Australian Consumer Law review underway

Public news

Following the Federal Government’s Regulatory Impact Statement to examine the proposed changes to Australian Consumer Law (ACL) from a recent review, the MTA has lodged our submission containing several recommendations.

Increasing access to protections for small businesses and consumers was at the forefront of our submission. There has been considerable effort in clarifying and updating consumer protections, strengthening effective competition and improving fair trading however, more work must be done to ensure our recommendations are implemented into the review and any subsequent changes.

Following a survey of our entire membership in assisting with the development of a response to the Regulatory Impact Statement, key recommendations were outlined on behalf of members.

The key recommendations included:

Increasing the threshold in the definition of ‘consumer’ from $40,000 to $100,000

  • The Consumer Guarantee Threshold should be increased from $40,000 to $100,000 to increase access to ACL protections for small businesses
  • If indexation is also applied, industry associations should be funded to provide ongoing education to small business on the relevant application of Consumer Guarantee Threshold in their businesses to ensure higher levels of compliance rather than small businesses needing to find the training itself.

Clarifying the consumer guarantees remedies

  • The current ACL regime (in relation to failures within a short period of time and multiple failures) should be maintained as these terms are still insufficiently defined to warrant change

Enhanced disclosure for extended warranties

  • The current consumer protection provisions relevant to the sale of extended warranties should be maintained to minimise the regulatory burden placed on small businesses
  • That further consideration is given to obligations being imposed on the party responsible for the repairs under the extended warranty. This means that when the underwriter refuses to honour the terms of the warranty a right of claim is created on behalf of the consumer against the underwriter. This claim of action should be the primary claim of action

Access to consumer guarantees for goods sold at auctions

  • Further investigation be undertaken of the role of government vehicle fleet auctions on the second hand vehicle dealer market and auction house viability before determining the level of ACL obligation upon auction houses

If you have any questions regarding the submission, please contact Nathan Groves by clicking here.