Federal Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie has congratulated Nationals Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce on delivering a significant win for small business after Federal Cabinet supported major changes to misuse of market power provisions in the Competition and Consumer Act (CCA).
The Nationals have fought to secure these protections for small business against big business and multi-nationals companies.
“This was a key commitment The Nationals included when a new Coalition agreement was required after the change of Liberal Leadership last year,” Dr Gillespie said.
Small business and farming enterprises are the engine room of our nation, employing 4.7 million people and contributing $340 billion to the economy, including to regional economies right across Australia.
“These reforms will address a long standing weakness in the existing competition rules and will ensure that we have a more transparent and competitive marketplace that treats all supply chain participants fairly,” Dr Gillespie said.
“Importantly, and for the first time in Australia, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will have meaningful provisions to protect businesses that have been subject to misuse of market power.
In line with the Harper Review’s recommendations, the substantive changes being proposed to section 46 of the CCA mean that conduct that has the effect of substantially lessening competition will be better regulated.
“I note that the current Chair of the ACCC, Rod Simms, has been calling for these stronger provisions and former Chair Allan Fels also strongly supports these changes,” he said.
Dr Gillespie said that the government consulted widely with stakeholders on the design of these reforms and was confident that they would deliver fairness to businesses and a genuinely competitive marketplace for consumers.