27 March 2014

Government names competition review panel


This media release announces the final terms of reference for the Competition Policy Review.

Today I am announcing the final terms of reference for the Government’s ‘root and branch’ review of competition law and the appointment of three members and a chair to serve on the review panel.

All Australians stand to benefit from a review of this kind: a comprehensive examination of Australia’s competition framework.

An agenda of microeconomic reform has been identified by this Government as a key driver of innovation, productivity and jobs growth in the economy.

For the consumer, it will provide a pathway to ensure we all pay a fair price at the check-out in the longer term for the goods and service we purchase.

In business it means having competition based on merit, not on muscle, creating a more level playing field and supporting a competitive environment where efficient businesses – big and small - have the opportunity to thrive and prosper.

The following representatives bring a high degree of policy rigor and analytical capability from a variety of perspectives:

  • Professor Ian Harper (Chair)
  • Ms Su McCluskey;
  • Mr Michael O’Bryan SC; and
  • Mr Peter Anderson.

The Harper Review will be the first comprehensive review of competition laws and policy in more than 20 years.

The review delivers on a key election commitment.  The Harper Review will help identify ways to build the economy and promote investment, growth, job creation and durable benefits for consumers.

It will examine not only the current laws but the broader competition framework, to increase productivity and efficiency in markets, drive benefits to ease cost of living pressures and raise living standards for all Australians.

The Productivity Commission found that the changes resulting from the Hilmer Review, from more than 20 years ago, increased Australia’s GDP by 2.5 per cent.

I consider this panel has the expertise and experience to undertake this important review.

The Government looks forward to the release of an issues paper from the review panel, and encourages all interested parties to participate through public hearings and submission processes.

The review panel will subsequently publish a draft report and hold further public consultations, before providing a final report to the Government within 12 months.

Biographies of the panel members and the final terms of reference are available on the Competition Policy Review website.