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NCJ Number: 51777 Find in a Library
Title: GROWTH OF A CONSUMER ORIENTATION (FROM CRIME LAW AND BUSINESS - THE SOCIOLOGICAL SOURCES OF AUSTRALIAN MONOPOLY LAW, 1978, BY ANDREW HOPKINS)
Author(s): A HOPKINS
Corporate Author: Australian Institute of Criminology
Australia
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: CONSUMER FORCES THAT EMERGED IN AUSTRALIA IN RESPONSE TO THE TRADE PRACTICES ACT OF 1971 AND OTHER LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS ARE EXAMINED.
Abstract: THE TRADE PRACTICES ACT WAS PASSED IN 1965 BUT ITS IMPLEMENTATION WAS SLOW. IT TOOK OVER 6 YEARS BEFORE THE ACT REALLY BEGAN TO TAKE EFFECT WITH AN ORDER BY THE TRADE PRACTICES TRIBUNAL PROHIBITING A PRICE AGREEMENT AMONG FROZEN VEGETABLE PROCESSORS. IN 1971, IT WAS ANNOUNCED THAT THE GOVERNMENT WAS LOOKING FOR WAYS OF REDUCING INFLATION AND WOULD BE TAKING STEPS TO IMPROVE THE TRADE PRACTICES ACT. PUBLIC REACTION WAS INTENSE, IN THE FORM OF A CITIZENS GROUP KNOWN AS THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST RISING PRICES AND THE AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL OF TRADE UNIONS. THE POLITICAL POPLARITY OF ACTION AGAINST RETAIL PRICE MAINTENANCE (RPM) BY THE GOVERNMENT WAS OBVIOUS, AND THE GOVERNMENT INTRODUCED A BILL TO PROHIBIT RPM. CONCERN FOR CONSUMER WELFARE WAS WRITTEN INTO THE ACT. GOVERNMENT, HOWEVER, WAS CAUGHT BETWEEN OPPOSING IMPERATIVES: THE NEED TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST RPM, AND THE DESIRE TO AVOID CRIMINALIZING BUSINESS BEHAVIOR. ACCELERATION IN THE INFLATION RATE, WHICH BEGAN ABOUT 1970, HEIGHTENED CONSUMER CONSCIOUSNESS AND INCREASED CONSUMER PRESSURE FOR ANY LEGISLATION DESIGNED TO CONTROL PRICE INCREASES, BUT CONSUMER ORGANIZATIONS DID LITTLE OR NO LOBBYING FOR A STRONGER TRADE PRACTICES ACT. THE ROLE PLAYED BY CONSUMERS IN PROMOTING LEGISLATION TO FAVOR THEIR OWN INTERESTS WAS INDIRECT. PRESSURE EXERTED BY CONSUMERS WAS AN ELECTORAL TYPE OF PRESSURE. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Australia; Consumer protection; Laws and Statutes; Price control; Retail business crimes
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51777

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