24 November 2015
Media Release - #2015028, 2015

In the role of: Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer [21 September 2015 - 18 July 2016]

Minister for Small Business welcomes Government’s response to the Harper Review

The Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Kelly O'Dwyer MP, today welcomed the Government's response to the Competition Policy
Review, chaired by Professor Ian Harper (the Harper Review).

"The Government's response to the Harper Review supports recommendations that are relevant to a wide range of small businesses," Minister O'Dwyer said.

The recommendations which will directly benefit small businesses include:

  • access to remedies, with the Government supporting the ACCC to take steps to improve its communications with small business and to more actively connect
    small businesses to alternative dispute resolution schemes;
  • improving the collective bargaining regime under the competition law, to provide more flexibility and increased information for small businesses, to help
    improve their bargaining position;
  • encouraging state, territory and local governments to review their competitive neutrality guidelines, to ensure that their commercial operation do not
    negatively affect commercial businesses; and
  • reviewing the anti-competitive impact of regulations, including standards and licensing, freeing up trading restrictions that apply to many businesses.

The Government will shortly be releasing a discussion paper on the Harper Review's recommendation concerning misuse of market power (section 46 of the
Competition and Consumer Act 2010).

"I urge small business to engage in this process and I look forward to holding a series of roundtables to encourage small business to play an active role
in shaping this important national discussion," Ms O'Dwyer said. "This process will be concluded by March.

"Competition Policy plays a vital role increasing choice and delivering better services for Australian consumers and our economy. Small business as a vital
employer and contributor to our economy must continue to engage in these important productivity reforms."