrict consumer access to goods without measurable economic benefit.
When consumers buy free range eggs they rightly expect that hens actually go outside, have room to move inside and that animal welfare practices are used. The Draft Standard would not require eggs labelled as 'free range' to meet these basic expectations and would let industry groups effectively mislead consumers looking for a good egg.
29 November 2016 – Inquiry into the life insurance industry (PDF)
Submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services in which we called for improved consumer protections in response to poor industry behaviour.
18 November 2016 – New car retailing industry market study (PDF)
Submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission regarding the new car market and the Australian Consumer Law.
31 October 2016 – Superannuation alternative default models (PDF)
Submission to the Productivity Commission regarding how consumers are allocated to new superannuation funds.
28 October 2016 – The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (PDF)
Submission to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
30 September 2016 – Misuse of market power (PDF)
Submission to the Commonwealth Treasury regarding the Exposure Draft Competition and Consumer Amendment (Competition Policy Review) Bill 2016.
23 September 2016 – Superannuation competitiveness and efficiency (PDF)
Submission to the Productivity Commission on how to make the superannuation system more competitive, efficient and better serve consumer needs.
9 September 2016 – Review of retail banking sales commissions and payments (PDF)
Right now, banks hide exactly how they pay retail staff. We called for the banking sector to release as much information as possible about the commissions and sales payments that front-line staff and their manager's receive.
9 September 2016 – Life Insurance Code of Practice (PDF)
Submission to the Financial Services Council recommending improvements to the life insurance industry code of practice.
30 August 2016 – Consumer law enforcement and administration (PDF)
Submission to the Productivity Commission regarding the enforcement and administration of consumer law.
5 August 2016 – Data availability and use (PDF)
Submission to the Productivity Commission regarding access to data.
Innovation can increase options for consumers but there's no guarantee that innovation will lead to a net benefit. We strongly argued against reducing consumer protections for consumers of financial services by allowing new businesses to operate without a license (AFSL).
30 June 2016 – Redesigning VET FEE-HELP (PDF)
Submission to the Department of Education regarding consumers' experiences of FEE-HELP in vocational education and training.
21 June 2016 – Cutting credit card confusion (PDF)
Submission to the Australian Treasury's 'Credit cards: improving consumer outcomes and enhancing competition' consultation paper.
1 June 2016 – Intellectual property arrangements (PDF)
Submission to the Productivity Commission regarding intellectual property in response to its draft report.
We partnered with an academic based in Papua New Guinea to support the development of stronger consumer laws in the Pacific.
Submission to Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand regarding the review of the Australian Consumer Law.
CHOICE strongly supports lifting professional, ethical and education standards for financial advisers. We called for all advisers to have to pass a basic exam and for no exemptions for advisers selling poor-value timeshare schemes.
CHOICE, Consumer Action and the Financial Rights Legal Centre worked together to explain to the major issues with life insurance to the Senate Economics Committee.
29 April 2016 – Private Health Insurance (PDF)
To help the ACCC prepare its report to the Senate, we told the regulator that consumers were frustrated by the poor quality information provided about private health insurance products and about dramatically increasing prices.
8 April 2016 – Vehicle emissions discussion paper (PDF)
Submission to the Federal Government regarding fuel efficiency and real-world testing procedures.
Submission to the Senate Economics References Committee on gift cards and the collapse of listed retailers.
March 2016 – NSW Home Building Compensation Fund (PDF)
Consumers need strong protections when they are building or repairing their home. We argued for a stronger domestic building insurance system for consumers in NSW.
Mortgage brokers act for consumers but are paid by credit providers. ASIC's research into consumer outcomes is essential but needs to look closely at the nature of conversations or advice that brokers give to consumers.
11 March 2016 – Trans-Pacific Partnership (PDF)
Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, investor-state dispute settlement and transparency in treaty negotiations.
The Bill being considered by the Senate Economics Committee would reduce, but not remove, commissions that financial advisers can still receive when selling life insurance. ASIC research is clear - when an adviser receives a commission it leads to poor customer outcomes. CHOICE supports the Bill but wants a long-term plan of action.
February 2016 – CHOICE recommendations for the 2016-17 Federal Budget (PDF)
We called for the next Federal Budget to address poor value health insurance, to increase funding for the finance regulator and to fix a long-standing gap in consumer protections in the financial sector.
February 2016 – Regulation of Agriculture, Issues Paper (PDF)
Food labels are essential for consumers and need to give them the information they value the most to make informed decisions. We told the Productivity Commission that food labels need to be meaningful, consistent, accurate and designed for consumers, not industry.
February 2016 – Country of Origin Food Labelling (PDF)
CHOICE strongly supports the Federal Government's proposal to improve country of origin labels. We worked with over 26,000 campaign supporters to develop ten recommendations to improve food labels for consumers.
