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Hey Liberals: Time to Act on Competition is Now

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 23 Apr 2013

The Australian Greens have challenged Liberal Party small business spokesperson Bruce Billson MP to commit to real action on addressing concerns around competition policy instead of instigating yet another review.

Greens small business spokesperson Senator Peter Whish-Wilson stated there had been myriad reviews into the issue, especially around the grocery and supermarket sector.

“Previous reviews have already put forward recommendations for reform, such as providing for the ACCC to have divestment powers.

“There have already been a string of inquiries. To name a few in recent years:
2008 – An ACCC inquiry into the grocery industry and a House of Representatives Economics Committee investigation into competition in the banking industry
2010 – A Senate inquiry into amendments to the Trade Practices Act
2011 – A Senate inquiry into the relationship between supermarkets and the dairy industry and a Senate inquiry into the ACCC decision on Franklins supermarkets
2013 – The ACCC is presently  looking at the behaviour of the major supermarkets and their relationships with suppliers

“Members of the opposition were involved the Senate and House of Representative inquiries, a fact they seem to have forgotten.

“If the opposition was serious they would be proposing reforms such as:

·         Amend section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 to effectively prohibit anti-competitive price discrimination, including the reintroduction of an effects test.

·         Amendments to the existing consumer law framework to deal with unfair terms within business to business agreements.

 “For a Party seemingly so keen on ‘direct action’ I’m at a loss to understand why they would want to procrastinate when it comes to the issue of competition.

“The Australian Greens will be releasing their competition policy shortly.”

For a comprehensive list of reports into competition in Australia:

http://www.australiancompetitionlaw.org/reports.html

 

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