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Competition and Consumer Act 2010

Authoritative Version
Act No. 51 of 1974 as amended, taking into account amendments up to Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No. 6) Act 2021
An Act relating to competition, fair trading and consumer protection, and for other purposes
Administered by: Attorney-General's; Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water; Industry, Science and Resources; Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts; Treasury
Registered 21 Jul 2022
Start Date 01 Jul 2022
Table of contents.

Commonwealth Coat of Arms of Australia

Competition and Consumer Act 2010

No. 51, 1974

Compilation No. 140

Compilation date:                              1 July 2022

Includes amendments up to:            Act No. 111, 2021

Registered:                                         21 July 2022

This compilation is in 3 volumes

Volume 1:       sections 1–110

Volume 2:       sections 10.01–186

Volume 3:       Schedules

                        Endnotes

Each volume has its own contents

This compilation includes commenced amendments made by Act No. 54, 2021

About this compilation

This compilation

This is a compilation of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 that shows the text of the law as amended and in force on 1 July 2022 (the compilation date).

The notes at the end of this compilation (the endnotes) include information about amending laws and the amendment history of provisions of the compiled law.

Uncommenced amendments

The effect of uncommenced amendments is not shown in the text of the compiled law. Any uncommenced amendments affecting the law are accessible on the Legislation Register (www.legislation.gov.au). The details of amendments made up to, but not commenced at, the compilation date are underlined in the endnotes. For more information on any uncommenced amendments, see the series page on the Legislation Register for the compiled law.

Application, saving and transitional provisions for provisions and amendments

If the operation of a provision or amendment of the compiled law is affected by an application, saving or transitional provision that is not included in this compilation, details are included in the endnotes.

Editorial changes

For more information about any editorial changes made in this compilation, see the endnotes.

Modifications

If the compiled law is modified by another law, the compiled law operates as modified but the modification does not amend the text of the law. Accordingly, this compilation does not show the text of the compiled law as modified. For more information on any modifications, see the series page on the Legislation Register for the compiled law.

Self‑repealing provisions

If a provision of the compiled law has been repealed in accordance with a provision of the law, details are included in the endnotes.

  

  

  


Contents

Part I—Preliminary                                                                                                              1

1............................ Short title............................................................................ 1

2............................ Object of this Act................................................................ 1

2A......................... Application of Act to Commonwealth and Commonwealth authorities    1

2B.......................... Application of Act to States and Territories........................ 2

2BA....................... Application of Part IV to local government bodies............. 2

2C.......................... Activities that are not business............................................ 3

3............................ Repeal................................................................................. 4

4............................ Interpretation....................................................................... 5

4A......................... Subsidiary, holding and related bodies corporate.............. 20

4B.......................... Consumers........................................................................ 23

4C.......................... Acquisition, supply and re‑supply.................................... 23

4E.......................... Market.............................................................................. 24

4F.......................... References to purpose or reason....................................... 24

4G......................... Lessening of competition to include preventing or hindering competition                25

4H......................... Application of Act in relation to leases and licences of land and buildings              25

4J........................... Joint ventures.................................................................... 25

4K.......................... Loss or damage to include injury...................................... 26

4KA....................... Definitions etc. that do not apply in Part XI or Schedule 2 26

4L.......................... Severability....................................................................... 26

4M......................... Saving of law relating to restraint of trade and breaches of confidence    26

4N......................... Extended application of Part IIIA..................................... 27

5............................ Extended application of this Act to conduct outside Australia  27

6............................ Extended application of this Act to persons who are not corporations     28

6AA...................... Application of the Criminal Code..................................... 36

Part II—The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission     37

6A......................... Establishment of Commission.......................................... 37

7............................ Constitution of Commission............................................. 38

8............................ Terms and conditions of appointment............................... 38

8A......................... Associate members........................................................... 38

8AB....................... AER members taken to be associate members.................. 40

9............................ Remuneration.................................................................... 40

10.......................... Deputy Chairpersons........................................................ 41

11.......................... Acting Chairperson........................................................... 41

12.......................... Leave of absence............................................................... 42

13.......................... Termination of appointment of members of the Commission.. 42

14.......................... Termination of appointment of associate members of the Commission    43

15.......................... Resignation....................................................................... 44

16.......................... Arrangement of business.................................................. 44

17.......................... Disclosure of interests by Chairperson............................. 44

17A....................... Disclosure of certain interests by members of the Commission when taking part in determinations of matters.......................................................................................... 44

18.......................... Meetings of Commission.................................................. 45

19.......................... Chairperson may direct Commission to sit in Divisions... 46

25.......................... Delegation by Commission............................................... 48

26.......................... Delegation by Commission of certain functions and powers 48

27.......................... Staff of Commission......................................................... 50

