The weighty Consumer Law Reform Bill (CLRB) has finally had its first reading and has been referred to the Commerce Select Committee.
Submissions are due by 29 March 2012.
Issues the new Minister of Commerce, Chris Tremain, has identified for particular consideration by the Committee are:
- the provision that carriers such as couriers no longer be able to opt out of providing a guarantee when the party to the contract of carriage is a consumer
- whether the increase in the carrier's cap on liability from $1500 (where it has been for many years) to $2000 has been set at the right level, and
- whether the Fair Trading Act should provide protections against unconscionability and unfair contract terms, these having been omitted from the CLRB but are included in the Australian consumer law on which the Bill is based.
A fuller discussion of the Bill is available in our earlier commentary.