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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 6 Hansard (22 May) . . Page.. 1625..


MS TUCKER (continuing):

It is particularly ironic that governments all around Australia do not have the courage to stop the takeovers and consolidation of market power. The real-world complexity of competition has been largely ignored by the Hilmer report, and even more ignored by governments jumping on the bandwagon of competition. Government business enterprises have been especially targeted as a major source of economic inefficiency. No-one questions the mindless competition between States, initiated by State governments trying to steal companies from each other. So much for the uniformity between States.

Mr Speaker, the Greens are aware that this Bill and, indeed, the whole agenda of competition policy have support from both of the major parties in this Assembly. In principle, we are opposed to these reforms and this Bill because we think the gains that are sought could be achieved without resorting to such radical reforms. I was on a committee which recommended that the Bill be enacted; but this committee also raised a number of other issues, which I believe have been largely ignored by this Government. Our greatest fears that the safeguards that are written into the agreements will be largely ignored look like being realised, but we will continue to monitor closely the implementation of competition policy in the ACT and do whatever we can to ensure that the interests of consumers, workers and the environment are protected.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

COMPETITION POLICY REFORM - SELECT COMMITTEE
Report on Inquiry into Competition Policy Reform Bill 1995 -
Government Response
Debate resumed from 14 May 1996, on motion by Mr De Domenico:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

PRIVATE MEMBERS BUSINESS - PRECEDENCE
Suspension of Standing Orders
MS TUCKER (3.40): Mr Speaker, I move:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent notice No. 18, private members business, relating to a recommendation contained in the report of the Select Committee on Competition Policy Reform, being called on forthwith.

I ask that members support the suspension of standing orders because it is quite clear that, unless we do, we are going to have a competition Bill passed in this place without any safeguards. If we have an opportunity to debate this motion, I believe that most members in this place will see the sense of our motion. The community, as well as other concerned groups, therefore will feel more comfortable that the implementation of this Bill will be carried out with more care.


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