Competition and Consumer Act and the Law

The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) is an act of the Australian Parliament. The CCA contains provisions concerning fair trading, anti-competitive conduct, consumer protection, and industry regulation. These provisions are designed to protect against unfair practices that could affect consumers in their dealings with business or other people. It also provides for the establishment of industry codes where necessary to promote competition.

The CCA is one of Australia’s primary legislations on competition law. It commenced on 1 January 2011 replacing Part IV of the Trade Practices Act 1974. It has replaced all federal Commonwealth, State, and Territory legislation on unfair trade practices, unconscionable conduct, and infant industries.

The Competition and Consumer Act 2010

Competition and consumer law is the product of the two concepts of consumer protection and the elimination of restraint of trade.

As a trade act, the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 has a compulsory purpose:

“To make it an offence, or a civil penalty offence, for an association, partnership, joint venture, enterprise, cooperative society or cooperative association, to participate in a cartel”

The act makes certain consumer protection and industry regulation subject to it. As a consumer protection act, it has effect in relation to consumers. These provisions apply to conduct that affects consumers in their dealings with businesses or other people.

What is the Australian Consumer Law?

The Australian Consumer Law, which was introduced on 10 July 2000, is a suite of consumer protection laws that extends across all Australian states and territories. Its aim is to increase consumers’ access to justice when they have a problem with a business. The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) regulates conduct in the retail trade, the services trade, and business-to-business industries. The ACL applies to any person who operates a business or trade that sells goods or services or trades with consumers.

Over the past 15 years, several Australian States have developed their own Consumer Protection Acts (CAPA) that are intended to work in parallel with the ACL.

Saving Rights for Consumers

On the 8th of October 2012 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) (the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is an independent statutory authority of the Commonwealth Government, operating under the Australian Consumer Law) issued a press release in which it announced that it had ordered search engine Google to set up a specialised website to explain their updated privacy policy in relation to Australia and the US. Google’s policy was inconsistent with the country’s privacy legislation and the ACCC said that its inclusion of the new terms of use meant that consumers had no easy access to their rights.

It was announced that Google had agreed to set up a new site and to provide consumers in Australia with links to the appropriate consumer rights legislation.

Other major legislation that helps consumers

The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 is one of the major pieces of Australian legislation. However, there are many other pieces of legislation that are just as important. These include the following:

The Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) – The ABCC was established by the Corporations Act 2001. The ABCC’s purpose is to implement the Corporations Act 2001, and to investigate and prosecute companies and individuals engaged in unlawful conduct.

The Building Code – The Construction Code of Australia is designed to provide a consistent approach to residential and commercial building and construction work. This helps consumers to compare goods and services so that they can purchase a product that is suitable to their budget.


Direct selling is legal in Australia and your legal rights remain high. You can practise direct selling if you are registered with an Australian Direct Selling Association (ADSA). The ADSA is a membership organisation which promotes the interests of those involved in Direct Selling as well as covering general industry news and issues.