Competition and Consumer (Cth) Act 2010

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The objectives of the Competition and Consumer Act (CCA) are to enhance the welfare of Australians by promoting competition and fair trading, and to provide protection to Australian consumers.  The CCA seeks to:

  • prevent anti-competitive conduct, thereby encouraging competition and efficiency in business, resulting in a greater choice for consumers and businesses in price, quality and service; and
  • to safeguard the position of consumers in their dealings with businesses, and businesses in their dealings with other businesses.

The CCA contains provisions prohibiting corporations from engaging in restrictive trade practices such as cartel conduct, exclusive dealing, anti-competitive agreements, misuse of market power and unconscionable conduct.  Provisions on consumer protection and prohibits unfair trade practices such as misleading and deceptive conduct are covered under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) under schedule 2 of the CCA.

The CCA applies to all commercial activities of the University.  This includes the University's dealings with suppliers, competitors, research partners, students and users of University services and premises.  UniSA is committed to ensuring that its operations comply with relevant trade practices and consumer law obligations.  As an employee of the University, you are required to be familiar with the CCA.  Obligations under the CCA must be adhered to in relation to all business activities engaged in on behalf of the University.  This includes the provision of courses and services in Australia and overseas, and international programs offered by the University.

Potential areas of risk exposure under trade practices and consumer law include:

  • providing programs and courses, including transnational, onshore international and non-award programs
  • purchasing goods and services, including managing supply contracts and involvement with tendering processes
  • supplying goods and services, including research and consulting
  • advertising, promotions and marketing
  • agreements with competing service providers.

Under the CCA, staff are responsible for their own actions.  The penalties and power of enforcement for non-compliance under trade practices and consumer law obligations are substantial.  Both the University and individuals are liable to prosecution under CCA legislated requirements.  There are significant penalties for the University and individuals for non-compliance with the CCA.

If staff are in doubt about any conduct, or proposed conduct relating to trade practices and consumer law they should contact their supervisor, the Commercial Support team, and/or the University's Legal team before making a decision.

Staff are also encouraged to report to their supervisor, the Commercial Support team, and/or University Legal team, any conduct by a competitor, supplier, or customer of the University they believe might be in breach of the CCA.

For further information on the CCA, how it applies to the University's and your activities, and to access the available training modules, please refer to the CCA Compliance site maintained by the Finance team.