27A....................... Consultants....................................................................... 50

28.......................... Functions of Commission in relation to dissemination of information, law reform and research             50

29.......................... Commission to comply with directions of Minister and requirements of the Parliament          52

Part IIA—The National Competition Council                                                   53

29A....................... Establishment of Council.................................................. 53

29B........................ Functions and powers of Council..................................... 53

29BA..................... Commonwealth consent to conferral of functions etc. on Council           54

29BB..................... How duty is imposed........................................................ 55

29BC..................... When a State/Territory energy law imposes a duty........... 56

29C........................ Membership of Council.................................................... 56

29D....................... Terms and conditions of office......................................... 56

29E........................ Acting Council President.................................................. 57

29F........................ Remuneration of Councillors............................................ 57

29G....................... Leave of absence............................................................... 57

29H....................... Termination of appointment of Councillors...................... 58

29I......................... Resignation of Councillors............................................... 58

29J......................... Arrangement of Council business..................................... 58

29L........................ Council meetings.............................................................. 59

29LA..................... Resolutions without meetings........................................... 59

29M....................... Staff to help Council......................................................... 60

29N....................... Consultants....................................................................... 60

29O....................... Annual report.................................................................... 60

Part III—The Australian Competition Tribunal                                              62

30.......................... Constitution of Tribunal.................................................... 62

31.......................... Qualifications of members of Tribunal............................. 62

31A....................... Appointment of Judge as presidential member of Tribunal not to affect tenure etc. 62

32.......................... Terms and conditions of appointment............................... 63

33.......................... Remuneration and allowances of members of Tribunal.... 63

34.......................... Acting appointments......................................................... 63

35.......................... Suspension and removal of members of Tribunal............. 65

36.......................... Resignation....................................................................... 65

37.......................... Constitution of Tribunal for particular matters.................. 66

38.......................... Validity of determinations................................................. 66

39.......................... President may give directions........................................... 66

40.......................... Disclosure of interests by members of Tribunal............... 66

41.......................... Presidential member to preside......................................... 67

42.......................... Decision of questions....................................................... 67

43.......................... Member of Tribunal ceasing to be available...................... 67

43A....................... Counsel assisting Tribunal................................................ 68

43B........................ Consultants....................................................................... 68

44.......................... Staff of Tribunal............................................................... 69

44A....................... Acting appointments......................................................... 69

Part IIIAA—The Australian Energy Regulator (AER)                              70

Division 1—Preliminary                                                                                            70

44AB..................... Definitions........................................................................ 70

44AC..................... This Part binds the Crown................................................ 70

44AD.................... Extra‑territorial operation.................................................. 70

Division 2—Establishment of the AER                                                              72

44AE..................... Establishment of the AER................................................. 72

44AF..................... AER to hold money and property on behalf of the Commonwealth         72

44AG.................... Constitution of the AER................................................... 72

Division 3—Functions and powers of the AER                                             73

44AH.................... Commonwealth functions................................................. 73

44AI...................... Commonwealth consent to conferral of functions etc. on AER                73

44AIA................... No merits review of AER decisions................................. 74

44AJ...................... How duty is imposed........................................................ 74

44AK..................... When a State/Territory energy law etc. imposes a duty..... 76

44AL..................... Powers of the AER........................................................... 76

Division 4—Administrative provisions relating to the AER                  77

Subdivision A—Appointment etc. of members                                                 77

44AM.................... Appointment of Commonwealth AER members.............. 77

44AO.................... Acting appointment of Commonwealth AER member...... 77

44AP..................... Appointment of State/Territory AER members................. 78

44AQ.................... Acting appointment of State/Territory AER member........ 78

44AR..................... AER Chair........................................................................ 79

44ARA.................. AER Deputy Chair........................................................... 79

44ARB.................. AER Deputy Chair to act as the AER Chair..................... 80

44AS..................... Acting AER Deputy Chair................................................ 80

44AT..................... Remuneration of AER members....................................... 81

44AU.................... Additional remuneration of AER Chair............................ 81

44AV.................... Leave of absence............................................................... 81

44AW.................... Other terms and conditions............................................... 82

44AX.................... Outside employment......................................................... 82

44AY.................... Disclosure of interests...................................................... 82

44AZ..................... Resignation....................................................................... 83

44AAB.................. Termination of appointment.............................................. 83

Subdivision B—Staff etc. to assist the AER                                                       84

44AAC.................. Staff etc. to assist the AER............................................... 84

Subdivision C—Meetings of the AER etc.                                                          84

44AAD................. Meetings........................................................................... 84

44AAE.................. Resolutions without meetings........................................... 85

44AAEA............... Arbitration........................................................................ 85

Subdivision CA—Divisions of the AER                                                              86

