15 Jun 2010

'Out of date' consumer laws up for reform

10:45 am on 15 June 2010

The Government says changes are needed to consumer laws, some of which have remained the same for 80 years.

Consumer Affairs Minister Heather Roy says the laws need to be updated to make them relevant to today's market. Some, she says, are clearly out of date.

The Government is considering adding new protections to bring such laws into line with Australia's. A discussion document has been released, and submissions have been called for.

Seven different laws are being reviewed, some of which may be incorporated into an enhanced Fair Trading Act.

It has been suggested that two new protections be added to the Act, dealing with the use of unfair terms in consumer contracts, and whether claims made about a product can be substantiated.

Those provisions have recently been included in Australian consumer law.

The Sale of Goods Act, the Door to Door Sales Act and the Auctioneers Act are among those under review.

Submissions on the review close in six weeks' time.