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Industry Codes of Conduct Policy Framework

The purpose of this Policy Framework is to provide businesses, consumers, industry representatives and policy makers with an understanding of industry codes of conduct prescribed under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA).

Prescribed codes allow industries to develop tailored and targeted regulation to raise the standard of business conduct. Codes can play a valuable role in bringing industry participants together, often small businesses and their larger business counterparts, to find ways to address problems in commercial dealings between them. If left unresolved, these issues may hold back the industry as a whole.

Industry codes can provide the necessary regulatory support for industry to guard against misconduct and opportunistic behaviour, while fostering long term changes to business culture that can drive competitiveness, sustainability and productivity in the sector.

Codes are designed to complement the objectives of the CCA — to enhance the welfare of Australians through the promotion of competition and fair trading. They give industry a unique mechanism to recast fundamental CCA principles into more practical and relevant requirements to directly address specific problems.

While codes offer a flexible regulatory tool to address market concerns, it is important to remember that codes do come at a cost to business. Codes are only prescribed by the Government in very limited circumstances where there is a compelling case for intervention, supported by robust evidence.