A Government Review Wants To Remove All Restrictions On Shopping In Australia

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All remaining restrictions on retail trading hours should be removed in Australia, according to the draft report of the the Competition Policy Review Panel.

The root and branch investigation into competition policy says restricted trading should be limited to Christmas Day, Good Friday and the morning of ANZAC Day.

“Full deregulation of retail trading hours is overdue, and that remaining restrictions should be removed as soon as possible,” says the report.

The review also wants the restriction on only pharmacists owning a pharmacy to be removed.

The panel doesn’t think restrictions on ownership and location of pharmacies are necessary to ensure the quality of advice and care to patients.

“Such restrictions limit the ability of consumers to choose where to obtain pharmacy products and services, and the ability of providers to meet consumers’ preferences,” the review says.

The retail trading hours and pharmacies debate are just two of many regulatory restrictions on competition which the review wants to reform.

Here’s some more identified in the review:

  • Regulation which requires imported cars to be modified to meet Australian-specific car design standards, as these differ from those of the United States and the European Union, restricting the scope for parallel imports and importation of second-hand cars.
  • Restrictions on the parallel importation of commercial quantities of books by booksellers.
  • Concessional excise treatment of domestically produced ethanol while imported ethanol pays full excise.
  • The displaying of discounted fuel prices on fuel retailers’ price boards is specifically regulated in New South Wales and South Australia.
  • A restricted number of taxi licences are issued in all States and Territories, and competition from hire cars is mostly restricted.
  • Packaged liquor can be sold by hotels in regional Western Australia on Sunday, but not by specialist packaged liquor stores.
  • Restrictions on pharmacists administering vaccinations and reissuing prescriptions for long-term conditions.
  • Genetically modified crops cannot be grown in South Australia and Tasmania but can be grown in all the other mainland states.
  • The sale of fresh potatoes is restricted in Western Australia but nowhere else in Australia.
  • Owner driver and independent contractors are subject to industry-specific regulation in Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales but not other states.
  • Compulsory workers’ compensation insurance and third-party personal injury transport insurance are only available from government monopoly providers in some states.

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