Consumer Safeguards Review consultation—Part A: Consumer redress and complaints handling

The Government is consulting on Part A of the Consumer Safeguards Review. Part A will consider the existing model for consumer redress and complaints handling and proposals to improve outcomes for consumers.

Why we want your input

We are seeking your views to help us develop the next generation of consumer safeguards for the future telecommunications environment.

How you can voice your opinion

You can have your say by reading the discussion paper. We welcome written submissions from stakeholders by 5:00pm AEST on Friday, 3 August 2018.

What will be the outcome of this consultation?

Your feedback will inform Part A of the Review's report and associated recommendations. We will consult on Parts B and C of the Review shortly, and will report to Government by the end of 2018.

The Issue

The consumer safeguards we have in place today were mostly designed around fixed-line voice services delivered over the existing copper telephone network. We are reviewing these protections to prepare the framework for the services Australians will use into the future.

On 17 April 2018, the Minister for Communications, Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, announced Terms of Reference for the Consumer Safeguards Review. The Review is being conducted in three parts.

We are currently consulting on Part A of the Review, Consumer Redress and Complaints Handling. On 5 July 2018, the Minister released a discussion paper to guide feedback. You can view the consultation paper and background and supporting documents in the Relevant Documentation section below.

The proposals in the paper build on the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) Complaints Handling Standard and Record Keeping Rules and relate to three core areas:

  • Telecommunications providers must have and maintain complaint handling policies in compliance with the governing rules
  • An External Dispute Resolution Body, independent of industry, should be established to deal with complex complaints that are unable to be resolved directly between customers and their providers
  • Responsibility for collection, analysis and publication of data relating to industry performance and complaints should be transferred to the ACMA.

Submissions will be accepted until 5:00pm on Friday, 3 August 2018 via email: or post:

Consumer Safeguards Review

Department of Communications and the Arts

GPO Box 2154






Relevant Documentation

Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference—Telecommunications Consumer Safeguards Review | Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts

Discussion paper—Part A—Redress and Complaints Handling

Published 5th Jul 2018

Download PDF (581.36 KB) Download DOC (339.51 KB)

Part A: Consumer Redress and Complaints Handling. The PDF version of this document may not meet WCAG 2.0 accessibility requirements.

Companion paper—Current telecommunications safeguards and regulatory environment

Published 5th Jul 2018

Download PDF (109.84 KB) Download DOC (93.11 KB)

Companion paper—International and sectoral comparisons of redress and complaints handling models for consumers and small businesses

Published 5th Jul 2018

Download PDF (556.32 KB) Download DOC (135.02 KB)



A report on the outcomes of Part A of the Consumer Safeguards Review was released on 15 November 2018. The findings of Part A identify a comprehensive range of reforms designed to ensure consumers are able to have issues with their telco services resolved quickly and effectively.


05 Jul 2018 09:00 AEST
03 Aug 2018 17:00 AEST
This consultation is closed.


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Australian and New Zealand Ombudsman Association
Australian Communications and Media Authority
Australian Communications Consumer Action Network
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman
Bruce Bebbington
Communications Alliance
Communications Alliance - Australian Communications Consumer Action Network
Community Legal Centres Queensland
Consumers’ Federation of Australia