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The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) is the national law for fair trading and consumer protection. The ACL commenced on 1 January 2011 and is a cooperative reform of the Australian Government and the States and Territories through the Legislative and Governance Forum on Consumer Affairs (CAF). The ACL is administered and enforced jointly by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the State and Territory consumer protection agencies, with the involvement of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) on relevant matters. This website contains information about the ACL and its enforcement, the CAF and consumer policy in Australia more generally.

Festivals and events

Australians love their live experiences. From music, food and arts festivals to sports events, expos and conventions. New festivals and events pop up every year with great interest, but what happens when an event is cancelled or dramatically changes?

Under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), consumers have rights if a business fails to deliver what they promised. If a festival or event doesn’t go ahead or has major changes, you can seek a refund.

It’s important that consumers know their rights and where to go for help. We have some tips to help you avoid losing money on festival and event tickets, and how to protect yourself.

Draft guidance on the application of the ACL to charities, not-for profits and fundraisers

Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) seeks your views on draft guidance on the application of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) to the activities of charities, not-for-profit entities and fundraisers.

During the ACL Review, stakeholders submitted to CAANZ that they wanted more information about how the ACL applies to the activities of charities, not-for-profit entities and fundraisers. Submissions to the ACL Review indicated that the sector faces difficulties in determining whether conduct is ‘in trade or commerce’ and captured by the ACL.

CAANZ agreed there is a need for regulatory guidance on the extent to which the ACL covers the activities of the sector and agreed to develop guidance as a priority project for 2017.

The draft guidance sets out general principles, supported by examples, to assist the sector in understanding its obligations under the ACL.

The consultation closes on 27 October 2017.

Further information is available on the ACCC Consultation Hub.

Australian Consumer Law Review

Australian Consumer Law Review

The Final Report [1.2MB PDF | 1.1MB DOCX] of the Australian Consumer Law Review is now available.

On 12 June 2015 Consumer Affairs Ministers agreed Terms of Reference for the Australian Consumer Law Review. This review, undertaken by Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand, commenced in 2016 and concluded in March 2017 with the Final Report published on 19 April 2017. For more information on the review, please visit the Australian Consumer Law Review page.

Country of origin labelling

On 31 March 2016, Commonwealth, state and territory ministers with responsibility for consumer affairs met and agreed to the Commonwealth’s preferred proposal for country of origin labelling reform, supported by a Decision Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS). See the Communique from the meeting.

Further information is available on the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science website.

Free range egg labelling

On 31 March 2016, Consumer Affairs Ministers agreed to the introduction of an information standard requiring eggs labelled as ‘free range’ to have been laid by hens with meaningful and regular access to the outdoors and with an outdoor stocking density of 10,000 hens per hectare or fewer. View further information about free range egg labelling.

Property spruikers and investment seminars

Property investment promoters, or spruikers, invite people to their ‘wealth creation’ seminars, often for free, with the promise of investment tips or opportunities. They typically promote a property investment system or market a specific property development.

Consumer protection agencies across Australia have found many property spruikers cannot substantiate the success stories and claims of profits they promote.

While the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) prohibits misleading, deceptive and unconscionable conduct, you should not rely on a property spruiker’s advice. View further information about property spruikers and investment seminars.

Music festivals

A big part of our wonderful summer is the music festival season, but what happens if a festival is cancelled or dramatically changed at the last moment?

The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) gives consumers rights if an Australian business fails to deliver what they said they would. Know your consumer rights if your music festival is cancelled. We have some tips on how you can avoid heartache, and save your dosh for the mosh!

View further information about music festivals.