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.
December 1, 2023
This joint submission between CPRC and Super Consumers broadly supports the Treasury’s initiatives to engage the investment and finance sectors in the transition towards a more sustainable economy. However, a sustainable finance regulatory framework should not only work for consumers by preventing inherently deceptive ‘green’ claims, but also provide meaningful information about the genuine sustainability features of investment products.
December 23, 2023
A designated complaints function recognises the value of complaints from organisations with strong connections to communities, who are able to identify consumer issues at an early stage. This submission outlines minor changes to the draft legislation and a suggested approach to designated complaints to get the best outcome from the new power:
November 28, 2023
An economy-wide prohibition on unfair trade practices is a vital addition to Australia’s consumer laws. There are a range of practices that cause consumer harm, and are detrimental to the competitive process, that are not currently unlawful. These practices have become more prevalent with the widespread uptake of online commerce, while also existing in the offline world.
February 3, 2023
Improving the energy efficiency of Australia’s residential buildings will deliver three clear benefits. It will contribute to meeting Australia’s commitments to Paris Agreement, improve the comfort and health of residents and reduce households’ energy bills. In this submission CPRC provided data on the barriers and enablers to adoption of energy efficiency upgrades in residential properties. We surveyed 2000 Australians in September-October 2022 in a nationally representative survey. This submission provides a summary of the outcomes of previous research on consumers and energy across Australia.
February 15, 2023
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.
February 21, 2023
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.
February 21, 2023
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.
February 21, 2023
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.
February 23, 2023
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.
March 30, 2023
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.