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Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Page: 11104

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

(Question No. 1021)


Mr Bowen asked the Treasurer, in writing, on 15 August 2018

(1) Which Coalition party room or policy committee meetings did the ACCC Chairperson provide a briefing to on 13 and 14 August 2018, and·on what date was each briefing.

(2) On what date did the ACCC Chairperson or his office approach the Coalition to organise these briefings, and who was approached.

(3) Was the Opposition approached by the ACCC Chairperson or his office to offer such briefings; if so, (a) on what date, and (b) who was approached.

(4) What materials (ie, handouts or PowerPoint slides) were used in the Coalition briefings, and will he provide a copy.

(5) What role did he or his office have in facilitating the Coalition briefings.

(6) Which Ministers or Minister's offices did the ACCC Chairperson discuss the contents of his briefings with prior to them taking place.

(7) Was it the ACCC Chairperson's idea to hold a doorstop at Parliament House on 13 August 2018, or the idea of a Minister or Ministerial office.


Mr Frydenberg: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

1. The ACCC Chair briefed the National Party Room Meeting on 13 August 2018 and the Liberal Party Room Meeting on 14 August 2018.

2. Neither the ACCC Chair nor his office approached the Coalition to organise these briefings. On 13 July 2018 National Party member the Hon Michelle Landry MP _contacted the Chair's diary manager to arrange the briefing of the National Party Room Meeting on 13 August 2018. On 13 July 2018 Mr Turnbull spoke to the ACCC Chair and invited him to brief the Liberal Party Room Meeting on 14 August 2018.

3. Neither the ACCC Chair nor his office approached the Opposition to offer such briefings. The ACCC Chair did not initiate the briefings to either the National or Liberal Party Room meetings.

4. No materials were used by the ACCC Chair in either of the briefings. At the National Party Room Meeting a number of members had with them a copy of the Executive Summary from the Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry (REPI) final report.

5. Following the requests made by Ms Landry, the ACCC Chair's diary manager arranged a date and time which the ACCC Chair could attend the National Party Room Meeting. The details for the Liberal Party Room Meeting were confirmed between the Executive Director, ACCC Executive Office and Mr Turnbull's office.

6. The ACCC Chair was only asked to speak to the REPI final report. This was the nature of the calls that saw the meetings arranged and which are referred to above.

7. The ACCC Chair held a doorstop at Parliament House on the morning of 13 August 2018 in response to a number of requests the ACCC's media office were receiving about the final report.