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Advisory body set to boost consumer sovereignty

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The Hon Joe Hockey, MP


PRESS RELEASE X____________ J


EMBARGO UNTIL 12PM 20 May 1999


The Minister for Financial Services and Regulation, Joe Hockey, today unveiled the next plank in the Government’s aim to empower Australian consumers with the formation o f the Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council (CCAAC).

The new Council comprises 10 members with a variety of backgrounds, experience and expertise drawn from across Australia who can represent consumer interests, including those of older and young Australians, indigenous people and women.

“I am pleased that Colin Neave has agreed to Chair CCAAC given his previous experience as Chair of the National Advisory Council on Consumer Affairs ”, the Minister said.

The Council will advise the Minister on consumer needs arising from market transactions and developments and also identify emerging issues affecting consumers. Particular areas expected to be addressed by the Council include financial services, privacy, superannuation, investment, electronic commerce, new

technologies and consumer education.

The Minister announced the Council’s establishment in Ipswich when meeting with Cameron Thompson, MP, Member for Blair, and local business leaders.

“The Council will perform an important role in giving me independent advice on the current or likely impact on consumers of developments in the Australian market”, the Minister said.

“I am confident that through its diverse and quality membership, the Council will be a significant consumer voice. It is important for government to have direct access to independent ‘grass roots’ advice from people involved with consumer issues in an increasingly complex and global marketplace”, said the Minister.

CCAAC will be supported by a secretariat within the Consumer Affairs Division of the Treasury.


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“This Council is a key part of our wider Consumer Affairs philosophy o f consumer sovereignty.

“It is about creating the framework so consumers are empowered and can make more informed choices.

“I am confident that the Council’s work will greatly assist in ensuring that consumer issues are identified and addressed , and I look forward to working closely with the Council”, the Minister concluded.

The Council is expected to formally meet at least three times each year, with the first meeting likely to be in July 1999.

ATTACHMENTS: 1. CCAAC Terms of Reference 2. List of Members


Matthew Abbott, Minister’s office 0413 076 213

Janet Murphy,

Consumer Affairs Division, Department of Treasury (02) 6263 3960

The Minister’s speeches and media releases are available on


Investigate and report to the Minister for Financial Services and Regulation on consumer issues referred to the body by the Minister;

Advise the Minister on consumer education matters referred to the body by the Minister;

Consider reports and papers referred to the body by the Minister and report to the Minister on their likely consumer impact; and

Identify emerging issues impacting on consumers and draw those to the attention o f the




1. Colin Neave (Chair) - Australian Banking Industry Ombudsman

2. Gregory Bartels - Retired (former Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, NSW )

3. Caroline D e Mori - Director, Turnbull Fox Phillips

4. Janet Grieve - Managing Director, Michels Warren P/L

5. Fiona Guthrie - Committee Member, Queensland Consumers’ Association

6. Emmanuel Hegarty - Human Resources, Brisbane City Council (former Indigenous Education Officer, DETYA)

7. Michael Kay - Executive Chairman, Corporate Affairs, AAMI

8. May Miller-Dawkins - University Student, NSW President o f Future Leaders o f Australia

9. Louise Sylvan - C hief Executive Officer, Australian Consumers’ Association

10. Adriana Taylor - Vice-President, Country Women’s Association in Tasmania Inc