Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) has acknowledged the Government’s response to the Harper Review announced on Tuesday 24 November as a positive move toward strengthening the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
ADF President, Noel Campbell recognised the Government’s support for key recommendations in the review as an acknowledgement of the peak body’s advocacy on behalf of dairy farmers.
“We are pleased to see support for the proposed changes to collective bargaining,” Mr Campbell said.
“These reforms will help improve farmers negotiating powers, and will contribute to fostering a more competitive business environment in future.”
ADF expressed disappointment that reform recommended by the Harper Review to section 46 of the Act, dealing with the misuse of market power has been delayed. However, the Government’s announcement to undertake further public consultation into s46 was welcome.
ADF strongly supports the Harper Review’s recommendations for any updated competition and consumer law to include an effects test.
“We will continue to advocate for improved transparency regarding the impact of retailer actions on suppliers, and for the regulating bodies to have the power to prevent potentially damaging situations such as retailer predatory pricing in future,” Mr Campbell said.
“ADF is advocating for certainty that the legal process is able to provide integrity and transparency regarding the impact of retailer actions on suppliers. We are hopeful that this will prevent damaging practices, including predatory pricing in future.”
Mr Campbell also noted the Government’s support for recommendation 53 of the review, which refers to small business access to remedies. This mechanism will make dispute resolution in the Federal Court more accessible to suppliers.
ADF looks forward to an ongoing and constructive dialogue with Government to deliver tangible outcomes with regards to competition policy for the farm sector.
Shona McPherson, Media Officer
M: 0447 161 919