09 December 2013

Roots, Branches and Chainsaws

The Prime Minister has announced a 'root & branch' (no mention at this stage of applying chainsaws to sacred cows of the National Party variety) review of competition policy -
The Government will undertake a comprehensive review of competition laws and policy, the first in more than 20 years.
The ‘root and branch’ review delivers on a key election commitment and will help identify ways to build the economy and promote investment, growth and job creation.
The competition review will examine not only the current laws but the broader competition framework, to increase productivity and efficiency in markets, drive benefits to ease cost of living pressures and raise living standards for all Australians.
The last comprehensive review of competition policy – the Hilmer Review – was carried out in 1993 and much has changed in Australia’s economy since then.
Competition policy has contributed significantly to productivity and price changes in key sectors and in 2005 the Productivity Commission found that the changes resulting from the Hilmer Review increased Australia’s GDP by 2.5 per cent.
The Federal Government has provided the states and territories with draft terms of reference for a competition review. The review panel will be established shortly so that we can have a final report within 12 months.
This review is long overdue and will help identify microeconomic reforms and long-term improvements to build strong foundations for a more productive and competitive 21st century Australian economy.