Consumer Policy Framework

Public inquiry

This inquiry has concluded. The final inquiry report was released by the Australian Government on 8 May 2008.

The Australian Government asked the Productivity Commission to undertake an inquiry into Australia's consumer policy framework and its administration. Amongst other things, the Commission was to report on:

  • ways to improve the consumer policy framework to assist and empower consumers, including disadvantaged and vulnerable consumers, to operate effectively in increasingly complex markets
  • ways to better harmonise and coordinate consumer policy across jurisdictions, including by reducing reliance on industry-specific regulation and making greater use of general consumer regulation
  • any areas of consumer regulation that are unlikely to provide net benefits and which could be revised or repealed
  • the extent to which more effective use could be made of self-regulatory, co-regulatory, consumer education and consumer information approaches and principles-based regulation.

In undertaking its assessments, the Commission is to have regard to a range of matters including the:

  • benefits of well-targeted consumer policy for consumer well being, efficiency and productivity;
  • burden on consumers and businesses of unnecessary or poorly configured regulation
  • need for consumer policy to be evidenced based; the shared responsibility of consumers, business and governments for responding to consumer issues
  • impact of consumer polices on other government objectives such as promoting competition and facilitating trade.

Further information