COVID-19 Updates

Unfair Contract Law Changes Must be Accelerated

The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) urges the federal Government to accelerate proposed changes to unfair contracts law. The road transport industry is rife with unfair contracts.

CEO of NatRoad Warren Clark said “Last week, the Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Mr Rod Sims, reminded us that the introduction of consumer guarantee rights and an unfair contract terms regime have been highly significant reforms.

“Mr Sims noted that while the ACCC has made good progress in enforcing the consumer guarantee and unfair contract terms provisions, further reforms are still required to ensure that these provisions can be effectively enforced.

“We join with the ACCC in advocating for law change which makes a failure to comply with the consumer guarantee and unfair contracts term provisions a contravention of the Australian Consumer Law and subject to penalties.

“We know that all Australian Governments have agreed to strengthen protections for consumers and small businesses from unfair contract terms which is welcomed by NatRoad.  But the work in this area must be given a greater focus.

“We understand that exposure draft legislation is expected to be released later this year for consultation and will provide a further opportunity for stakeholders to comment on the detail of the reforms.  But with a number of market distortions and unfair practices, like extended payments terms, being fuelled by the pandemic, we ask the Government to aim for passage of the legislation as soon as possible.

“NatRoad has for some time called for the introduction of a general prohibition against unfair practices. The current practice of some customers expecting transport operators to accept substandard and unfair contracts must be stopped,” concluded Mr Clark.


About NatRoad

With a proud history dating back to 1948, NatRoad operates to represent its’ members and as advocates for the $96 billion road freight industry. With more than 45,000 trucking companies employing more than 140,000 people across the country, the road transport industry is one of Australia’s biggest economic drivers.

NatRoad is a not-for-profit Association that is 100% funded via its membership fees and business partnerships. No funding is provided by government or unions. We know the road transport industry. Our board is made up of individuals who run transport businesses and have members from owner-drivers to road freight and large fleet operators, representing all aspects of the industry. General freight, road trains, livestock, tippers, express, car carriers, as well as tankers and refrigerated operators.

Contact: media@natroad.com.au

1800 272 144