Thursday, 19 October 2006
Trade Practices Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2005
Consideration of House of Representatives Message
Fully explained—and they had a spokesman who could explain it. I did not agree with it. You have paid the price for it, Senator Murray, but that is a different argument for a different day. I do not think we will ever actually reach a meeting of minds on that one, Senator Murray. I accept that you did it in good faith, and you were able to articulate it.
I can point to chapter and verse on broken commitments, public agreements ratted on and written statements ratted on. But, Senator Fielding, if you are able to articulate what these new powers for the ACCC will be, please inform the chamber. Senator Joyce, I know, will be interested. Your amendments are an embarrassing fig leaf, frankly, to try to counter the fact that Senator Joyce has actually put up an attempt to try and make this at least reasonably workable. Twenty days! Fair dinkum! As Senator Joyce said, can you imagine trying to deal with a merger between PBL and Fairfax, or Channel 7 and the West Australian, or News Ltd and Channel 10—any of the proposed changes—in 20 days? What a joke!
If you want to represent small business, stand up and proudly explain that to us. To give Senator Murray and the Democrats their due, they proudly defended their deal, publicly, all over the country—even to their own members, who hated it. They proudly defended it. So let’s hear you proudly defend what extra powers you have gained, Senator Fielding, but do not try to pretend that this bill contains them and do not try to pretend that there are extra powers for the ACCC here. There are not. This is a bill the sole purpose of which is to undermine the role of the ACCC in the process.