Competition Taskforce Established as Treasury Stresses Importance of Competition to the Economy

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On the 23rd of August, Treasury announced the creation of the Competition Taskforce as part of the 2 year long Competition Policy Review. The purpose of the Review and its Taskforce is to examine the current competition laws, policies and institutions, and determine reforms in those areas to further boost productivity.

In his press release on the Competition Taskforce, the Hon. Dr Jim Chalmers, Treasurer, stressed the importance of more competition in improving the dynamism of the Australian economy and ensuring that current “competition policy settings are fit for purpose in the face of the big shifts underway in our economy, so we can make the most of digitalisation, the growth in services, the net zero transformation, while supporting our nation’s most vulnerable.”

The announcement of the Competition Policy Review came only a week before the announcement on Thursday 31st August that responses were now open for the Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (CRIS) on unfair trading practices, a move that has been widely welcomed by consumer advocacy groups and the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission).

According to the press release, the issues that the review will first examine will be:

  • proposals put forward by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission around merger reform, as well as other competition law issues
  • options for coordinated reform with states and territories, to be progressed through the Council on Federal Financial Relations
  • non-compete and related clauses that restrict workers from shifting to a better-paying job
  • providing advice on competition issues raised by new technologies, the net zero transformation and growth in the care economy
Media Release, “A more dynamic and competitive economy” ,, 23/08/2023.

The importance of competition has also been stressed in the recent 2023 Intergenerational Report, and will be stressed in relation to the labour market in the upcoming Employment White Paper, due to be released at the end of September.

The ministerial press release on the can be found here, and the Treasury page on the Competition Policy Review is available here.