National Consumer Congress 2013

The 2013 National Consumer Congress was held on Friday 15 March 2013 at the Swissotel Sydney.

Topics covered included energy, online shopping, financial hardship, food and health, and best practice campaigning.

Theme

Consumer Justice Now!

The 2013 congress looked at the role of advocacy in protecting consumers. It coincided with World Consumer Rights Day, a global effort to raise awareness about consumer rights.

Program

Time

Item

Speaker

9.00–9.30

Registration

9.30–9.35

Welcome

Delia Rickard, Deputy Chair, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

9.35–10.00

Opening address

Rod Sims, Chair, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

10.00–10.45

Energy markets and consumers—a crystal ball

Convenor

  • Michelle Groves, CEO, Australian Energy Regulator

Speakers

  • Andrew Reeves, Chair, Australian Energy Regulator
  • Carolyn Hodge, Senior Policy Officer, Public Interest Advocacy Centre
  • Jo Benvenuti, Executive Officer, Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre
  • Gerard Brody, Director Policy and Campaigns, Consumer Action Law Centre

10.45–11.00

New Superannuation Consumer Centre

Jenni Mack, Chair, CHOICE

11.00–11.30

Morning tea

11.30–12.00

Advocating for consumer rights— lessons learnt and future opportunities

Catriona Lowe, co-CEO, Consumer Action Law Centre

Alan Kirkland, CEO, CHOICE

12.00–12.30

Nudging consumers—insights from the UK ‘Nudge Unit’

Dr Rory Gallagher, UK Cabinet Office Behavioural Insights Team

12.30–13.10

Research soapbox—advocacy based on good research

Convenor

  • Gordon Renouf, Deputy Chair, Consumers’ Federation Australia

13.10–14.00

Lunch

 

14.00–14.50

Parallel sessions

Session 1—Virtual worlds: seeking consumer justice online

Convenor

  • Rod Stowe, Commissioner, New South Wales Fair Trading

Panellists

  • Sarah Court, Commissioner, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
  • Matt Levey, Head of Campaigns, CHOICE
  • Bernard Keane, National Political Correspondent, Crikey

14.00–14.50

 

Session 2—What’s for dinner? Consuming issues

Convenor

  • Jenni Mack, Chair, CHOICE

Panellists

  • Angela McDougall, Food Policy Advisory, CHOICE
  • Clare Hughes, Practice Manager, Cancer Council NSW
  • Hannah Nelthorpe, Master of Dietetics student

14.00–14.50

 

Session 3—Behind the numbers: how hardship affects people

Convenor

  • Fiona Guthrie, Executive Director, Financial Counselling Australia

Join Fiona on the couch with financial counsellors and their clients discussing their experiences with debt and financial assistance

14.50–15.10

Report back on parallel sessions

Convenors from each parallel session

15.10–15.30

Afternoon tea

15.30–16.10

Speed campaigning—consumer campaigns in 30 minutes

Facilitators

  • Carolyn Bond, co-CEO, Consumer Action Law Centre

Panellists

  • Teresa Corbin, CEO, Australian Communications Consumer Action Network
  • Tony Masterson, Practice Manager, Murray Mallee Community Legal Advice
  • Karen Skinner, Campaigns Director, Change.org
  • Sarah Wilson, Senior Campaigner, Consumer Action Law Centre

16.10–16.30

Closing address: consumer justice issues on the horizon

Delia Rickard, Deputy Chair, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

16.30

Close

 

More information

Championing the rights of consumers - speech