Our submissions

Engaged in multiple sectors, our team conducts rigorous consumer and policy research to uncover market failures and consumer harm. We actively collaborate with partners, leveraging national and international perspectives to identify and understand issues within markets. By openly sharing insights, we contribute to the creation of impactful policy solutions, fostering momentum for positive change and advocating for consumer welfare.

July 27, 2023

Submission to DISR – Safe and responsible AI

As AI and new technologies quickly evolve, the Federal Government should focus on creating a legal and regulatory framework that ensures that when businesses use new technologies, including AI, that consumers are kept informed, treated fairly and not subject to unsafe practices. The Federal Government must fast-track reforms for consumers in the digital economy to ensure Australians are protected from current and future harms. Failure to strengthen consumer protections will mean businesses will be able to implement AI tools that make predictions that leave people worse-off, aggregate data that leads to exclusion or expose people’s vulnerabilities for commercial gain.

July 19, 2023

Banning telemarketing under the Victorian Energy Upgrades program

No one should be subject to unwanted high-pressure sales tactics in their own home. Telemarketing and door knocking should be banned for Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) providers. The VEU program is a targeted and effective program that both reduces Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions and directly assists consumers. Banning VEU providers from using high-risk unsolicited marketing techniques will greatly improve the program for consumers

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June 14, 2023

Submission to the Senate Inquiry – Greenwashing

Australians are bombarded with claims about green and sustainable features of products and services. Marketers and businesses are trying to tap into a growing desire of many Australians to actively look after people and planet. Yet the nature of many green claims means that consumers cannot verify them—they are left hoping that businesses are doing the right thing and following through on their sustainable promises.

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May 10, 2023

Submission to the Productivity Commission’s Philanthropy Inquiry

Getting the settings right for philanthropy will make Australia a more generous, connected, and supportive country. This submission puts forward ideas to make the act of seeking philanthropic funding easier for a wider range of charities and looks at additional consumer protections needed.

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May 2, 2023

Submission to Select Committee into the Provision of and Access to Dental Services in Australia

CPRC’s forthcoming research report drawing from CPRC’s Victorian Consumer Survey explores problems reported with purchases over the previous 12 months. Our findings indicate approximately one in seven Victorians (15%) who engaged a dental provider experienced an issue with the service, 11% made a complaint about this issue, but 7% reported their issue was unresolved – whether they had made a complaint or not. These findings indicate a reasonably proportion of people seeking dental services encounter problems, and a reasonable proportion of these issues remain outstanding, even where consumers may have sought to complain or resolve the issue.

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March 30, 2023

Submission to the Attorney-General: Privacy Act Review Report

It’s time to introduce privacy laws that work to actively protect Australians in the digital economy. CPRC broadly supports many of the proposals outlined in the Privacy Act Review Report but recommends that the Federal Government strengthen protections further by: modernising what it means to be identifiable to cover information obtained from any source and by any means implementing genuine privacy by default measures instead of placing the onus on consumers to opt-out of settings that are not designed with their interests in mind, requiring all businesses to assess and ensure how they collect and use data leads to fair and safe outcomes that are in the interests of their customers and the community, empowering the regulator to swiftly ban or restrict harmful practices that cause direct and clear consumer harms, and providing a clear pathway for redress when things go wrong.

March 8, 2023

Submission to the Senate Inquiry – International digital platforms

The Federal Government must fast-track reforms for consumers in the digital economy to ensure Australians are protected from current and future harms. Australians are currently navigating a digital economy which has not been designed with their best interests in mind. Australians have lost money, lost control over their personal information, or have had their wellbeing impacted by being manipulated into choices that aren’t in their interests.

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February 23, 2023

Submission to Australian Association of National Advertisers Environmental Claims Code

Consumers are frequently being shown green claims online and off. Yet, the quality of these claims varies from vague imagery and language through to hyper-specific phrases and terms. It can be very difficult for consumers to trust the green claims they see or understand how one product is better or worse than another based on the claims made. Our submission provides evidence of how consumers experience green claims and the impacts of greenwashing to support our recommendations on how the Environmental Claims Code (the Code) can be improved to benefit consumers.

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February 21, 2023

Submission to Designing ReMade in Australia Discussion paper

Encouraging greater uptake of recycling and the creation of a circular economy are important steps to reduce waste and resource use in Australia. We know consumers want to make sustainable purchases but often struggle to find accurate information to make those decisions. Consumers are concerned about greenwashing and that green or sustainable claims are marketing tactics rather than genuine improvements in business practices or impact on the environment.

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February 21, 2023

Submission to Treasury consultation on Climate-related financial disclosure

Consistent disclosure of climate related risks is an important step towards all actors in our economy removing and managing these risks. While the consultation paper primarily focuses on improving disclosure for investment purposes, consistent information about climate risks and opportunities also matters to consumers. While not many consumers will engage directly with company disclosures to regulators, the statements made in these documents can be used as the basis for marketing claims that target consumers. If the quality of reporting improves, standardised information can also be used to compare products or brands in rankings for consumers. These benefits should be considered when assessing the reform.

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February 21, 2023

Submission to AEMC Unlocking Customer Energy Resources benefit

Consumer protections for the provision of distributed or consumer energy resources should be consistent with broader protections for energy consumers under the National Energy Consumer Framework (NECF). Consumer protections should be required regardless of what type of energy service is being provided. Energy supply is essential and anything that has the potential to interfere in or affect that supply of energy to a home needs to be regulated under the NECF. CPRCs submission focuses on issues related to consumer protections related to this issue as asked by the AEMC in the consultation paper.

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February 15, 2023

Joint submission – AER Review of consumer protections for future energy services

In this joint submission with Combined Pensioners & Superannuants Association (CPSA), Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC), Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC), Financial Counselling Australia (FCA), Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) and Tenants’ Union of NSW (TU). Consumer advocates highlighted that this is a timely opportunity to rethink and redesign our energy frameworks and protections to better promote the interests and meet the needs of all consumers. As the energy system rapidly transitions to become more complex, sustainable and smarter the frameworks and protections must be reformed to ensure people have access to energy, energy products and energy services.

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