Wheels fall off Leigh’s logic

SMALL Business Minister Michael McCormack today criticised Labor’s Spokesperson for Competition and Productivity, Andrew Leigh, for his ill-informed comments on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) New Car Market Study.

“The Shadow Minister has again today demonstrated his lack of understanding of the issues, stakeholder needs and of the operations of agencies, such as the ACCC,” Mr McCormack said.

“My predecessor the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer committed to undertake an independent review into access to vehicle servicing data and associated issues, such as a mandatory portal and the voluntary industry agreement.

“The Turnbull Government has delivered on this election commitment by asking the ACCC to undertake this review as part of its New Car Market Study.

“Since taking on the role in July, I have met with numerous stakeholders representing all players in the car industry, including the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association, Australian Automobile Association, Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce, businesses such as Kmart Tyre and Auto, and a wide range of large and small car dealers and repairers.

“Through this consultation, I understand that access to vehicle servicing data is a complex issue and the stakeholders I have met hold varying views on what information should be shared and how that information should be shared.

“The ACCC is an independent statutory authority and operates at arm’s-length of Government. Under the strong and capable leadership of the Chairman Rod Sims, the ACCC will conduct a thorough independent review of the industry - as promised - which will help the Government and industry determine what actions, if any, are needed in the future.

“Vehicle safety is of paramount importance to the Government, as is ensuring a fair, competitive and effective car market.

“Only the Turnbull Government has the ability to balance the rights of consumers with the growth of independent small business repairers, and car manufacturers and dealers.

“The Shadow Minister should spend less time trying to get his name in the paper, and more time meeting with stakeholders and supporting the Government’s logical and comprehensive competition, consumer and small business agenda,” Mr McCormack said.

Cristy Houghton