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Wednesday, 17 March 2010
Page: 2022

Senator XENOPHON (9:39 AM) —I move amendment (1) standing in my name on sheet 6093 to government amendment (38) on sheet BJ236:

 (1)   After “Commission”, insert “or any other person”.

To put it in context, the government’s amend-ment (38) allows a person who is party to a consumer contract to, along with the ACCC, seek a declaration that a term is unfair. The amendment that I have moved seeks to add ‘or any other person’ to this so as to allow parties such as consumer groups to seek a declaration that a term is unfair on behalf of all Australian consumers who may not be able to do so on an individual basis. So it is a question of standing in terms of any action, and I commend the amendment to the Senate. This is about broadening the category of persons that can actually bring an action, and it is much more practical for a consumer group, an entity representing consumers, to take this matter forward, rather than relying on either the ACCC or an individual to do so.