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New national competition policy comes into force



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THE HON GEORGE GEAR, MP

ASSISTANT TREASURER

PRESS RELEASE X _______ J

NEW NATIONAL COMPETITION POLICY COMES INTO FORCE

The Assistant Treasurer, Mr Gear, today announced that the most significant elements of the national competition policy package will commence on 6 November 1995.

6 November will see proclamation of Part 3 of the Competition Policy Reform Act 1995 and the commencement of:

• the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the National Competition Council (NCC):

• a new legal regime to facilitate third parties obtaining access to the services of certain nationally significant facilities (the access regime); and

• extended coverage of prices surveillance to State and Territory businesses and establishment of a new formal price monitoring power.

The Trade Practices Tribunal will also be renamed the Australian Competition Tribunal and it will take on new responsibility for reviewing decisions under the access regime.

"These provisions will ensure that Australia maintains one of the most sophisticated competition policies in the OECD", Mr Gear said.

"In particular, creation of the new access regime is a major boost to enhancing competition in Australia," Mr Gear said. The notion underlying the new regime is that access to certain infrastructure facilities, such as electricity grids, gas pipelines or rail track, is needed to encourage competition in markets such as electricity generation, gas production and transport services.

"Competition in these sectors is important to sustaining Australia's economic growth," Mr Gear stated. Improving the performance of our essential facilities and related markets will help our businesses to remain internationally competitive and assist in improving living standards through lower consumer prices. There is every reason to believe that competition in these sectors will deliver benefits similar to those we have experienced since competition was introduced in

telecommunications and domestic aviation."

Minor changes to the conduct rules in the Trade Practices Act commenced on 17 August. The Competition Policy Reform Act was passed by Parliament on 30 June 1995. The States and Territories are currently passing legislation to apply the Trade Practices Act in areas beyond the Commonwealth's jurisdiction. This is due to be finalised by 21 July 1996, at which time the complementary State and Territory legislation will apply the competitive conduct rules to the whole

Australian economy.

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The new competition institutions

Mr Gear also announced the appointees to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the National Competition Council. A full list of appointments with biographical detail is attached.

The Chairperson of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is Professor Allan Pels. Professor Pels is the current Chairman of the Trade Practices Commission. The other full-time office holders are Mr Allan Asher, Deputy Chairperson; Mr Sitesh Bhojani; Mr David Lieberman; and Ms Rhonda Smith.

The President of the National Competition Council is Mr Anthony Daniels. Mr Daniels is Managing Director of Tubemakers Australia Ltd. The Councillors are Mr Michael Easson; Mr Stuart Hohnen; Ms Elizabeth Nosworthv: and Mr Graeme Samuel.

The Trade Practices Commission and Prices Surveillance Authority will cease to exist when the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is established. The staff of both bodies and all existing work will be taken over by the ACCC.

Dr David Cousins, Chairman of the Prices Surveillance Authority, decided not to accept an offer of appointment to the ACCC. Mr Gear said he regretted Dr Cousins decision but understood the personal reasons for his decision. "The Government takes this opportunity to express its appreciation to Dr Cousins for his work as a full-time member of the PSA since 1989 and as its Chairman since 1993," Mr Gear said.

The appointments take effect from the commencement of the new institutions. The appointments have the support of State and Territory Governments.

National Competition Council

The NCC is to be a new high level advisory body. It will make recommendations to Ministers on third party access to nationally significant facilities, and advise on whether State and Territory access legislation and prices oversight of State and Territory government businesses is effective. In addition, through its work program, the NCC will assist all governments in implementing their microeconomic reform programs. The NCC office will be located in Melbourne.

Prices Surveillance

The amendments to the Prices Surveillance Act to commence on 6 November 1995 will streamline and improve the transparency of prices surveillance. Greater flexibility will be achieved by the new formal price monitoring arrangement. Under formal price monitoring, notified companies will be required to provide information on a regular basis to the ACCC on their prices, costs and profitability. This arrangement will reduce the administrative burden on companies compared with prices surveillance, while reassuring consumers that price movements are appropriate.

