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Greens call for pause in competition policy.

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Dee Margetts

Senator for Western Australia, The Greens (WA)

Perth: Tel. 08 9470 2688  Fax. 08 9470 4098

Parliament House: Tel. 02 6277 3599  Fax. 02 6277 3588


Greens Call for Pause in Competition Policy


7 December 1998


Industry, unions , professions, academics and community groups have formally backed the Greens(WA) call for a moratorium on Competition Policy.


Greens (WA) Senator Dee Margetts today called on the Federal, State and Territory Governments to negotiate a pause in the timetable for implementing National Competition Policy until the conclusions of the current inquiries were on the table.


A list of 25 supporting organisations and individuals were formally included in motion which was put on notice in the Senate today.


“The wide range support of my motion shows that the Government can no longer hose down the concerns about Competition Policy in the community,” said Senator Margetts.


“The call for proper investigation of the pros and cons of Competition Policy is galvanising and gaining momentum. The concerns with Competition Policy cross over previous political allegiances because everyone can see a lot of destruction not only in rural communities but also in the cities,” said Senator Margetts.


“The Government has been downright negligent in the way that Competition Policy has been implemented and pushed on Australians. It was whipped through parliament in 1995 with no consultation — and the people of Australia want their say now,” said Senator Margetts.


“When we come to voting on the motion later in the week, I hope other Senators realise that it is just common sense to look at the results of investigations before we plough on with the steamrolling timetable for the implementation of Competition Policy.


“There are potentially three inquiries into Competition Policy issues in the next few months:


i) The Productivity Commission Inquiry into the Impact of National Competition Policy on Rural and Regional Australia; and

ii) The Senate Select Committee Inquiry into the Socio-Econo mic Consequences of the National Competition Policy ( to be reestablished ), and

iii) A proposed Joint Parliamentary Inquiry into Market Concentration in the Retail Sector which has been promised in writing by the Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business, Mr Reith.


Senator Margetts also said that ‘it was about time the Government stopped sitting on their hands and re-established the Senate Select Committee on the Socio-Economic Consequences of National Competition Policy.’


“After push ing for over a year to get this committee established — I won’t let the Government shove it under the carpet!” concluded Senator Margetts.



For further comment: Dee Margetts (02) 6277 3599 or Liz Peak 0417 993 971



Moratorium on National Competition Policy


Madam President, I give notice that on the next day of sitting, I shall move


That, the Senate:


1. calls on Federal, State and Territory Governments to negotiate an extension of the timetable for implementation of National Competition Policy until after the following inquiries have reported and the Federal Government has responded:

i) The Productivity Commission Inquiry into the Impact of Competition Policy Reforms on Rural and Regional Australia; and

ii) The Senate Select Committee Inquiry into the Socio-Economic Consequences of the National Competition Policy; and

iii) The proposed Joint Parliamentary Inquiry into Market Concentration in the Retail Sector.


2. notes that this call is supported by the following non-parliamentary organisations and in dividuals:


a) Australian Council of Professions Ltd

b) Australian Medical Association

c) The Royal Australian Institute of Architects

d) Australian Dental Association Inc

e) Australian Physiotherapy Association

f) Communications Electrical and Plumbing Un ion

g) Redfern Legal Service

h) Australian Coalition for Economic Justice

i) Stop MAL Coalition

j) People Together Project (Victoria)

k) Mr Richard Sanders, Research Fellow, Science Policy Research Centre, Griffith University

I) Professor John Quiggin, Eco nomics Program, School of Business, James Cook University

m) Associate Professor Frank Stilwell, Economics Department, University of Sydney

n) Western Australian Farmers Federation

o) Potato Growers Association of Western Australia

p) Council of Small Business Organisations Australia Ltd

q) National Associatioh o f Retail Grocers of Australia

r) National Federation of Independent Business

s) Australian Newsagents’ Federation Ltd

t) Queensland Retail Traders & Shopkeepers Association

u) Tasmanian Independent Wholesalers

v) The Retail Traders’ Association of Tasmania

w) The Master Grocers’ Association of Victoria Ltd

x) Small Retailers Association of South Australia Inc

y) Tasmanian Automobile Chamber of Commerce