MEDIA RELEASE - FIFIELD DUMPS HIS DUD CONSUMER AGENDA - 15 NOVEMBER 2018

Mitch Fifield has today dumped his dud plans to abolish the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, a proposal roundly opposed by Labor, consumer groups and the telecommunications industry.

It’s no secret the Minister’s original option was part of a devious plan to install his Liberal mates at the head of a much diminished complaints body that would have left consumers to fend for themselves.

That ridiculous plan lasted all of 5 months – about the same period of time it seemingly takes the Minister to pick up papers in his in-tray.

Instead, the Minister has today produced an academic mish-mash of recommendations, many of which fail to explain how the proposed changes will improve the lived experience of consumers.

What is clear is that despite the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison Government now being in its sixth year, Mitch Fifield continues to be a weathervane in search of a policy principle.

Labor’s position on consumer protection has been consistent and simple: we believe industry incentives and accountability must be aligned firmly with consumer outcomes.

Our priority is to address the incentives and root causes which give rise to complaints – this means clear lines of accountability and less complexity.

This is why Labor has announced it will establish an NBN Service Guarantee, with clear incentives and penalties to improve outcomes for consumers and small businesses.

Only Labor will continue to put consumers first because that is what we stand for.