Mr Gear said that prices surveillance powers will continue to be a tool in those markets where competition is weak or lacking, and that the ACCC will continue the PSA’s ongoing inquiry work.

30 October 1995

For further information: Daryl Quinlivan (Assistant Treasurer's Office) 06-277 7360

Biographical Details of Appointees

AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

CHAIRPERSON

Professor Allan Pels of Melbourne, the former part-time Chairman of the Prices Surveillance Authority and Chairman of the Trade Practices Commission since 1991, is to be the Chairperson of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. He is eminently qualified, with an academic background in law and economics (he holds a PhD in Economics from Duke University, and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Australia), and has extensive experience in public administration issues through his holding of a full-time position on the Trade Practices Commission and his involvement with a large range of relevant organisations such as AUSTEL, and the OECD Committee on Competition Law and Policy.

Professor Eels has been appointed for five years.

DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON

Mr Allan Asher of Canberra, a full-time member of the Trade Practices Commission since 1988 is to be the Deputy Chairperson of the ACCC. He is a barrister and solicitor (admitted in New South Wales) who has been a strong consumer advocate since the 1970s. Between 1979 and 1983 he was the Chief Executive and Public Affairs Manager of the Australian Consumers' Association (publishers of Choice magazine), while between 1980 and 1995 he was a Council Member of the International

Organisation of Consumer Unions. Since 1993 Mr Asher has been the Chairman of the Consumer Policy Committee of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Further, Mr Asher has been involved in the business community and was Executive Manager, Corporate Relations of the Overseas Telecommunications Commission from 1984 to 1988.

Mr Asher has been appointed for five years.

FULL TIME MEMBERS

Mr Sitesh Bhojani of Perth, has been a Trade Practices Commission associate member since 1994. Mr Bhojani holds a Bachelor of Laws from Monash University and is a barrister with a general commercial and civil litigation practice in Western Australia. Between 1986-1992 he was a barrister and solicitor with the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department and also the Trade Practices Unit of the Australian Government Solicitor/Federal Court and Tribunals Registry. He is Deputy Chairman of the Law Council of Australia, Business Law Section’s trade practices committee.

Mr Bhojani has been appointed for three years.

Mr David Lieberman of Sydney, is a director and a consultant. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1967 and from 1979, until his retirement in 1994, held numerous positions within the IBM Group in Australia. Japan, the United Kingdom and USA. Between 1981 and 1988 he was General Counsel and Secretary to IBM in Australia and from 1991 was Director, Law and External Relations. He is a consultant on Information Technology with the law firm Deacons Graham and James and Deputy Chairman of ACTEW Corporation Ltd. Mr Lieberman is also a Member of the Business Law

Reference Group, Business Council of Australia, and has been a Trade Practices Commission associate member since 1994. Mr Lieberman holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws.

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Mr Lie berm an has been appointed for three years.

Ms Rhonda Smith of Melbourne, is a consultant economist in trade practices and prices surveillance matters and has been a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Melbourne since 1981. She is also a member of the Copyright Law Review Committee. Ms Smith has been an expert witness in major trade practices litigation, and has acted as a consultant for both the Trade Practices Commission and the Prices Surveillance Authority. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Arts with Honours.

Ms Smith has been appointed for three years.

PART TIME MEMBERS

Ms Liza Carver of Sydney, has been a Trade Practices Commission associate member since 1994. She has been a senior solicitor with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre since 1993 and is an Executive member of the Australian Consumers' Federation. She has been an Honorary consultant for the Australian Law Reform Commission and was appointed to the NSW Premier’s Council for Women in 1995.

Ms Carver has been appointed for three years.

