Thursday, 25 November 2010
Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2010
In fact, in the year of my birth—thank you, Senator Brandis. The Trade Practices Act has been supported, enhanced and bettered by people on both sides of politics. Rather regrettably, it has also been renamed by the current government.
However, this legislation has grown and has brought about, we believe, the operation of an organisation—the ACCC—that has the skills, the capacity and the know-how to make sure that these arrangements and deals are competitive and work for consumers. I would urge the crossbenchers, whom I suspect have already predetermined their position on these amendments, to think again and to realise that they have each played a role in championing the cause of good competition legislation in this country and that they have each played a role in promoting the role of the ACCC and building that role up. I know that Senator Xenophon in particular is a strong advocate for the role of the ACCC and is deeply involved in many ways. He has passed some amendments that help to make a bad policy less bad. We think it would be far preferable to abandon the bad policy of shutting out the ACCC and to actually give them the opportunity to examine this deal just as they would any other deal.