Standing Committee on Economics, Finance and Public
Media release, 17 November 1997
LAUNCH OF PUBLICATION ON COMPETITION POLICY AND THE PROFESSIONS
Competition policy is a very pervasive policy that impacts on the lives
of all Australians, including the professions.
Accordingly several major professional associations have joined forces
to prepare a new publication on competition policy and the professions.
The publication was launched this afternoon by David Hawker MP, Chairman
of the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Institutions and
In speaking at the launch today Mr Hawker stressed the public interest
elements of competition policy reform as they relate to the reviews of
legislation of the major professions.
He said 'The 'public interest test' is a critical element of competition
policy. It is used to determine whether community welfare is better served
by implementing competition reforms or not.'
In addressing this issue he picked up on the findings of his own Committee's
work (tabled in June this year) on selected aspects of competition reform,
including the application of the 'public interest test', which are included
as an appendix to the new publication.
Mr Hawker said 'With over 2000 pieces of legislation, including those
related to the major professions, to be reviewed for anti-competitive
restrictions before the year 2000, it is crucial that governments and
the professions get this aspect of competition reform right.'
'The aim of competition reform is to deliver benefits to consumers and
businesses. We don't want inappropriate reforms relating to the professions
introduced. The potential dangers in such a situation already have been
demonstrated by some reviews of legislation relating to veterinarians
Mr Hawker praised the work of the Australian Council of Professions,
the Institution of Engineers, the Australian Veterinary Association, the
Royal Australian Institute of Architects and the Australian Physiotherapy
Association for preparing their publication. 'I know it will be an important
document in raising awareness amongst the professions and assist in guiding
the process as they come to grips with relevant aspects of the Competition
Policy Reform Act' he said.
'Given the scope of the competition reforms, their potential to substantially
impact on the lives of all Australians, and the relative newness of the
policy, it is critical that there is adequate public education and consultation
about the reforms, and their progress. This new publication is a critical
part of progressing the public debate' concluded Mr Hawker.
17 November 1997
David Hawker MP (Chairman) 06- 277 4100
Bev Forbes (Inquiry Secretary) 06 - 277 4587
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