Australia: Competition and Consumer Law - What's News - 23 June 2015

Last Updated: 1 July 2015
Article by Howard Rapke, Ian Robertson and Paul Venus

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2017

In the media

European push to expand method of production food labels
While Australia debates labelling to tell us where our food comes from, in Europe there is a push for the expansion of mandatory labelling to explain how food is produced (17 June 2015). More...

BT fined for misleading super statements
BT Group has paid $20,400 in penalties after ASIC found the firm made misleading claims about its super performance in its Google. The misleading statements were contained in two separate online advertising campaigns (17 June 2015). More... More...

ACCC concludes investigation into alleged anti-competitive conduct by Toll
The ACCC has concluded its investigation into alleged anti-competitive agreements between Toll Holdings Limited (Toll) and the Transport Workers Union of Australia (the TWU), and does not consider that the alleged conduct contravenes the provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) (16 June 2015). More...

ACCC gives Toll and TWU the all clear on agreements
Critics of company cooperation with trade unions have received a hefty setback with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) rejecting any competition implications for Toll's dealings with the Transport Workers Union (TWU) (16 June 2015). More...

Agreement on developing national free range egg standard
State and federal ministers have agreed to work on a national enforceable standard for free range eggs (12 June 2015). More...

Consumers and the community to have their say on Country of Origin food labelling
All Australians can have their say on what they want in clearer country of origin food labelling in an online survey that will help design the Australian Government's new labelling system (09 June 2015). More...

Crackdown On Private Carpark Operators
The Andrews Labor Government will introduce new legislation to protect Victorians from misleading and unfair practices by private car park operators. Minister for Consumer Affairs, said some operators in pay and display car parks were issuing unenforceable payment notices which were dressed-up to look like fines (10 June 2015). More...

Meeting of Ministers for Consumer Affairs
Of particular focus was the current discourse on the labelling of commercially sold eggs across our nation. Ministers agreed further policy intervention is required to enhance consumer confidence and certainty regarding egg labelling. It is important to provide producers and retailers with greater clarity on what consumer regulatory agencies will consider not to be false and misleading representations (12 June 2015). More...

CHOICE: Australian shoppers ripped off on more than 200 million 'free range' eggs
Australians are forking out twice the cost of caged eggs to buy "free range" but are not getting what they think they are paying for (09 June 2015). More...

In practice and courts, published reports

Food labelling survey open to public
Public consultation on country of origin food labelling starts today, with the opening of an online community survey. The federal government is calling for consumer feedback from the people who will be making use of the new labels in supermarkets. The Patties contaminated berry scare in February brought the long-running issue to a head, prompting Ministers to prepare an urgent submission for Cabinet consideration. More... More...

Private Members Bill introduced by Senator Nick Xenophon in March 2014. Referred to Committee on 20 March; several extensions to original report date of 24 June 2014 have been granted. Final report released: 26 February 2015 (recommended against passage of the bill) Submissions due: 30 June 2014. More...


Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Adata (Vic) Pty Ltd (No 3) [2015] FCA 583
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – application for default judgment under r 5.23(2)(c) – relevant principles for granting default judgment including for declaratory orders – consideration of discretion in making declaratory orders on deemed admissions – consideration of use of "and/or" in establishing whether each element of contravention properly pleaded – whether declaratory orders should be made. CONSUMER LAW – consideration of contraventions of the unsolicited consumer agreement provisions in Division 2 of Part 3-2 of the Australian Consumer Law – consideration of the elements necessary to establish contraventions of ss 73, 76, 78, 79 and 86 of the ACL – consideration of the reverse onus provision in s 70 of the ACL – whether facts properly pleaded to establish any contravention of the ACL. More...

Laro-Bashford & Anor v Mihos [2015] VCC 755
TRADE PRACTICES - misleading and deceptive conduct under Fair Trading Act 1999 (Vic) – representations made regarding investment – representations made regarding return on investment. NEGLIGENCE – whether defendant owed plaintiffs duty of care – whether breached duty of care – whether plaintiffs contributed to their own loss. Legislation Cited: Fair Trading Act 1999 (Vic); Wrongs Act 1958 (Vic). Cases Cited: BHP Billiton Olympic Dam Corporation Pty Ltd v Steuler Services GmbH & Co KG [2014] VSCA 338; Caltex Refineries (Qld) Pty Ltd v Stavar [2009] NSWCA 258; (2009) 75 NSWLR 649. Judgment: Judgment for the plaintiffs for the sum of $87,185. More...


Competition and Consumer (Industry Codes—Food and Grocery) Regulation 2015 now in effect
The Code was prescribed on the 26th of February 2015, has passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Code applies to retailers and wholesalers, and features minimum standards of behaviour in dealings with suppliers, including an obligation to act in good faith and a prohibition against threatening suppliers with business disruption or termination without reasonable grounds. The ACCC is now responsible for enforcement of the Code (June 2015). More...

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.

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