ACCC watching waterfront

8 April 1998

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is watching the waterfront and shipping industries and has warned that all industry participants must comply with the provisions of the Trade Practices Act, including the provisions introduced in 1997 concerning boycotts.

'Industry participants must understand their obligations to comply with the Trade Practices Act', ACCC Chairman, Professor Allan Fels, said today. 'If necessary, the ACCC will act swiftly to enforce the Act in the public interest. 'The ACCC will enforce the Act fairly against anyone, whether they be businesses or unions and in the same manner as the Commission would enforce the Act against other anticompetitive practices.

'The ACCC will investigate complaints about any alleged breaches of the law and will also initiate its own investigations where it observes possible breaches of the Act. In taking legal action to stop alleged breaches, the ACCC will rely on information from industry participants. Anybody who believes they may be being affected by illegal activity should alert the ACCC quickly and the ACCC will consider whether there are grounds for enforcement action.'

Attached are summaries of some relevant provisions of the Trade Practices Act covering boycotts. Where persons believe there has been a breach of the Act, the ACCC is assisted by the provision of information which constitutes a basis for evidence to be used by the presented in any legal proceedings that may result.

For example, in relation to boycotts, such information typically includes descriptions in some detail of the specific behaviour of concern and descriptions of its actual effects. Attached also is a list of the ACCC's offices and contact details. Anybody can provide information about an alleged breach to these offices.

Release number: 
MR 066/98
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