15 March 2024

Treasurers work together to boost competition

Today Treasurers agreed to work together to identify possible cost‑of‑living competition reforms that could be progressed through our revamp of National Competition Policy.

This is an important outcome from today’s meeting of treasurers which I chaired virtually from Logan City.

To support this work, I have directed the Productivity Commission to undertake a study to estimate economic benefits and revenue impacts of proposed competition reforms.

Increasing competition and dynamism is good for businesses, good for consumers and good for the economy and that’s what our reform of National Competition Policy is all about.

Australians are under the pump, and we recognise that – which is why we’re working together to deliver billions of dollars of cost‑of‑living relief, but we also recognise that competition can play an important part in easing the pressure on households and businesses.

The study I’ve commissioned from the Productivity Commission today will consider the long‑run economic impacts of proposed reforms to revitalise National Competition Policy, including benefits for growth, efficiency and prosperity, and benefits for Australian households under cost‑of‑living pressure.

The study will then inform the approach to competition policy and priority reforms to be considered by the Commonwealth and state and territory governments.

To read the terms of reference, visit the Productivity Commission website.

This work is on top of the Albanese Government’s big and broad competition reform agenda which includes a revamped National Competition Policy, our work on merger reform, and work by the ACCC to investigate pricing and competition in the supermarket sector which was announced by the Prime Minister in January.

In addition to important progress on competition, today Treasurers also discussed topics including boosting housing supply; local government’s contribution to the Australian economy; next steps to deliver the landmark health funding agreement brokered by the Prime Minister at National Cabinet in December; state revenues and the independent Commonwealth Grants Commission’s routine distribution of GST revenue decision.

We’ll continue to work together constructively to build a more competitive, productive and prosperous economy and to fund the things that matter most to Australians.