The ANF has joined in an alliance of other small business groups representing 2 million small retailers, to strongly express our dismay with the Government's decision to defer reforms proposed by Small Business Minister, the Hon Bruce Billson.
Federal Cabinet over the last week has been unable to decide if it will support introducing an effects test into section 46 of the Trade Practices Act to strengthen misuse of market power laws recommended by the Harper competition review, and have now deferred a decision. This is one of the most baffling non-decisions yet by the government and demonstrates the power of big businesses in this country.
The ANF has joined in an alliance of other small business groups representing 2 million small retailers, to strongly express our dismay with the Government's decision to defer reforms proposed by Small Business Minister, the Hon Bruce Billson. The Alliance has thrown its full support behind Minister Billson's proposal to strengthen section 46 of the Competition Act, which would see an 'Effects Test' put in place to stop big businesses from abusing their market power. This would apply particularly to the retail chains who dominate most market sectors.
The Independent Business Alliance for Competition is the result of leading small business groups coming together to work towards fair competition across all business sectors.
The group includes; the Council of Small Business Australia (COSBOA), the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), Fresh Markets Australia, Australian Newsagents Federation (ANF), Australasian Convenience & Petroleum Marketers Association (ACPMA), and Master Grocers Association (MGA).
The Federal government's back down on competition laws just entrenches a business status quo which strangles business innovation, entrepreneurship and productivity and is contrary to the long term policy interests of Australia. The Federal Cabinet have so far chosen to sit on their hands while lapping up spurious arguments from the big business lobby so that the businesses with large degrees of market power can continue to dominate the business landscape.
Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson MP is quoted to say that 'he won't shy away from continuing to advocate for section 46 of the Competition Act to be amended, saying SMEs are disadvantaged under the current application of the law'. The ANF will continue to strongly advocate for this change including a joint campaign of writing to all coalition MPs. This one is probably a case of watch this space.
See our joint MEDIA Release HERE.