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Countdown to Australian Consumer Law

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Media Release of 31/12/2010 NO.019


Consumers shopping at the New Year sales will have greater protection under new laws that start tomorrow, said the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, David Bradbury.

The Australian Consumer Law begins 1 January 2011 and replaces 20 Commonwealth, State and Territory laws with one new easy-to-understand law.

"Tomorrow, the start of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) will give Australian consumers access to clearer and stronger rights that are backed up by a nationally-consistent enforcement regime," said Mr Bradbury.

"The ACL is one of the most significant reforms in the history of our consumer protection system.

"For the first time, all consumers will have the same rights, no matter where they live in Australia."

The ACL includes:

a new national unfair contract terms law covering standard form contracts; •

a new national law guaranteeing consumer rights when buying goods and services, which replaces existing laws on conditions and warranties; •

a new national product safety law and enforcement system; •

a new national law for unsolicited consumer agreements, which replaces existing State and Territory laws on 'door-to-door' sales and other direct marketing; and •

simple national rules for lay-by agreements •

"Consumers will also be able to access a nationally-consistent enforcement regime, administered by the ACCC, ASIC and the fair trading offices in each State and Territory, who will also have tougher penalties at their disposal for those who breach the ACL.

"This is an important reform for our economy. One national law will cut down on red tape for businesses operating in more than one State and Territory.

"The Productivity Commission estimates that a harmonised consumer protection regime will provide up to $4.5 billion in benefits to the Australian economy.

"The implementation of the ACL completes a two-year process to harmonise the nation's consumer protection framework and delivers on one of the 27 priority deregulation reforms identified through the Council of Australian Governments.

"The ACL was developed through the cooperation of the Commonwealth and States and Territories following a commitment in 2008 to move towards a national harmonised system of consumer protection and product safety.

"The ACL is an important part of the Gillard Government's micro-economic reform agenda that will help to reduce the compliance burden for businesses and increase the productivity of the Australian economy."

For more information on the ACL, go to

31 December 2010

Page 1 of 1 Press Release - Countdown to Australian Consumer Law [31/12/2010]