FAIRER MARKETS FOR A FAIRER AUSTRALIA - Media Release

A Shorten Labor Government will reform Australia’s competition laws to protect disadvantaged Australians and tackle inequality.

Labor will legislate so that the competition regulator must put disadvantaged consumers first.

Scams and rip-offs often target low-income earners and Indigenous Australians, and Labor’s tougher laws will ensure these scammers are targeted and punished appropriately.

Inequality remains a major problem in Australia, so it’s vital that we ensure that competition law works to make Australia a fairer and more equal society. 

Labor will:

  • Amend Section 76 of the Competition and Consumer Act to allow the Courts to apply higher penalties for conduct that targets or disproportionately impacts disadvantaged Australians, or apply lower penalties when firms have provided adequate compensation to those affected.
  • Include a requirement in the Competition and Consumer Act that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission prioritise investigations of conduct that targets or disproportionately impacts disadvantaged Australians.
  • Investigate the impacts of increased market concentration on income inequality in Australia and produce policy recommendations on how the negative effects of market concentration can be mitigated. 
  • Encourage States and Territories to include competition principles in planning and zoning legislation, as recommended by the Harper Review, with a specific focus on shortfalls of appropriately zoned land for key services in disadvantaged communities.

Labor’s reforms will tackle inequality and disadvantage and help make Australia a more equal society.

In contrast, Malcolm Turnbull makes no mention of inequality in the Liberal Party’s platform.

Instead, the Turnbull Government supports policies that exacerbate the problem.

The Liberals want to keep negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount, delay marriage equality, erode needs-based school funding and undermine the equal provision of vital infrastructure like the National Broadband Network.

Labor puts people first with the Trade Practices Act, National Competition Policy, the Australian Consumer Law and the criminalisation of cartels.

Australians can trust Labor to get it right when it comes to competition and consumer protection.

Only Labor will ensure Australia’s competition laws are fair and equitable. 

 FRIDAY, 20 MAY 2016


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