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One stop shop needed on National Competition Policy.

One Stop Shop Needed On National Competition Policy


Sue Mackay - Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government


Media Statement - 16 February 2000


The Government should act to establish a 'one stop shop' on National Competition Policy for advice and information, Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government, Senator Sue Mackay said today.


The recommendation to establish a "one stop shop" was contained in the Senate Select Committee's report on the socio-economic consequences of national competition policy (NCP) which was tabled in the Senate today.


Titled Riding the Waves of Change, the report calls for the creation of a 'one stop shop' advisory service to provide local government, industry, individuals and community groups with advice and information on NCP.


"Local government faces a serious problem in tackling issues of competition policy and has often been left alone to sort out the myth from the reality" said Senator Mackay.


"State Governments have used NCP as a cover for their own ideological crusades. The most recent example is the Compulsory Competitive Tendering policies of the former Kennett Government in Victoria.


"I believe this one stop shop advisory service is crucial to stop this process of misinformation.


"Furthermore, the Report recommends a review of tranche payments made to Local Government by the Council of Australian Government" said Senator Mackay.


With broad terms of reference, the Senate Committee undertook extensive public hearings around the country and received over two hundred and twenty submissions from a broad cross-section of the business community, government sector and private individuals and community groups.


The Senate Committee found the community had a number of major concerns:


• the inconsistent application and interpretation of the public interest test with its domination of economic assessment ahead of the harder -to-measure intangible attributes in the social and environmental areas; 


• the lack of understanding of the policy overall, which indicated the need for a strong education program, particularly at local government and community levels; 


• the way legislative reviews are being undertaken within individual jurisdictions and the lack of a national approach; 


• the lack of oversight by the Council of Australian Government of the NCC and the NCP agenda; 


• the impact of employment and the lack of structural adjustment and transitional arrangements; and 


• the interface of short term economic development policies and proposals with longer term ecologically sustainable development and environmental issues.


Authorised by Gary Gray, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.