Section 171(2) reporting requirements
Section 51(1) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (CCA) provides that conduct that would normally contravene the law may be permitted if it is specifically authorised under other Commonwealth, state or territory legislation. Section 171(2) of the CCA requires this report to list all such laws.
Exceptions under Australian, state and territory legislation
Below is a list of the legislation that allows such conduct or provides for regulations to be made authorising particular conduct. The list includes legislation of which the ACCC has been notified or has otherwise become aware.
Australian Postal Corporation Act 1989
Banking Act 1959
Competition and Consumer Act 2010
Customs Act 1901
Financial Sector (Business Transfer and Group Restructure) Act 1999
Insurance Act 1973
Life Insurance Act 1995
Liquid Fuel Emergency Act 1984
Payment Systems (Regulation) Act 1998
Social Security (Administration) Act 1999
Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Act 2012
Telecommunications Act 1997
Australian Capital Territory
Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003
Competition Policy Reform Act 1996
Financial Management Act 1996
Government Procurement Act 2001
Health Act 1993
Insurance Authority Act 2005
Racing Act 1999
Road Transport (Public Passenger Services) Act 2001
Territory Records Act 2002
Waste Management and Resource Recovery Act 2016
New South Wales
Australian Jockey and Sydney Turf Clubs Merger Act 2010
Betting and Racing Act 1998
Casino Control Regulation 2019
Coal Industry Act 2001
Competition Policy Reform (New South Wales) Act 1995
Electricity Generator Assets (Authorised Transactions) Act 2012
Gaming Machines Act 2001
Health Services Act 1997
Hunter Water Act 1991
Industrial Relations Act 1996
Industrial Relations (Ethical Clothing Trades) Act 2001
James Hardie Former Subsidiaries (Winding up and Administration) Act 2005
Land and Property Information NSW (Authorised Transaction) Act 2016
Liquor Act 2007
Major Events Act 2009
Passenger Transport Act 2014
Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Act 2016
Rice Marketing Act 1983
Sporting Venues Authorities Act 2008
Thoroughbred Racing Act 1996
Totalizator Act 1997
Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001
Competition Policy Reform (Northern Territory) Act 1996
Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading Act 1990
Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading (Tow Truck Operators Code of Practice) Regulations 1996
Electricity Reform Act 2000
Environmental Protection (Beverage Containers and Plastic Bags) Act 2011
Liquor Act 2019
Water Supply and Sewerage Services Act 2000
Competition Policy Reform (Queensland) Act 1996
Gladstone Power Station Agreement Act 1993
Racing Act 2002
Sugar Industry Act 1999
Sugar Industry Regulation 2010
Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994
Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011
Authorised Betting Operations Act 2000
Competition Policy Reform (South Australia) Act 1996
Cooper Basin (Ratification) Act 1975
Roxby Downs (Indenture Ratification) Act 1982
Competition Policy Reform (Tasmania) Act 1996
Electricity Reform Act 2012
Electricity Supply Industry Act 1995
Electricity Supply Industry Restructuring (Savings and Transitional Provisions) Act 1995
Gaming Control Act 1993
Rail Company Act 2009
TOTE Tasmania (Sale) Act 2009
Water and Sewerage Corporation Act 2012
Gambling Regulation Act 2003
Gas Industry (Residual Provisions) Act 1994
Health Services Act 1988
Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014
Liquor Control Reform Act 1998
Outworkers (Improved Protection) Act 2003
Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005
State Owned Enterprises Act 1992
Competition Policy Reform (Western Australia) Act 1996
Electricity Corporations Act 2005
Electricity Industry (Wholesale Electricity Market) Regulations 2004
Electricity Industry Act 2004
Energy Coordination Act 1994
Fair Trading Act 2010
Fair Trading (Fitness Industry Interim Code) Regulations 2019
Liquor Control Act 1988
North West Gas Development (Woodside) Agreement Act 1979
Owners-Drivers (Contracts and Disputes) Act 2007
Surveillance Devices Amendment Regulations 2020
TAB Disposal Act 2019
Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007
Section 171(3) reporting requirements
Time taken to make final determinations and decisions
Final determinations on access disputes under section 44V
No decisions were made under s. 44V during 2019–20.
Decisions on access undertaking applications and access code applications
In response to an application from the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) on 29 July 2019, on 26 September 2019 the ACCC published a notice extending the ARTC 2008 Interstate Access Undertaking (IAU) to 30 June 2020. On 23 August 2019 ARTC sought the ACCC’s views on revaluing the regulated asset base (RAB) of the interstate network using the depreciated optimised replacement cost (DORC) methodology. Following consultation, the ACCC gave written guidance on 8 November 2019 that undertaking a DORC revaluation was the most appropriate approach to valuing the RAB for the replacement IAU, with the ACCC engaging a consultant.
