Harper Report shares Labor's focus on the sharing economy - Media Release

MEDIA RELEASE

HARPER REPORT SHARES LABOR’S FOCUS ON THE SHARING ECONOMY

The Harper Competition Review has underlined the importance of re-thinking regulation as new services and competitors emerge in the sharing economy.

Backing Labor’s launch last week of a Discussion Paper on this emerging sector, Professor Harper’s report flags the priority need for reform in areas like taxi licencing, property zoning and product standards.

These are some of the key areas where new services like Uber and AirBNB are disrupting existing rules and regulations.

Disruption can bring real benefits by delivering new services consumers want, as well as old services in more effective and efficient ways. Regulation can harness those benefits to ensure they are widely shared across our community.

Importantly, the Harper Panel has mirrored Labor’s view that governments need to adapt regulation to the sharing economy rather than simply getting out of the way.

As the panel’s final report firmly states:“We need better regulation rather than no regulation at all.”

Competition Policy Review, Final Report

It is encouraging to see a serious and considered response to the sharing economy from the Harper Review. By contrast, the Abbott Government has been missing in action on this important debate.

The sharing economy is changing how Australians buy and sell services, move around our cities and use the things we own.

Labor knows this, many state governments understand it and it is clear that the Harper Panel recognises it too.

But the Abbott Government is stuck in the past pushing old policy debates.

We will incorporate the recommendations of the Harper Panel into our conversation with the Australian community as we continue exploring regulatory responses to harness the benefits of the sharing economy.     

Only Labor is facing up to the important new competition challenges which lie ahead of us. 

THURSDAY, 2 APRIL 2015

MEDIA CONTACT: JENNIFER RAYNER 0428 214 865


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