TIM HAMMOND MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR RESOURCES
MEMBER FOR PERTH
ANDREW LEIGH MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION AND PRODUCTIVITY
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CHARITIES AND NOT-FOR-PROFITS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE IN SERVICES
MEMBER FOR FENNER
SCOTT MORRISON NEEDS TO LISTEN TO LABOR AND HIS OWN EXPERTS
Labor welcomes the release of the Productivity Commission’s interim report into Consumer Law Enforcement and Administration.
It is the most recent example of expert support for Labor’s policy to increase penalties for companies that breach the Australian Consumer Law.
In April this year, Rod Sims, Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, said;
“(W)e do have general concern about penalties under the Australian Consumer Law as not being adequate to give the right amount of deterrence.”
In May, Labor announced that we would bring the penalties in-line with the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and:
“(R)aise the maximum penalties from $1.1 million to $10 million because scammers and shonks shouldn’t be able to profit from ripping off Australian consumers”.
The Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand’s interim report of the Australian Consumer Law released in October suggested increasing:
“(M)aximum financial penalties available under the (Australian Consumer Law), for example, by aligning them with the maximum penalty available under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.” (p.180)
This week, the Productivity Commission has agreed that there is strong case for increasing maximum financial penalties for breaches of the ACL, and made a draft finding that:
“Australian Governments should increase maximum penalties for breaches of the ACL. They should consider the option, being examined by CAANZ, of aligning them with the penalties for breaches of competition provisions in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.” (p.123)
The evidence keeps rolling in while Scott Morrison’s silence has worn too thin.
Strong competition laws are at the heart of driving economic growth and fairness in Australia. Increasing these penalties will help ensure Australia’s competition laws are as strong as possible, which helps consumers, raises productivity and boosts living standards.
It is time for the Turnbull Government to rise above its dysfunction and chaos and start listening to Labor as well as its own experts, rather than looking after multinationals.
THURSDAY, 8 DECEMBER 2016
BRENDAN MCSHANAG (HAMMOND) 0407 619 286
TAIMUS WERNER-GIBBINGS (LEIGH) 0437 323 390