Australian Consumer Law update: deferral to 1 July 2010 and other amendments

The Trade Practices Amendment (Australian Consumer Law) Bill 2009 has been introduced into the Senate.

The Government has tabled amendments proposing that the provisions concerning the national unfair contract terms law will not commence before 1 July 2010.

Other proposed amendments to the unfair contract terms provisions:

  • provide that a term in a consumer contract can only be unfair if it would cause financial or non-financial detriment to a party;
  • remove the consideration of whether a term would cause detriment, or a substantial likelihood thereof, from the considerations that a Court must have regard to in determining whether a term of a consumer contract is unfair;
  • remove the power for the Minister to prohibit terms by regulation;
  • provide that the Minister must take into account certain factors in prescribing by regulation an example of an unfair term;
  • clarify that the unfair contract terms provisions apply to consumer contract terms varied on or after commencement as varied.
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