This is not the “government for the people” speaking, it is the “government by and for the bankers and industry”.
Coalition MPs and industry groups are using a review of competition laws to push for a ban on campaigns against companies on the grounds that they are selling products that damage the environment, for example by using old-growth timber or overfished seafood.
The parliamentary secretary for agriculture, Richard Colbeck, said the backbench rural committee and “quite a number in the ministry” want to use the review to remove an exemption for environmental groups from the consumer law ban on so-called “secondary boycotts”.
“I do think there is an appetite in the government for changing these laws,” Colbeck said.
The exemption also applies to campaigns related to “consumer protection” but Colbeck said he would not be seeking to change that provision.
The government announced last week a “root and branch review” of competition policy headed by the economist Professor Ian Harper.
Groups including the Australian Forest Products Association and parts of…
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