Mr John Eddey of Melbourne, has been a part-time member of the Prices Surveillance Authority since 1991. He has been an Executive Director of ICI Australia Ltd; Chairman of ICI New Zealand Ltd; Director of Incitec Ltd; Assistant Treasurer of ICI UK worldwide group; and Chairman of Megatec Pty Ltd. He is also a fellow of the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants and of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of the Finance Committee of the University of Melbourne.

Mr Eddey has been appointed until 31 December 1995.

Ms Teresa Handicott of Brisbane, has been a Trade Practices Commission associate member since 1994. She was awarded Bachelor of Laws (Hons) in 1986 and admitted as a solicitor in Queensland in 1987. Ms Handicott is currently a solicitor and a partner in Corrs Chambers Westgarth and practices exclusively in areas of commercial and corporate law, particularly mergers and acquisitions, capital raisings and securities industry law. Ms Handicott is also a member of the Queensland Cultural Centre Trust and a member of the Company Committee, Queensland Law Society.

Ms Handicott has been appointed for three years.

Associate Professor Elizabeth Harman of Perth, has been a part-time member of the Prices Surveillance Authority since 1993. She is Associate Professor in Public Policy (Murdoch University) and has held senior positions on the executive and boards of public agencies and private companies, including the Water Authority of WA and the WA State Planning Commission.

Associate Professor Harman has been appointed until 31 December 1995.

Mr Jeffrey Hilton SC of Sydney, has been an associate member with the Trade Practices Commission since 1992 and a Senior Counsel since 1993. From 1976-78 he was a legal officer with the Attorney-General’s Department and from 1979 worked as barrister, advising on trade practices.

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commercial, administrative, equity and constitutional cases. Mr Hilton is on the editorial board of the Australian Business Law Review.

Mr Hilton has been appointed for three years.

Professor Brian Johns of Canberra, is a former Deputy Chairman of the Trade Practices Commission. He has also been a member of the Trade Practices Tribunal. He has acted as an economic consultant to the Office of the Commissioner of Trade Practices and the Trade Practices Commission and was the Director of the Bureau of Industry Economics from 1977 to 1989. Brian Johns is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Newcastle.

Professor Johns has been appointed for three years.

Mr Rodney Overall of Melbourne, has been a part-time member of Prices Surveillance Authority since 1990. He is a former research officer at the ACTU, member of the Bureau of Labour Market Research Advisory Council and member of the Australian Statistics Advisory Council. He has established a consultancy business providing research and advocacy services.

Mr Overall has been appointed until 31 December 1995.

Associate Professor David Round of Adelaide, was first appointed as an associate member of the Trade Practices Commission in 1986. He is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Adelaide with research and teaching experience in trade practices and industrial organisation. He has held various positions teaching economics at universities in Australia and the USA. Professor Round was appointed as an Associate Member of AUSTEL in 1989.

Associate Professor Round has been appointed for three years.

Mr Don Watt of Perth, is a lawyer and company director. Mr Watt was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in 1964. In 1974 he established and taught the first trade practices course at the University of WA. He is a former commercial partner of Mallesons, Stephen Jacques, and in recent years has been advising the State of Western Australia in relation to various commercial matters.

Mr Watt has been appointed for three years.

Mr Warwick Wilkinson of Sydney is a retired pharmaceutical industry executive director. He was formerly a member of the Economic Planning and Advisory Council and President of the Australian Council of Professions. Since 1989 he has been a lay member of the Disciplinary Committee of the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants.

Mr Wilkinson has been appointed for three years.

ΈΧ OFFICIO' MEMBERS

Mr Neill Tuckwell Mr Tuckwell is the Chairman of the Australian Telecommunications Authority (AUSTEL). He has held a series of management positions with several telecommunications companies, including being part of the founding management of CLEAR communications in New Zealand. He holds a Diploma of Financial Management and a Master of Economics.

Mr Tuckwell has been appointed until 30 June 1997.

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Professor Thomas Gregory Parry Professor Parry is part-time Chairman of the NSW Government Pricing Tribunal and Chairman of the Gas Council of NSW. He has previously been Dean. Faculty of Economics, University of Wollongong and a Principal Economic Adviser at Price Waterhouse. He is also Adjunct Professor of Economics at the University of NSW.

