Australia's ticket scalpers have dodged the brunt of the law after the government advised that it wouldn't pursue the murky secondary ticketing trade.

A year ago, the Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council (CCAAC) launched a review of secondary ticketing - including sporting and music events - through a discussion document "Ticket Scalping: Ticket Onselling and Consumers." Its research has culminated in the publication of a new paper, "Consumers and the ticket market: Ticket onselling in the Australian market."

While the report found consumer concerns on reselling tickets can be widespread, the scale of those issues didn't warrant new legislation. Consumer dissatisfaction, the report found, "is often a result of market forces when high demand exceeds limited supply, particularly for popular events, rather than as a direct result of ticket onselling."

Among the key findings of the new report, the level of unauthorized onselling in Australia was low due to a combination of factors including the fact few events sold out in Australia each year, while the number of on-sold tickets for popular events was relatively low compared with the total number of tickets sold. Also, the number of onsold tickets was found to be less common than in other markets such as the U.S. and U.K.

In its report, the CCAAC said it considered the existing consumer protection regulatory framework in Australia to be "adequate to protect consumers from unfair trading practices," and that it "found there is insufficient evidence that a market or regulatory failure exists to warrant further legislative intervention." As such, the CCAAC adds that it "believes that industry can respond to the specific consumer concerns."

The onselling market is very much in its infancy down under, but promoters and venue operators view scalping as a serious problem. And eBay is considered the main tool of the tout. Having examined the evidence, CCAAC found that ticket scalpers in Australia were "not particularly sophisticated" in their use of technology, and were often competing with consumers to obtain tickets.

In its report, the CCAAC does note unease about specific issues related to onselling, in particular the transferability of tickets, transparency in ticket allocation and fair access to tickets.

To remedy this, government has proposed an industry-led "code of practice" which would encourages participation of all stakeholders to promote industry-wide standards to better inform ticket-buyers.

The Treasury said it received 24 submissions in response to its issues paper on ticket scalping. Four are confidential, and the rest are public submissions, from the likes of News Limited-owned Moshtix, eBay and trade association Live Performance Australia.