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Resolving ACCC impasse.



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Media Release

BOB McMULLAN MP SHADOW TREASURER SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS

MEMBER FOR FRASER

10 March 2003

RESOLVING ACCC IMPASSE

Treasurer Peter Costello should take Queensland Premier Peter Beattie’s advice on how to break the deadlock on the appointment of the ACCC chair.

It is very important for the future of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that a chairman is appointed soon who has widespread support.

Mr Costello will never achieve that if he doesn’t consult with his state colleagues.

Mr Beattie has today given Mr Costello a hint about how to resolve the issue, with his call for a meeting of state and territory treasurers to canvass new candidates.

Mr Beattie said if the meeting could not be convened, the issue should be placed on the agenda for the next Council of Australian Governments meeting with the Prime Minister and all state and territory leaders.

Mr Costello should take his advice and seek an alternative to Mr Graeme Samuel, whose appointment is opposed by four out of eight states and territories, a number sufficient to block the appointment.

If Mr Costello won’t do this, the Prime Minister should ensure that the matter is considered at a leadership level as soon as possible.

It is clear that satisfactory alternative candidates exist within the ACCC and outside it, and the search for a consensus candidate shouldn’t have to wait while the Treasurer’s ego blocks a compromise.

Further information: Robert Garran (02) 6277 4803, 0419 692 504

TELEPHONE: (02) 6277 4803 ã FACSIMILE: (02) 6277 8496