Professor Parry has been appointed until 6 June 20(X).

Mr Robin Davey Mr Davey is the Victorian Regulator-General, a position he has held since July 1994. He was previously the Chairman of AUSTEL and an associate member of the Trade Practices Commission. Prior to that he held senior positions at the Attorney-General’s Department and in the Trade

Practices Commission.

Mr Davey has been appointed until 30 June 1999.

Mr Peter Webb Mr Webb is the Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Authority and was appointed as an associate member to the Trade Practices Commission in 1993.

Mr Webb has been appointed until 4 October 1997.

NATIONAL COMPETITION COUNCIL

PRESIDENT

Mr Anthony Bowen Daniels

Mr Daniels of Sydney, is presently Managing Director, Tubemakers of Australia Ltd, a Director of ICI Australia Ltd and several other companies. He has been a Member of the Business Council of Australia since 1987 and Chairman of its Benchmarking Advisory Group since 1991. He has been Chairman of Council, Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand for the last four years and is a Member of the Trade Policy Advisory Council.

Mr Daniels has been appointed for three years.

COUNCILLORS

Mr Michael Easson

Mr Easson of Sydney, is Adjunct Professor at the Australian Graduate School of Management, University of NSW. He is an adviser, Co its Chambers Westgarth, Solicitors. His current directorships include NRMA Insurance Group, Industrial Property Trust (Macquarie Bank), UNICEF Australia and ACT Electricity Water. He was awarded a Bachelor of Political Science (Hons 1) (NSW) in 1976 and completed the Trade Union Program, Harvard Business School in

1981. From 1989-93 he was a Director, NSW State Rail Authority. From 1989-94 he was Secretary of the Labor Council of NSW and in 1993-94 he was Vice President, Australian Council of Trade Unions. In 1991-92 and 1994-95 he was an .Associate Commissioner, Industry Commission.

Mr Easson has been appointed for three years.

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Mr Stuart Alexander Holinen

Mr Hohnen of Perth, is a resource sector management consultant. In 1966 he was awarded a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) and in 1970 a Master of Business Administration (Stanford, USA). He is a member of the Institution of Engineers and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

From 1982-87 he was Chief Executive, WA Department of Resources Development. In 1992-93 he was a member of the WA Energy Board of Review, and in 1993-94 was a member of the WA Energy Implementation Committee. He is Deputy Chairman of the Gas Corporation of Western Australia (Alinta Gas).

Ms Elizabeth Ann Nosworthy

Ms Nosworthy of Brisbane, is a consultant to the legal firm of Freehill Hollingdale & Page, a Director of Telstra Corporation Ltd and David Jones Limited and a Board Member of Queensland Treasury Corporation. She was awarded a Bachelor of Arts (Qld) in 1966, a Bachelor of Law (Qld) in 1970, and a Master of Law (London School of Economics) in 1971. She was admitted as a solicitor in 1970. She was a Director of the Federal Airports Corporation during 1991-94. In

1986-87 she was President of the Queensland Law Society, and during 1988-89 was a member of the Companies and Securities Consultative Group appointed by the Commonwealth Attorney- General.

Ms Nosworthy has been appointed for three years.

Mr Graeme Julian Samuel

Mr Samuel of Melbourne, is a company director and corporate strategist consultant at Grant Samuel & Associates. He is Chairman of The Australian Opera, Vice President of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a Commissioner of the Australian Football League. He was awarded a Bachelor of Laws (Melbourne) in 1968 and admitted as Solicitor in Victoria in that year. He gained

a Master of Laws (Monash) and won the Law Institute of Victoria Solicitor’s Prize in 1971. He held the position of Executive Director, Macquarie Bank Ltd from 1981-86 and was a Partner, Phillips Fox & Masel. Solicitors from 1972-80.

Mr Samuel has been appointed for three years.