On 25 November 2019 ARTC provided a public commitment to adopt the DORC value in its replacement IAU. The ACCC engaged GHD Advisory on 23 April 2020 to undertake the DORC valuation. In response to an application from ARTC on 5 May 2020, on 19 June 2020 the ACCC published a notice extending the 2008 IAU to 30 June 2021, thereby allowing time for both the DORC process and the assessment of the next IAU to be completed.
Decisions on applications under section 44PA(1)
No decisions were made on applications under s. 44PA(1).
Notices under the CCA
General description of matters for which notices were given
In 2019–20, a total of 583 notices were issued during ACCC/AER market studies and investigations of conduct potentially in contravention of restrictive trade practices provisions, industry codes and consumer and small business protection provisions in the CCA.
Types of notices issued
- No notices under s. 51ADD (requiring the provision of information or documents that the addressee is required to keep, generate or publish under an applicable industry code).
- 208 notices under s. 95ZK (requiring the provision of information and/or documents relating to the affairs of the addressee that may be relevant to an ACCC inquiry or ACCC monitoring, as set out in the provision).
- No notices under s. 133D (requiring the provision of information and documentation relating to the safety of consumer goods).
- 209 notices under s. 155(1)(a) and (b) (requiring the addressee to furnish information in writing and produce documents).
- 22 notices under s. 155(1)(a) (requiring the addressee to furnish information).
- 65 notices under s. 155(1)(b) (requiring the addressee to produce documents).
- 79 notices under s. 155(1)(c) (requiring the addressee to appear in person and give evidence).
- No notices under s. 155A (requiring the provision of information and documents relating to a matter that may constitute a misuse of market power in a trans-Tasman market).
Challenges to the validity of notices
No proceedings were instituted to challenge the validity of a notice.
Search warrants issued or signed
No search warrants were issued by a judge under s. 135Z or signed by a judge under s. 136.
There were 15 warrants issued by a magistrate under s. 154X (Part XID). No search warrants were signed by a magistrate under s. 154Y.
General description of matters for which search warrants were issued or signed
Fifteen search warrants were issued pursuant to s. 154X during 2019–20 in relation to four investigations. All of the warrants were in relation to alleged contravention of prohibitions on the making and giving effect to contracts, arrangements or understandings containing cartel provisions. Six of the warrants also related to alleged contravention of the prohibition on engaging in a concerted practice that has the purpose, effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition.
Challenges to the validity of search warrants
There were no challenges to the validity of the search warrants.
Entry to premises
There were 923 entries onto premises under s. 133B, s. 133C or Division 6 of Part XI.
There were no entries to premises with consent under s. 154D (Part XID).
Inspectors appointed under ss. 133(1) and 133(2) of the CCA may enter the premises from which a person in trade or commerce supplies consumer goods and service, if the public has access to the premises at the time of entry. While on the premises, the inspector may take photographs, inspect consumer goods and equipment or purchase consumer goods and services. During 2019–20 surveillance employees appointed as inspectors undertook 923 entries to premises under ss. 133B or 133C as part of the ACCC routine surveillance program.
Complaints received by the ACCC
Details of the number of complaints received by the ACCC in 2019–20 and a summary of the kinds of complaints received and how they were dealt with are at Responding to enquiries and reports.
Substantiation notices issued
Three substantiation notices were issued pursuant to s. 219(2)(a) and (c) of the CCA requiring addressees to provide a written signed statement or produce documents substantiating or supporting their claims relating to the performance characteristics of engine-alternator sets (portable generators).
Audit notices issued
In 2019–20, no notices were issued under s. 51ADD (requiring the addressee to give information or produce documents).
Intervention in proceedings
Neither the ACCC nor the AER intervened in any proceedings during 2019–20.
Section 56CH(4) reporting requirements
Section 56CH(4) of the CCA requires this report to include information about the performance of the Consumer Data Right (CDR) Data Recipient Accreditor’s functions, and the exercise of the Data Recipient Accreditor’s powers (see the description of functions under Data Recipient Accreditor).
During the 2019–20 financial year, the Data Recipient Accreditor:
- approved both full and streamlined forms for persons to use when applying to be accredited at the unrestricted level
- accredited two persons.
Section 56CL(4) reporting requirements
Section 56CL(4) of the CCA requires this report to include information about the performance of the CDR Accreditation Registrar’s functions and the exercise of the Accreditation Registrar’s powers (see the description of functions under Accreditation Registrar).
During the 2019–20 financial year, the Registrar:
- established and maintained the Register of Accredited Persons and associated database
- published information on the register about four data holders and two accredited persons (see further information under Actions undertaken to achieve our purpose)
- maintained the security, integrity and stability of the Register of Accredited Persons and associated database by making a written request to accredited persons and data holders to do a specified thing.