Supermarkets authorised to continue cooperating on COVID-19 response

Supermarket operators will be allowed to continue cooperating to ensure supply of food and groceries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, under an ACCC authorisation granted today.

Coles, Woolworths, Metcash, Aldi, and other grocery retailers whose participation is approved by the ACCC will be allowed to coordinate with each other when working with manufacturers, suppliers, and transport and logistics providers.

ACCC authorises Australian Banking Association to coordinate COVID-19 relief measures

The ACCC has issued a determination granting conditional authorisation to enable Australian Banking Association member banks and third party suppliers or agents (where relevant) to enter into agreements for the purpose of providing relief to bank customers who are suffering hardship (including reduced levels of service or reduced access to banking services), or may suffer such hardship without that conduct, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated government measures.

Appeals process needed in Solar Retailer Code

The ACCC is proposing to require inclusion of an appeals process in granting re-authorisation to the Clean Energy Council’s Solar Retailer Code of Conduct.

The Solar Code sets minimum standards for retailers selling solar photovoltaic (solar PV) systems to consumers. To be an approved retailer, solar retailers must comply with standards covering advertising, contract documentation, finance and payments, design and installation, and complaints handling.

ACCC proposes to authorise cooperation to optimise NBN during the COVID-19 pandemic

The ACCC has issued a draft determination proposing to grant conditional authorisation to enable NBN Co and a group of retail communications services providers (the Special Working Group) to discuss, agree, and implement capacity optimisation strategies for the National Broadband Network, solely for the purpose of responding to the changes in demand on the network resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

ACCC grants authorisation to participants in the Australian mining sector

The ACCC has issued a draft determination proposing to grant conditional authorisation to enable the Minerals Council of Australia, together with seven other mining and exploration industry associations and their members, to coordinate and collaborate to respond to shortages in certain critical services and supplies arising out of the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

ACCC grants authorisation to Australian Energy Council Limited

On 5 August 2020, the ACCC issued a draft determination proposing to grant conditional authorisation to enable the Australian Energy Council (AEC), its members and other participating retailers of gas or electricity to share information, discuss and in due course enter into and/or give effect to any contract, arrangement or understanding between them, or engage in any conduct, which has the purpose of providing financial and/or other relief to retail energy customers facing financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including residential customers and business customers of any size. 

Proposal to allow continued cooperation on fuel supply security measures

The Australian Institute of Petroleum (AIP) and major oil refineries will be allowed to continue to cooperate on measures to ensure the security of fuel supplies in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic, under a proposed authorisation from the ACCC. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant decline in demand for jet fuel and petrol in Australia, and there is a potential for disruptions to the international supply chains for fuel imported into Australia.