MEDIA RELEASE – Abbott needs to get on with the job of reviewing competition laws – Friday, 14 March 2014
This morning I issued a media release pointing out the Abbott Government’s inaction since announcing its long anticipated ‘root and branch’ competition review in December.
ANDREW LEIGH MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION
MEMBER FOR FRASER
101 days since Competition Review announced and still no action
The Prime Minister and the Minister for Small Business announced 101 days ago that a review panel would be announced “shortly” to conduct its root and branch competition review.
But since December 4, 2013, there’s been no action.
The Government stated last year that:
“The Federal Government has provided the states and territories with draft terms of reference for a competition review. The review panel will be established shortly so that we can have a final report within 12 months.” [Tony Abbott and Bruce Billson, Joint Media Release, 4 December, 2013]
More than three months later, there are no final terms of reference and no one has even been appointed to conduct the review.
“The delay calls into question the Government’s commitment to a thorough and independent review of competition policy,” Dr Andrew Leigh said.
“This is a critical policy area, which impacts on consumers and small and large businesses from supermarkets to service stations, but seems impacted by the Abbott Government’s ‘go-slow’ approach.
“The Prime Minister said his Government would contain no surprises or excuses. I suppose you can’t be surprised by something that moves at a glacial pace.
“Why the hold up? It appears this Government is too busy breaking its promises on the economy, healthcare and education to pursue long term, sensible economic reform through competition policy.”
“Competition is about good regulation. It underpins productivity and participation. I call on Minister Billson to stop procrastinating and get on with the job,” said Dr Leigh.
“If ‘shortly’ doesn’t mean ‘within 100 days’, perhaps Australians will soon be asking whether Mr Billson is engaged in ‘misleading and deceptive conduct’!”.
Friday, 14 March 2014