Funeral businesses and commercial construction companies have been singled out for scrutiny by Australia's consumer watchdog.
Funeral businesses and commercial construction companies have been singled out for scrutiny by Australia's consumer watchdog.

Funerals in consumer watchdog's sights

Australia's consumer watchdog is setting its sights on dodgy behaviour by construction businesses, funeral providers and energy companies.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair Rod Sims on Tuesday unveiled a new list of enforcement priorities for 2020.

Commercial construction, digital platforms and telecommunications are among the sectors earmarked for increased scrutiny by the ACCC.

Funeral services will also be a priority for the watchdog.

"The sector has long provoked consumer complaints, not least because consumers engage with the funeral sector at a time when they are grieving, vulnerable and at a disadvantage," Mr Sims said in a statement on Tuesday.

The competition watchdog will also investigate child deaths caused by button batteries, the dairy industry and health claims on food products, Mr Sims said.

The deadly Takata airbag recall will also continue to be a priority for the ACCC with the watchdog working to ensure all affected vehicles are dealt with.

"The most difficult part of this recall, dealing with those that have not yet complied, is upon us. We want to ensure the remainder of those vehicles are located and dealt with as required under our compulsory recall notice," Mr Sims said.

The priorities were revealed in a speech by Mr Sims to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia in Sydney.

"Many here today may disagree with our judgment calls," he said in his speech.

"The dominant criticism of the ACCC from consumers and small businesses is that we don't do enough.

"The obvious problem is that our focus on one investigation means no focus on another possible breach of the law. There are many likely breaches that we just can't get to."


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