A national regime protects consumers when buying goods and services. Your rights depend on whether your claim is against a supplier or manufacturer. Goods and services must be reasonably fit for purpose.


Gerard Brody

CEO, Consumer Action Law Centre

Australian Consumer Law

Last updated

1 July 2022

Australia’s general consumer protections are found in the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). The full text of the ACL is set out in schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (‘C&C Act’), which was for many years known as the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) (‘TP Act’).

Broadly, the ACL applies to consumer transactions for all goods and services entered into after 1 January 2011, except financial services. Consumer protections in relation to financial services are found in the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth) (‘ASIC Act’).

For transactions that occurred up to 31 December 2010, the previous national, state and territory consumer laws will continue to apply.

The ACL:

  • is administered by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and, in Victoria, by Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV); and
  • is generally reflected in similar provisions in the ASIC Act, so that financial products and services are treated in the same way.

In Victoria, section 8 of the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012 (Vic) (‘ACL&FTA’) applies the Australian Consumer Law in schedule 2 to the C&C Act as a law of the state of Victoria.

This chapter contains a brief description of the main consumer protection legislation that applies in Victoria, under the ACL.

This chapter provides only an introduction to the subject. Legal advice should always be obtained in relation to individual facts.

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