'Effects test' finally passed into law

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After years of lobbying by the dairy industry and QDO, parliament has passed fairer competition laws for small business. QDO hopes this will lead to the end of $1 per litre milk discounting in supermarkets. Media release by the Minister for Small Business below:

Fairer competition laws for small business passed the Parliament last night, levelling the playing field so small businesses can compete, Small Business Minister Michael McCormack says. “The passage of section 46 is another Bill which backs small business and delivers on the Liberals and Nationals’ election promise,” Mr McCormack said.

“Protecting small business from anti-competitive conduct was a key recommendation of the Harper Review. The new section 46, delivered by the Government, empowers the consumer watchdog to look at the actual or likely impact of conduct on a market. It also further strengthens laws to prevent firms with substantial market power engaging in conduct which harms competition in Australian markets.”

Mr McCormack said a fairer playing field is a big issue raised by small businesspeople. “From farmers to small supermarkets, from consumers to suppliers, many Australians tell me how these changes will stop firms with substantial market power from engaging in conduct which reduces competition,” Mr McCormack said. “This is good news for small businesses which want to compete and good news for consumers who want competition in the market.”

Mr McCormack said while the Liberals, Nationals and crossbench worked together to back small business, Labor voted against a fairer deal for small business. “I invited Labor to work with the Government in backing small business, to level the playing field, so more can compete,” Mr McCormack said. “Instead, Labor continued with its feigned support seeking nothing more than a headline, showing yet again its complete lack of understanding and care for small business.”

The House of Representatives passed the amendment to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 late last night after discussion in the Senate. “The Liberals and Nationals will always have the back of small business to grow local economies and create local jobs. Labor should stop playing politics and get on board to support small business,” Mr McCormack said.

Media release available: http://mfm.ministers.treasury.gov.au/media-release/109-2017/