12 February 2016 – Misuse of market power (PDF)
Submission to the Commonwealth Treasury regarding competition law and misuse of market power.
30 November 2015 – Intellectual property arrangements (PDF)
Submission to the Productivity Commission regarding intellectual property.
30 October 2015 – NSW consumer complaints register (PDF)
Submission to NSW Fair Trading regarding the Consumer Complaints Register.
Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties regarding investor-state dispute settlement in ChAFTA, a free trade agreement between Australia and China.
1 June 2015 – Tax discussion paper on GST Low-Value Threshold (PDF)
Submission to the Federal Government's regarding lowering the GST low-value threshold.
29 May 2015 – Review of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (PDF)
Additional submission to the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development regarding restrictions on importing cars.
26 May 2015 – Competition policy review final report (PDF)
Submission to the Commonwealth Treasury regarding the Final Report of the Harper Review of Australia's competition policy framework.
16 April 2015 – Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 (PDF)
Submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee regarding online copyright infringement.
23 March 2015 – Copyright notice scheme industry code (PDF)
Submission to the Communications Alliance regarding the proposed Industry Code C653:2015, to set up a copyright infringement notice scheme.
27 February 2015 – The Commonwealth's treaty-making process (PDF)
Submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee regarding the treaty-making process with particular reference to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
17 November 2014 – Competition policy review draft report (PDF)
Submission to the Federal Government regarding the Harper Review of Australia's competition policy framework.
20 October 2014 – Review of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (PDF)
Submission to the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development regarding restrictions on importing cars.
29 August 2014 – Online copyright infringement public consultation (PDF)
Submission to the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department regarding online copyright infringement and access to digital content.
10 June 2014 – Competition policy review issues paper (PDF)
Submission to the Federal Government regarding the Harper Review of Australia's competition policy framework.
August 2023 – Weathering the storm: Insurance in a climate crisis
A joint report by CHOICE, Climate Council, Financial Rights Legal Centre, Financial Counselling Australia and the Tenants Union of NSW that explores the response of a broken insurance market to the complex issues of climate change and increasing extreme weather events like bushfires, floods, storms and cyclones.
April 2023 – At what cost? The price renters pay to use RentTech
CHOICE investigated tenants who are increasingly forced to use for-profit rental technologies (RentTech) to apply for a rental, pay rent and request maintenace. We call for urgent reform of the Privacy Act and a Federal Inquiry into automated decision-making.
CHOICE surveyed over 4400 Australians who had travel plans disrupted by COVID-19. We recommend Australian governments make urgent reforms to fix Australia's travel cancellation chaos.
November 2019 – Strengthening the Health Star Rating System (PDF)
CHOICE conducted a nationally representative survey that asked people to rate the healthiness of products with and without Health Star Ratings. The presence of Health Star Ratings (HSRs) has a significant impact on consumers' perceptions of whether certain products are healthy or unhealthy.
December 2018 – Unsettled: The consumer experience of renting in Australia (PDF)
CHOICE, in collaboration with National Shelter and the National Association of Tenants Organisations (NATO), undertook its second nationally representative survey of Australians who rent. The report found that many Australians are living in homes that need repairs, but are afraid to request them out of fear of a rent increase or eviction.
November 2017 – Australian consumers in the travel market 2017 (PDF)
The fourth phase of the CHOICE Travel annual survey uncovers Australians' experience with how the travel industry handles consumer complaints, and continuing trends with flight and car hire problems.
August 2017 – Sold Out: Consumers and the ticket resale industry (PDF)
A joint report from CHOICE and Consumer NZ which looks at the major players in the ticket resale industry and outlines the changes consumers need to see in the market.
The CHOICE Consumer Pulse Report picks up on the trends in Australians' cost of living concerns over the past three years.
July 2017 – Making private health insurance simpler (PDF)
A report from CHOICE's national survey on information in the private health insurance market.
April 2017 – End the sugar-coating (PDF)
A CHOICE report into added sugar labelling in Australia. The report found that added sugar labelling could help an individual remove 26 teaspoons of unnecessary sugar from their diet in a day and up to 38.3 kilograms of unnecessary sugar over the course of a year.
February 2017 – Australian consumers in the travel market 2016 (PDF)
The third phase of the CHOICE Travel project annual survey uncovers continuing trends with flight problems, among a range of other issues in the travel market, including research with stakeholders regarding accessible accommodation for Australians with disabilities.
September 2016 – Who's on the line? Consumer experiences with unsolicited calls (PDF)
We found that 89% of Australians are receiving unwanted calls, mostly from charities. The report calls for reform so that consumers can choose who contacts them.
August 2016 – Project Superpower (PDF)
We developed a strategy based on qualitative research to help people better engage with their superannuation.
More than a third of Australians were doing it tough financially in 2016-2015 and were most worried about the cost of electricity and health costs.
