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Annual Report 2020-2021, Northern Territory Consumer Affairs



Annual Report 2020-2021, Northern Territory Consumer Affairs

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Tabled Paper 431


Tabled Papers for 14th Assembly 2020 -; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




Tabled papers

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Northern Territory Consumer Affairs Annual Report 2020-2021 9 NATIONAL FORUMS, WORKING GROUPS AND MEETINGS The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) is national law. All consumer protection and fair trading agencies across Australia including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) administer the ACL. Ensuring consistency in the provision of advice, information and guidance regarding the ACL across the various jurisdictions is vitally important. Consumers and businesses, both large and small expect to receive the same information regardless of where they are located in Australia. To ensure the application of the ACL is seamless, officers from Northern Territory Consumer Affairs and representatives from all state, territories and Commonwealth consumer protection agencies have traditionally participated in a number of national committees, working groups and communities of practice via face-to-face meetings and teleconferences. This close collaboration allows matters of national interest to be shared and discussed. Where there is agreement that a matter needs to be addressed from a combined national perspective, a lead agency or working group is formed to take carriage of the matter. This may involve an educational campaign or an investigation into a national business that is causing concern. REVIEW OF COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT (COAG) AND MINISTERIAL COUNCILS REPORT On 23 October 2020, National Cabinet endorsed the Review of COAG and Ministerial Councils Report conducted by former senior Commonwealth and state public servant Mr Peter Conran. National Cabinet accepted the Review's recommendations, which included reducing the number of ministerial forums and ensuring that those that remain are more agile and responsive, with direct responsibility for decision-making resting with Ministers. The report recommended disbanding the Legislative and Governance Forum on Consumer Affairs (CAF), along with a number of other forums. The expectation was that ongoing regulatory or coordination activities could be conducted on an informal or one-off basis by the responsible Ministers. When the Ministerial Forum was disbanded, its accompanying senior officials structures, committee structures and dedicated secretariats were also to be disbanded. This applied to the committees that report to CAF, such as Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) and those committees that report to CAANZ. The work to formalise the changes was required to be completed by the due date of 1 February 2021 as determined by National Cabinet. CAANZ officials met on 29 October 2020 to discuss the outcome of the review and the impact it will have on the current CAF/CAANZ structure, the status of implementation of the Australian

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