On 25 October, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Australian Consumer Law Review) Bill 2018 (Cth) (Bill) received royal assent.

Among other things, the Bill amends the ASIC Act and Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) to extend the unconscionable conduct protections to publicly listed companies and enable the ACCC and ASIC to investigate possible unfair contract terms.  The Treasurer, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, states that ASIC and the ACCC will have stronger powers to ensure consumers and small and family businesses are given a fair go and protected from the repeated or widespread use of unfair contract terms.

According to the Revised Explanatory Memorandum, this Bill amends the ASIC Act and Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) to give effect to a number of proposals suggested in the Australian Consumer Law Review – Final Report and clarify and strengthen consumer protections relating to consumer guarantees, unsolicited consumer agreements, product safety, false billing, unconscionable conduct, pricing and unfair contract terms.