Labor has championed the cause of Australian consumers, but a lack of action from the Liberal-National Government has left regional Australians paying over the mark in many vital, day to day expenses.

Two years ago, in 2016, Bill Shorten made the commitment that a Labor government would give Australia’s competition watchdog an independent market studies power. This would allow the watchdog to independently target problem markets, like the petrol supply chain, and ensure they are delivering for Australian consumers, no matter where they live.

Labor knows that lack of competition means consumers pay more, but the government has been slow to act on public concerns about increased pressure on household budgets, particularly for Australians living in regional areas.

Under a Labor government, the competition watchdog will have a free rein to identify competition problems before they wreak havoc. They will be able to set out possible solutions and pursue any relevant penalties under existing laws.

Labor will also double the amount of money that the consumer watchdog can use to pursue anti-competitive businesses in court.

And to ensure that it’s bad business to rip off our regional customers, we will significantly increase the penalties for any businesses found guilty of engaging in anti-consumer and anti-competitive actions.

Only Labor will ensure our competition watchdog has the powers and tools to ensure Australian consumers across the country are getting a fair deal, whether it’s in the supermarket aisle or at the petrol bowser.

Updated: 4 November 2018