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Amend the National Credit Code and Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code to include specific family violence financial hardship provisions


Who is leading the change

  • Department of Justice and Community Safety

The Victorian Government, through the Council of Australian Governments, encourage the Commonwealth Government to:

  • amend the National Credit Code to include family violence as a ground for financial hardship and develop an awareness campaign to ensure that both consumers and credit providers are aware of their rights and responsibilities
  • work with the Australian Communications and Media Authority and its related representative bodies and associations to amend the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code to:
  • list minimum eligibility criteria for access to hardship programs
  • make family violence an express eligibility criterion
  • incorporate a requirement for specific policies for customers experiencing family violence to clarify consent requirements for payment plans when an account is jointly held
  • include grounds for splitting jointly held debt and removing an account holder’s name if family violence has occurred
  • In August 2016, the Premier wrote to the Prime Minister proposing to raise recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence at the forthcoming Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting. The Premier advocated the need for a strong, coordinated effort through COAG to drive the level of national reform needed to prevent and respond to family violence.

    At its December 2016 meeting, COAG recognised the significant work of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence agreeing to consider a number of the report recommendations requiring national agreement and cross-jurisdictional cooperation. Matters relating to the National Credit Code and the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code (TCP Code) were referred to the Ministerial Council for Consumer Affairs, the Legislative and Governance Forum on Consumer Affairs to raise with the relevant Commonwealth Ministers.

    The Economic Abuse Reference Group established in response to recommendations that promote financial security, continues to collaborate with stakeholders to embed family violence considerations in the national credit and TCP codes. Amendments to the TCP Code to recognise family violence as a cause of financial hardship were implemented in August 2017.

  • This recommendation is implemented.

  • Implemented.

Reviewed 17 May 2020

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