15 March 2016 – Consumer experiences in the new car market (PDF)
How common are lemon cars? And, are consumer protection laws working to protect people with problem cars? Our nationally representative research into the new car market found that too many people have problems and can't get them fixed.
February 2016 – Australian consumers in the travel market 2015 (PDF)
The second phase of the CHOICE Travel project annual travel trends survey identifies issues ranging from flights, accommodation, travel insurance, car hire and customer satisfaction with each of Australia's major airlines.
1 September 2015 – Research update on digital consumers (PDF)
An update to our earlier research on consumers' attitudes and behaviour in accessing online content. We found that piracy rates dropped when consumers had access to affordable streaming services that delivered content at similar times to the rest of the world.
September 2015 – Australian consumers in the travel market 2014 (PDF)
The first stage of research for the CHOICE Travel project aiming to provide a foundation for the project's next stages and create a better understanding of the issues facing Australian consumers in the travel industry.
Over 2015-2014, consumers were most concerned about the cost of electricity, groceries and fuel and an estimated 3.1 million people lived off their credit card to get through to payday.
1 November 2014 – Digital consumers' attitudes and behaviour (PDF)
June 2022 – Airbnb's collection and use of user data
CHOICE complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) to investigate potential breaches of the Privacy Act 1988.
June 2022 – Facial recognition in retail stores
CHOICE complaint to OAIC to investigate Kmart, Bunnings and The Good Guys for potential breaches of the Privacy Act (1988).
August 2021 – Landlord insurers unfairly pursuing tenants
CHOICE and WEstJustice joint complaint to ASIC, asking for investigation of industry practices across landlord insurance and to assess where insurers have misled people or breached licensee obligations to act efficiently, honestly and fairly.
May 2021 – Timeshare industry
CHOICE's super-complaint to ASIC, alleging at least eight industry-wide breaches of financial services laws, and calling for a federal government inquiry.
August 2020 – Tinder's misuse of data and discriminatory pricing
CHOICE complaint to the ACCC asking for investigation of breaches of the Australian Consumer Law by Tinder in relation to misleading and deceptive conduct and lack of transparency of contract terms.
August 2020 – Non-alcoholic hand sanitisers
CHOICE complaint to both the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and ACCC, asking for investigation of potentially misleading advertising claims made by companies about the protection offered by quaternary ammonium compound-based hand sanitisers.
CHOICE complaint to ACCC misleading and deceptive advertising by Mosaic Brands Pty Ltd during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
January 2020 – Bundled health insurance products offered by GMHBA
CHOICE complaint to ACCC, calling for investigation of potentially misleading and deceptive conduct by health insurer GMHBA when offering private health insurance policies bundled with a rewards program, AIA Vitality.
CHOICE lodged a complaint with ASIC about potentially misleading and deceptive mortgage broker industry advertising.
CHOICE lodged a complaint to the ACCC about InvoCare's administration fee, which we believe is an example of unconscionable conduct in the funeral industry.
CHOICE submitted a complaint to the ACCC, highlighting misleading marketing claims on foods advertised to children.
June 2019 – Complaint about timeshare industry practices (PDF)
We lodged a complaint to ASIC about misleading and deceptive conduct and poor financial advice in the timeshare industry.
A major CHOICE investigation into the Takata airbag recall found that some car manufacturers were replacing fault Takata airbags with like-for-like potentially faulty airbags. We made a formal complaint to the ACCC about this conduct, resulting in the establishment of a taskforce and prioritised ACCC investigation.
We lodged a complaint to the ACCC about misleading and deceptive conduct, drip pricing and unfair terms and conditions in the ticket resale industry.
We lodged a Freedom of Information request with the ACCC, seeking access to the more than 10,000 mandatory product safety reports made by suppliers that are currently kept confidential.
We submitted this 'super complaint' to the ACCC where we asked for a market study into the airline industry and immediate enforcement of the Australian Consumer Law.
October 2016 – Camel milk's health claims (PDF)
Camel Milk Victoria claimed that camel milk could aid in the treatment of tuberculosis and other diseases. Following our complaint to the ACCC, Camel Milk Victoria removed the claims from its website.
September 2016 – NSW Taxi Council (PDF)
We complained to the ACCC about the NSW Taxi Council ad which stated that ride-sharing is no safer than hitch-hiking.
We referred over 80 cases of Thermomix product failure and serious injuries to the ACCC. Consumers reported that Thermomix blamed customers when something went wrong and belittled or intimidated them when they made a complaint.
October 2015 – Kleenex flushable wipes (PDF)
We complained to the ACCC following the CHOICE Shonky Awards regarding Kleenex 'flushable' wipes claims. Our testing found that wipes didn't break down like toilet paper and shouldn't be flushed. In December 2016, the ACCC initiated court proceedings.
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