COSBOA is concerned by the recent statements from the Business Council of
Australia and its supporters that an Effects Test would be detrimental to
Australia and to small business; an Effects Test is actually essential for a
fair and competitive marketplace.
Peter Strong, CEO of COSBOA, stated: “We know from hard experience that
when big business associations and the likes of Coles, Woolworths and their
supporters claim to represent what is good for small business, it is time to
worry. The continued over reaction, to an effect test, by some of the
businesses the big of town is very concerning and bizarre.
COSBOA’s members know that an effects test exists in nearly all
jurisdictions across the world and no negative impact has occurred for
honest large businesses. We know that the ACCC would be unlikely to apply an
effects test, if businesses behaved ethically and professionally. The worry
from a few dominant players in the market shows the overwhelming need for
the effects test to be in place.
Peter Strong added: “The business plans for Coles, Woolworths and for the
Shoppies union and the SDA, must be fragile indeed if an effects test can
cause them to crash and burn. If this is a fact, we have a bigger problem
“What we need is leadership from big business on the issue of competition,
to match that of the leadership shown by the minister responsible for
competition, Bruce Billson. Australia’s productivity and capacity to deal
with constant change is at risk.”