The Honourable Dr Andrew Leigh told the audience that competition drives innovation

Federal Australian Labor Party (ALP) Minister, the Honourable Dr Andrew Leigh, addressed the official AAAExpo Breakfast at Crown’s Palladium just prior to officially cutting the ribbon to open the proceedings at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
“Innovation has always been highly prized in the automotive industry. And it is something that should be rewarded. So, it’s great to be here today to recognise the best innovators in the automotive aftermarket industry – those of you who have deployed creativity and problem-solving skills to make the world a bit better for all of us,” Dr Leigh said.
Dr Leigh pledged his Government’s support for the automotive aftermarket, and the service and repair sector in particular.
“One of the best things governments can do to encourage more innovation across the economy is to get the competition settings right,” Dr Leigh said.
“Competitive markets increase incentives and opportunities for businesses to invest and innovate, and it keeps Australian businesses competitive relative to our peers in other countries.
“Less dynamic markets don’t have that same competitive pressure. A lack of competition puts the brakes on innovation and entrepreneurs.
“We are committed to fixing things because we know competition has the potential to accelerate economic growth.”
Dr Leigh said his Government has asked the Productivity Commission to conduct a study to come up with priorities for governments to consider.
“The Competition Taskforce has a brief to lift the bonnet and examine whether Australia’s competition laws, policies and institutions remain fit for purpose,” he said.
“The Taskforce is looking at Australia’s merger laws as one of its first priorities – the first serious review in more than a decade.
“The Taskforce has also published an issues paper inviting comment on the use of non-compete clauses in Australia and their impact on workers, businesses, and competition.
“Underpinning this work, the Taskforce is analysing large datasets and taking a fresh approach to understand Australia’s competition landscape.
“Ultimately, the Taskforce’s role is to produce practical policies that will boost competition and help fuel innovation.”
Dr Leigh reiterated his Government’s support of a fair and open marketplace.
“We’ve increased penalties available under the Competition and Consumer Act to ensure a level playing field for all Australian businesses, big and small,” he said.
“We’ve delivered on our promise to strengthen unfair contract term laws – which are significant for the small businesses in the room who deal with larger businesses and standard form contracts.
“We’ve just passed legislation to provide designated consumer and small business advocates with a process where they can report significant or systemic market issues to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
“And we’ve consulted on options to address unfair trading practices that may currently fall outside the scope of the Australian Consumer Law.”
Dr Leigh outlined that his Government is actively backing the AAAA’s Right to Repair campaign.
“Prior to the introduction of the Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Information Sharing Scheme, around one in 10 vehicles taken to repair workshops experienced a lack of access to service and repair information,” he said.
“And some will recall situations where cars were being towed back to the dealership just to have a pin code entered.
“The scheme is an innovation that wouldn’t be possible without the backing of industry.
“For the first time, the scheme required data providers, including car manufacturers, to make motor vehicle service and repair information available for purchase by all Australian repairers and registered training organisations at a fair market price.
“Given the scheme is the first of its kind in Australia, we are not resting on our laurels. We are continuing to monitor for any potential implementation issues associated with the scheme, as they arise.
“The government is committed to ensuring the scheme remains fit-for-purpose, and we will continue to collaborate with the automotive sector to ensure Australia has world-leading right to repair laws.”

To learn more about the AAAA’s Right to Repair, visit