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New draft guidelines to support industry self-regulation



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The Hon. Warren Truss, MR Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs Deputy Leader of the House

MEDIA RELEASE 31 July, 1998 267/98

NEW DRAFT GUIDELINES TO SUPPORT INDUSTRY SELF-REGULATION

The Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs, Warren Truss, today released for public- comment draft guidelines outlining how the Government proposes to use the new fair trading powers o f the Trade Practices Act 1974 to protect consumers and small business operators.

Recent amendments to the Trade Practices Act have given the Government the option of underpinning industry codes o f conduct in law.

“The Government strongly supports effective industry self-regulation,” Mr Truss said. “Self­ regulation is a practical way to improve consumer protection without adding to the regulatory burden on business.

“However, in situations where self-regulatory systems have proven inadequate, the Government may need to address conduct problems in the marketplace by prescribing the relevant industry code under the Trade Practices Act.

“Naturally, comprehensive consultations with industry and consumers will be held before a final decision is made.”

The first industry code to be made mandatory under the new provisions - the Franchising Code o f Conduct - was launched on 19 June. From 1 October, the entire code will apply to all new, renewed or extended franchise agreements.

“I am distributing the exposure draft guideline to explain to interested parties how the Government intends to use the new code provisions,” Mr Truss said.

“I am keen for industry groups, consumers, businesses and government agencies to provide comments or suggestions on the guidelines.”

The guidelines are part o f an information kit on industry codes o f conduct and dispute resolution schemes released today. The kit contains earlier policy statements such as the Codes o f Conduct Policy Framework (March 1998) and Benchmarks fo r Industry Based Dispute Resolution (August 1997).

For copies o f the exposure draft guidelines or the complete information package, please call Anne Marie Chapman on 02 6213 6094. The documents are also available on the Internet at http://www.dist.gov.au/html/policy.html

ENDS

Contact: Ref: CMR1063

Andrew Hall — Media Adviser — 02 6277 7790 0419 996 766 Email: ahall@dist.gov.au Websites: www.dist.gov.auwww.custom s.gov.au