The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted interim authorisation to Lottery Agents Queensland to continue to negotiate on behalf of its members in relation to existing terms and conditions of agency agreements and arrangements with Golden Casket Lottery Corporation.
However, interim authorisation has not been granted to allow Lottery Agents Queensland to negotiate on additional matters that are not currently included in agency agreements or matters that are currently unforeseen.
“Granting interim authorisation will allow Lottery Agents Queensland to continue to conduct negotiations on behalf of its members with unnecessary disruptions, while the ACCC considers the merits of the substantive application,” ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.
The collective bargaining arrangements were initially authorised by the ACCC in 2003 and were subsequently re-authorised in 2008. Lottery Agents Queensland is seeking interim authorisation as the existing authorisation expires on 10 December 2013.
The ACCC has previously authorised similar collective bargaining arrangements for lottery agents in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania. The ACCC has also recently authorised a similar collective bargaining arrangement by Queensland Newsagents Federation.
Interim authorisation commences immediately, and will remain in place until the date that the ACCC's final determination comes into effect or is revoked.
The granting of interim authorisation in no way binds the ACCC in its consideration of the substantive application for authorisation.
The ACCC has sought submissions from interested parties on the Lottery Agents Queenland substantive application for authorisation.
Authorisation provides statutory protection from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Broadly, the ACCC may grant an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment.
Interim authorisation allows the parties to engage in the conduct prior to the ACCC considering the substantive merits of the application.
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