Harvey Norman Executives Ask For Deregulation Of Trading Hours
During aq visit to Canberra yesterday the group that included Harvey Norman director Katie Page, told senior politicians and regulators that promises of reform at a federal level were being undone, and in some cases made worse, by more and more state regulations.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott pledged to clamp down on regulations and relook at the efficiency of having as many as 150 federal regulatory bodies.
At a meeting between the Australian National Retailers Association and key policymakers yesterday, competition also emerged as a key issue as the recent Harper Review into competition law proposed a change to section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act.
As revealed by The Australian yesterday, The ANRA board, chaired by Woolworths boss Grant O’Brien, had closed-door meetings in Canberra that included Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson, Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims and author of the Harper Review into competition, Ian Harper.
Other ANRA attendees of the meeting included Bunnings boss John Gillam and the CEO of Harvey Norman, Katie Page.
The Australian newspaper said that at the meeting the retail bosses expressed their unease at a slowing pace of deregulation, saying any “goodies” promised by the federal government in terms of industrial relations, deregulation or tax reform were being undone by state governments.
These “baddies” included a patchwork of different trading hours across the states as well as other industrial relations and workplace rules that are a particular headache to national retailers that have stores across Australia.