Industry Comment - Chamber of Commerce and Industry Western Australia

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Western Australia

Deputy Opposition leader Dan Sullivan’s claim that the State would have to compensate businesses losing their privileged protection from competition were shopping hours restrictions to be relaxed is factually incorrect, misleading, and risks creating false expectations among small retailers.

Mr Sullivan is patently wrong in saying, because of the compensation liability, the State would not be better off by the $70 million a year available in competition policy payments.

Those yearly payments are to compensate the Government, itself, for any possible impacts on its own revenues resulting from repeal of anti-competitive legislation.

If the State Government fails to eliminate anti-competitive legislation without being able to offer a sustainable public interest argument, it will forego those Commonwealth compensation payments because it has not done anything to warrant them.

Continued regulation of shop opening hours in WA, as it stands, constitutes heavy-handed anti-competitive intervention by government.

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