Push for reform of consumer protection laws

This month the Productivity Commission will release its draft report on its inquiry into Australia’s consumer policy framework.

The Commission will report on ways to improve the harmonisation and coordination of consumer policy and its development and administration across jurisdictions in Australia, as well as ways to avoid regulatory duplication and inconsistency, according to the Federal Treasurer’s press release announcing the inquiry late last year.

The commission has received 108 submissions and held public hearings over several days in March and April this year.

Business groups and some states are calling for harmonisation of state laws, and ANZ Bank has suggested that the Federal Government pay the states incentives to create national model laws, reports The Australian Financial Review.

The Western Australian Government, supported by the Queensland Government, would like to see the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission split and a new consumer protection body created. The ACCC opposes the plan.

The Productivity Commission’s final report is due by 28 February, 2008.


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