Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity
Government empowers communications consumers
The Rudd Government will provide $2 million annually to raise the voice of consumers in the communications sector.
"For too long consumer concerns in communications have not been given the attention or profile they deserve," the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy said.
"The Rudd Government has made clear its aim is to improve consumer representation in the communications sector and is pleased to provide funding to the new peak body to take on this role."
"The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) will raise the voice of communications consumers and help ensure they get a better deal."
"ACCAN will take a key role in the communications regulatory process, resulting in better outcomes for consumers, but also for industry and ultimately the self-regulatory industry regime."
The Government announced in its Budget statement last week that it will provide funding of $2 million per annum indexed for ACCAN.
"It has been made plain that arrangements in place for the past decade have failed end-users," Senator Conroy said.
"ACCAN will help ensure that consumers have sufficient ability to participate in industry decision-making processes. This will restore balance between consumer and provider interests."
The Rudd Government has previously provided $700,000 in establishment funding for ACCAN, which will formally launch on 1 July 2009.
The Government also recently announced reforms to improve consumer protection in the telecommunications sector, including enhancing the code development process and ensuring the Australian Communications and Media Authority has faster, more effective enforcement powers.
Date: 20 May 2009
Contact: Tim Marshall 0408 258 457