Adoption of ‘effects test’ a big win for small business

Melbourne, 17 March – The Turnbull Government’s adoption of the Harper Review’s ‘effects test’ amendment
to the Competition and Consumer Act has been praised as a win for motorists and small automotive businesses. 

VACC, the peak body for Victoria’s automotive industry, said the decision will create a more level playing field
between independent smash repairers and large insurance conglomerates, and between independent fuel
retailers and supermarket-operated chains around the country. 

“It’s the stone in the sling in the David and Goliath battle,” VACC Executive Director, Geoff Gwilym, said. 

“Currently our body repair members report that they are being pressured to compromise on the quality of their
work in order to meet insurer demands. With strengthened competition law, we hope to see a fairer deal for
body repairers, in turn leading to better repairs for motorists,” Mr Gwilym said. 

Mr Gwilym said a fairer competitive environment will help protect small business from the sometimes
unfair tactics of big business. 

“We’re also delighted to see a better deal for independent service stations, who will be able to stand up
to the dominance of the supermarket chains. The supermarkets will say this is bad for motorists but
let me make this clear: the more competition in a market, the better the deal for the consumer.” 

Mr Gwilym applauded the Turnbull Government’s leadership and bravery in standing up for small business
and said the Parliament should adopt the far-sighted policy position. 

“VACC urges the opposition and cross bench senators to support the transition of this legislation through
Parliament,” he said. 

“There have been no completely reliable levers to use against the misuse of market power in the past.
This has caused a lessening of competition and created a barrier to entry for many innovative people and
companies from entering the marketplace. 

“Small business operators will now be better able to compete in the marketplace. That is good for business;
good for jobs; and good for the community,” Mr Gwilym said. 

VACC has been advocating continuously with its national affiliate, the Motor Trades Association of Australia
and its CEO, Mr Richard Dudley, on this issue since the Harper Review was handed to the Abbott Government
in March 2015. The national association and VACC are extremely pleased with the results of all this effort. 

The Government will introduce the legislation to Parliament later in 2016.

VACC is Victoria's peak automotive body representing more than 5,000 small automotive businesses.

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VACC Executive Director, Geoff Gwilym
VACC Executive Director, Geoff Gwilym, has urged the opposition and cross bench senators to support the Turnbull Government's proposed 'effects test' adoption through Parliament