Greens spokesperson for Finance, Small Business and Competition Policy expresses his disappointment at Prime Minister Abbott’s indication today that he is crab-walking away from introducing an ‘effects test’
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “This morning it was splashed across our TV screens and newspapers that Small Business Minister Bruce Billson was introducing an ‘effects test’ to Cabinet today and that although there were divisions it was going to pass.
“Yet at a press conference this afternoon with the Treasurer, Prime Minister Abbott said the issue wasn’t going to come before Cabinet today and that the Government had already done a lot for small business.
“The Greens have long campaigned for an ‘effects test.’ We included it as part of a comprehensive small business and competition policy we released at the last election.
“An ‘effects test’ would allow the ACCC to better distinguish between fair and unfair competition and would stop supermarkets from using their overwhelming market power to further erode competition.
“Just last week I wrote to the Prime Minister asking him to bring forward the necessary legislation to allow the Greens to examine it. If was up to scratch, we would have supported it.
“The Government likes to blame the Senate for their inability to undertake reform, but in this case, with a decent piece of legislation, they could have achieved some worthwhile reform with the Greens’ support. This government is rudderless and it has no one else to blame except itself.
“The Prime Minister putting this reform on the back-burner is a blow to the small businesses around the country,” he concluded.