Peter Costello

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Productivity Commission Reference - Impact of Competition Policy Reforms on Rural and Regional Australia

NO. 085


I have today asked the Productivity Commission to report within twelve months on the impact of competition policy reforms on rural and regional Australia. The inquiry will examine both the economic and social impact of competition policy and related infrastructure reforms introduced at the Commonwealth, State and local government levels. It will also identify measures to increase the flow of benefits or mitigate any transitional costs arising from competition reforms to rural and regional Australia.

This is an important inquiry and the Commission has been asked to hold public hearings in country areas to enable effective participation by residents of rural and regional Australia. It will provide the opportunity for a comprehensive assessment of the impact of competition reforms so far, and whether there are any significant differences between the level of benefits flowing to metropolitan areas and to rural and regional areas.

The Government intends to appoint a person with wide experience of, and knowledge concerning, rural and regional Australia as an associate commissioner to assist with the inquiry. A further announcement will be made in this regard later.

The terms of reference are attached and have been framed following consultation with the States and Territories.

The Commission will shortly release an issues paper and invite expressions of interest from parties wanting to participate in the inquiry. I encourage all interested parties to make submission to the Commission and to attend public hearings.

28 August 1998

For further information contact Alistair Davey, Treasurer’s Office on (02) 6277-7340

28 Aug 1998

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