Vote of thanks to the Business Sydney business breakfast

18 July 2022

BCCM CEO Melina Morrison’s vote of thanks to the Business Sydney business breakfast with ACCC chair, Gina Cass-Gottlieb

Friday 15, July 2022, PWC, Sydney

Good morning,

Thank you, to Business Sydney for another great event. Thank you to PWC for hosting us here in this lovely room and for that view! Thank you, Ross (Greenwood) for excellent moderating and business insights, as always.

The first thing to say, is to welcome you, chair, into your role from the business community here today.

Welcome and congratulations as the first woman in the role, and for competing successfully for that role. It is overdue and we are very pleased.

Welcome as the new ‘cop on the beat’ – if I can describe your role like that.

We are taught to expect markets and free markets to produce competition and consumer choice and we learn, early on, that it doesn’t always flow that way.

So it’s important and vital to have the ACCC, and to hear your remarks today about your key areas of attention and need in relation to competitive markets and consumer protection.

As a representative of a business sector, co-operatives and mutuals, that focuses on shaping markets in the interests of consumers and end users by putting people – the customers and our members – at the centre of the business structure; ensuring fair pricing, and genuine competition is close to our heart. Always acting in the interests of the members, is what we do.

Also as a business structure that helps around 160,000 small and medium businesses to be able to compete with much larger firms and gives them a stake in the market whist also safeguarding their independence and local ownership, we are very pleased by your stated objective to protect small business.

My biggest takeout from your address today, is the practical implications of competition regulation. This ‘stuff’ really matters. Whether we are talking about button batteries that can be ingested by babies with devastating consequences, or other examples, competition has real world consequences for everyday Australians – take inflation, cost of living pressures, food security or debt traps or the greenwashing you mentioned, people need to rely on the information they receive to make the right choices and not have trust undermined.

We are all better for markets that work efficiently and don’t distort the outcomes for consumers, so thank you on our behalf and in advance for the work you will do to help ensure a better economy for all.

From what we have heard today, I think it’s fair to say that the ‘CCC’ in ACCC might also stand for ‘caring, compassionate and critical thinking’ under your stewardship.

Please join me everyone in thanking the Commissioner again.

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