This submission is made on behalf of Consumer Action Law Centre (Consumer Action), Financial Rights Legal Centre (Financial Rights), Financial Counselling Australia, Consumer Credit Legal Service (WA) Inc (CCLSWA), CHOICE, Uniting Communities Consumer Credit Law Centre SA (CCLCSA), Care and Consumer Law Centre ACT (CARE ACT), Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network, Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service and Redfern Legal Centre (collectively, our Organisations).
A substantial part of the work of each of our Organisations is providing advice and assistance to people in relation to consumer credit in Australia, particularly people who are experiencing vulnerability or disadvantage. We have deep expertise in consumer credit laws, largely based upon the lived experiences of the people we assist, and our provision of free financial counselling and legal advice services.
Our Organisations strongly oppose the Bill and urge the Committee to recommend that it be abandoned by the Government, and not passed.
This Bill would leave the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (NCCP Act) and wider consumer credit law framework in a state of disarray—a complex and ineffective regulatory regime that would remove critical consumer protections and legal rights, further tipping the scales in favour of banks and lenders.
In sum, the Bill will result in harm to individuals, families and communities, and set Australia up for a household debt disaster as we seek to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.Consumer advocates submission_National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Supporting Economic Recovery) Bill 2020 (002)