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Australian consumer laws

24/09/2010

The Australian Consumer Law is the most comprehensive change to the Trade Practices Act since 1974.  This post is the first in a series summarising its key points for business.

The Trade Practices Amendment (Australian Consumer Law) Act (No. 1) 2010) commenced on 15 April 2010 and gave the ACCC a wide range of new enforcement powers.  New unfair contract laws commenced on 1 July 2010.  The Trade Practices Amendment (Australian Consumer Law) Act (No. 2) 2010 is due to commence on 1 January 2011.  It  will rename the legislation as the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Parts IVA, V, VA and VC will be replaced with the Australian Consumer Law.   The States and Territories are expected to enact parallel fair trading legislation, but none have yet passed the necessary legislation. The Government also introduced a third Bill – the Competition and Consumer Amendment Bill 2010 – which lapsed when the recent election was called.  It is likely to be re-introduced into the new Parliament to amend current provisions about unconscionable conduct.

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