(Quorum formed) . . Page.. 1391 ..
Thursday, 24 August 1995
The Assembly met at 10.30 am.
MR SPEAKER (Mr Cornwell) took the chair and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.
COMPETITION POLICY REFORM BILL 1995
MR DE DOMENICO (Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Business, Employment and Tourism) (10.31): Mr Speaker, I present the Competition Policy Reform Bill 1995, together with its explanatory memorandum.
Title read by Clerk.
MR DE DOMENICO: I move:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
The Competition Policy Reform Bill 1995 is a significant step in the implementation of the national competition policy agreements entered into at the April 1995 Council of Australian Governments meeting. I am delighted that we are able to present this Bill at this time as it will underpin many of the reforms the Government is committed to. Implementation of the national competition policy in the ACT will remove restrictions on competition and will ensure that resources are allocated in an efficient way. This does not mean that the economy will shrink with increased efficiency, but it will enable development in a way that creates new jobs and economic growth.
The Competition Policy Reform Bill applies the competition code in the ACT. The code requires States and Territories to achieve and maintain consistent and complementary competition laws and policies that will apply to all businesses in Australia, regardless of ownership. It was further agreed that this would be done by legislation. The Commonwealth has passed its Competition Policy Reform Act and so has New South Wales. Most other States plan to pass complementary legislation during their budget sittings. It is pleasing to note that this is well in advance of the timetable agreed at COAG. This shows the commitment the parties to the agreements have to implementing national competition policy so that benefits can be gained as early as possible. Each State and Territory is using model legislation developed by New South Wales Parliamentary Counsel in consultation with the States and Territories to achieve consistency in approach.