Senate debates

Thursday, 19 October 2006

Trade Practices Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2005

Consideration of House of Representatives Message

12:35 pm

Photo of Stephen ConroyStephen Conroy (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

This weakens it. This is the Business Council’s dream from four years ago, prior to Graeme Samuel becoming its chairman. They set out to undermine and weaken the ACCC. Senator Joyce understands that. Senator Joyce has understood it and worked with genuine representatives of the small business community. That is why we successfully defeated it last year. But do not come in here and pretend that this bill delivers. Stand up and tell us what extra powers the government is intending to put into section 46 or whatever else it is on predatory pricing. At least articulate them, Senator Fielding. Because you are in here championing small business at the moment let’s hear you, not Senator Brandis, explain the benefits to small business of future promises from this government.

As I said yesterday in the chamber, but you may not have been watching—because I am sure you are very busy on many things, and I am quite genuine when I say that—the Labor Party to this day still has a letter signed by Treasurer Peter Costello, saying that the government would introduce legislation about the alienation of personal income as part of a package on the Ralph business tax reforms. I know that Senator Murray knows about this, because he signed up on the same basis. Peter Costello and the Howard government ratted on a written commitment. I could give you chapter and verse on the ratting on the promises made to the Democrats when they did their deal with the government on the GST.


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