Designated complaints

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Applications to become a designated complainant close on 24 May 2024

Designated complainants are able to make designated complaints to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) under the new designated complaints function.

Applying to become a designated complainant

Applications to become a designated complainant must be:

Application period

Applications open on 2 May 2024 and will close on 24 May 2024.

Application form

The approved application form contains important information and guidance on how to apply.

Application form [PDF 401KB]

Applicants should email their completed application documents to consumerlaw@treasury.gov.au.

Please include the words ‘Application to become a Designated Complainant’ in the subject line of the email.

Application assessment

Section 154ZQ of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the Act) and section 11 of the Competition and Consumer (Designated Complaints) Determination 2024 (the Determination) set out matters that the minister must, or may, consider in deciding whether to approve an application to become a designated complainant.

Under the Determination, the number of designated complainants that the minister may approve is limited to 3 at any one time.

About designated complaints

The ACCC administers and enforces the Act.

The Australian Government created the designated complaints function to empower designated complainants (such as consumer or small business advocates) to submit designated complaints to the ACCC.

Designated complaints should relate to:

  • a significant or systemic market issue affecting Australian consumers or small businesses, and
  • either a potential breach of the Act or the ACCC’s powers or functions under the Act.

ACCC response requirements

The ACCC must respond to a designated complaint from a designated complainant within 90 days. It must state what further action, if any, it intends to take.

For transparency, the ACCC must also publish certain information on its website.

Legislation

For further information about the new function, see Part XIE of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 as set out in the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Fair Go for Consumers and Small Business) Act 2024 and the Competition and Consumer (Designated Complaints) Determination 2024.

Contact

If you have questions about the designated complaints function, email consumerlaw@treasury.gov.au.