Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016
With a Coalition victory in the Federal Election it is now
likely that Australia's competition laws will undergo
The Coalition's August 2013 Policy for Small Business
recently affirmed that the Coalition is committed to conducting a
"root and branch" review of the competition law framework
While many of the possible areas for reform have yet to be
identified or discussed publicly, a substantial review of
Australia's competition laws could affect Australian
agribusinesses if changes affecting the power of major supermarkets
The Coalition's 2013 Policy states that it will examine how
Australia's current competition and trade practices framework
and tools are applied. It will also identify if these laws are
keeping up with emerging trends and whether the outcomes being
achieved in the market are consistent with what was intended.
There has been no specific detail provided about what parts of
Australia's competition laws will be reviewed and what changes
might be made. However there has been some speculation that the
review might include amendments to the misuse of market power
provision in section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act
2010 (Cth) (Act).
Growers and producers have been expressing concern for some time
regarding the power of Coles and Woolworths as aggressive price
discounting has been seen as negatively affecting farmers, growers,
producers and suppliers alike.
Most recently in Queensland, a public hearing for the Milk
Pricing (Fair Milk Mark) Bill 2013 (introduced to Parliament
on 2 May 2013 and now being considered by the Agriculture,
Resources and Environment Committee) saw strong support from dairy
farmers seeking change to the present regulatory environment.
The 2013 Policy states that the Coalition is committed to
ensuring that all business big and small are given a level playing
It will be interesting to see if any review of the Act places
greater emphasis on curtailing buyer power and whether greater
focus is given to the effect of the conduct of major supermarkets
on their suppliers rather than simply on the existing forms of
With review of Australia's competition laws having
potentially significant impacts for Australian agribusiness, we
will keep you updated as more detail becomes available.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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