The Commonwealth Government has published its response to the Competition Policy Review.
The Harper Review’s Final Report made 56 recommendations for reforms (Background).
The Government supports 39 of the Review’s recommendations in full or in principle and 5 in part. The remaining 12 recommendations will be subject to further review and consultation.
Many of the recommendations are in areas of state and territory responsibility (such as road transport, regulation of taxis and ride‐sharing, planning and zoning rules, retail trading hours, electricity and gas, water).
Essentially the Government agrees that the central concepts, prohibitions and structure enshrined in the current competition law should be retained but that the competition law provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act should be simplified, including by removing overly specified provisions and redundant provisions.
The Government will develop exposure draft legislation for consultation with the public and states and territories with a view to simplifying the following provisions:
- The prohibitions against cartel conduct
- prohibitions on exclusionary conduct
- the price signalling provisions
- Third‐line forcing.
The Government will consult further on options to strengthen the misuse of market power provision and will release a discussion paper on this topic.