It has been revealed by the head of the ACCC the former Labor Government misled the public on the capability of the ACCC to lower petrol prices and improve competition through a petrol commissioner.
Rod Sims told a Senate Estimates hearing in Canberra today that the petrol commissioner was “an unsuccessful policy” that “gave the public a wrong understanding about the ACCC’s role.”
It is for this reason the Coalition will abolish a dedicated petrol commissioner and instead fill the vacant position with a candidate who can usefully contribute to the fulfillment of the Commission’s role to nurture fairer competition and to support economic prosperity.
Rather than trying to create false impressions about what the so-called petrol commissioner could do, the previous Labor Government could have better served consumers by ensuring that the ACCC was adequately funded and not needing an injection of many millions of dollars to simply pay their bills this year.
The Coalition will conduct a ‘root and branch’ review of the competition framework which will examine a variety of sectors of the economy including fuel.
The review will seek to ensure the tool kit of laws the ACCC has at its disposal are fit for purpose and to ensure big and small businesses and consumers are getting a fair deal.
It is expected the terms of reference for the arms-length independent review will be made available before the end of the year.