The federal cabinet should take a leaf out of Barnaby Joyce’s book.
Over the weekend the Deputy Prime Minister showed he is willing to stand up for small business by saying he expects the government to introduce an effects test into Australian competition law.
Speaking on Sky News on Sunday, Joyce said it would have been pointless to commission the Harper review of competition policy if the review’s key proposals were ignored, according to The Australian.
“We don’t go through the Harper review and then get to the end of it and say, ‘well, we’re not accepting any of that’,” Joyce said.
“We will try and we will deliver some form of betterment so that people who are in business, small business, can be treated in a fairer way so they have the capacity to get themselves before a court if they have been pushed around by people who are not beating them by reason of competition but who are beating them just because they’re bigger and knocking them out just to get rid of them.”
“That’s not good for our economy.”
Joyce said small businesses form the heartland of both the Liberal and National parties and the Coalition must continue to fight for these business owners.
“I think we have got the record where we can actually deliver,” he said.
“We want to always ensure that that constituency clearly sees us as fighting on their behalf.”
Joyce has been a long-time advocate for small business owners and it is encouraging to see the leader of the Nationals party standing firm on the need to create a more even playing field for small businesses in the eyes of Australian courts.
While consultation over any proposed change to Section 46 of the Australian Competition and Consumer Act continues, Joyce’s cabinet colleagues should key his comments front of mind.