Australian Consumer Law

Australia’s general consumer protections are found in the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). The full text of the ACL is set out in schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (“C&CA”), which was for many years known as the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) (“TPA”).

Broadly, the ACL applies to consumer transactions for all goods and services entered into after 1 January 2011, except financial services. Consumer protections in relation to financial services are found in the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth) (“ASICA”) and the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). For transactions that occurred up to 31 December 2010, the previous national, state and territory consumer laws will continue to apply.

The ACL:

  • is administered by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and, in Victoria, by Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV); and
  • is generally reflected in similar provisions in the ASICA, so that financial products and services are treated in the same way.

In Victoria, section 8 of the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012 (Vic) (“AC& FTA)” applies the Australian Consumer Law in schedule 2 to the C&CA as a law of the state of Victoria.

This chapter contains a brief description of the main consumer protection legislation that applies in Victoria, under the ACL.

NOTE

This chapter provides only an introduction to the subject. Legal advice should always be obtained in relation to individual facts.