44AAEB............... Divisions of the AER—functions and powers under a law of the Commonwealth 86

44AAEC............... Divisions of the AER—functions and powers under a State/Territory energy law or a local energy instrument.......................................................................................... 88

Subdivision D—Miscellaneous                                                                              90

44AAF.................. Confidentiality.................................................................. 90

44AAFA............... Power of AER to obtain information and documents....... 92

44AAFB............... Failure to comply with notice to give information etc. is an offence         93

44AAFC............... AER may inspect, copy and retain documents.................. 94

44AAG................. Federal Court may make certain orders............................. 95

44AAGA.............. Federal Court may order disconnection if an event specified in the National Electricity Rules occurs     96

44AAH................. Delegation by the AER..................................................... 97

44AAI................... Fees.................................................................................. 97

44AAK.................. Regulations may deal with transitional matters................. 97

Part IIIAB—Application of the finance law                                                       99

44AAL.................. Application of the finance law.......................................... 99

Part IIIA—Access to services                                                                                      100

Division 1—Preliminary                                                                                          100

44AA.................... Objects of Part................................................................ 100

44B........................ Definitions...................................................................... 100

44C........................ How this Part applies to partnerships and joint ventures 104

44CA..................... Meaning of declaration criteria...................................... 105

44D....................... Meaning of designated Minister..................................... 106

44DA.................... The principles in the Competition Principles Agreement have status as guidelines  107

44E........................ This Part binds the Crown.............................................. 108

Division 2—Declared services                                                                             109

Subdivision A—Recommendation by the Council                                         109

44F........................ Person may request recommendation.............................. 109

44FA..................... Council may request information.................................... 111

44G....................... Criteria for the Council recommending declaration of a service               112

44GA.................... Time limit for Council recommendations........................ 112

44GB..................... Council may invite public submissions on the application 114

44GC..................... Council must publish its recommendation...................... 116

Subdivision B—Declaration by the designated Minister                              117

44H....................... Designated Minister may declare a service..................... 117

44HA.................... Designated Minister must publish his or her decision.... 117

44I......................... Duration and effect of declaration................................... 118

44J......................... Revocation of declaration................................................ 119

44K........................ Review of declaration..................................................... 120

44KA..................... Tribunal may stay operation of declaration..................... 121

44KB..................... Tribunal may order costs be awarded............................. 123

44L........................ Review of decision not to revoke a declaration............... 124

Division 2AA—Services that are ineligible to be declared                   126

Subdivision A—Scope of Division                                                                      126

44LA..................... Constitutional limits on operation of this Division.......... 126

Subdivision B—Ineligibility recommendation by Council                          126

44LB..................... Ineligibility recommendation........................................... 126

44LC..................... Council may request information.................................... 128

44LD..................... Time limit for Council recommendations........................ 129

44LE...................... Council may invite public submissions on the application 131

44LF...................... Council must publish its recommendation...................... 132

Subdivision C—Designated Minister’s decision on ineligibility                 133

44LG..................... Designated Minister’s decision on ineligibility............... 133

44LH..................... Designated Minister must publish his or her decision.... 135

Subdivision D—Revocation of ineligibility decision                                     135

44LI....................... Revocation of ineligibility decision................................. 135

Subdivision E—Review of decisions                                                                  137

44LJ...................... Review of ineligibility decisions..................................... 137

44LK..................... Review of decision to revoke or not revoke an ineligibility decision        139

Subdivision F—Other matters                                                                            141

44LL...................... Ineligibility decisions subject to alteration, cancellation etc. 141

Division 2A—Effective access regimes                                                           142

Subdivision A—Recommendation by Council                                                142

44M....................... Recommendation for a Ministerial decision on effectiveness of access regime        142

44MA.................... Council may request information.................................... 143

Subdivision B—Decision by Commonwealth Minister                                 143

44N....................... Ministerial decision on effectiveness of access regime... 143

Subdivision C—Extensions of Commonwealth Minister’s decision          145

44NA.................... Recommendation by Council.......................................... 145

44NAA................. Council may request information.................................... 146

44NB..................... Decision by the Commonwealth Minister....................... 146

Subdivision CA—Revocation of Commonwealth Minister’s decision      147

44NBA.................. Recommendation by Council.......................................... 147

44NBB.................. Council may request information.................................... 149

44NBC.................. Decision by the Commonwealth Minister....................... 150

Subdivision D—Procedural provisions                                                            150

44NC..................... Time limit for Council recommendations........................ 150

44NE..................... Council may invite public submissions........................... 153

44NF..................... Publication—Council...................................................... 155

44NG.................... Publication—Commonwealth Minister........................... 156

Subdivision E—Review of decisions                                                                  157

44O....................... Review of Ministerial decision on effectiveness of access regime           157

Subdivision F—State or Territory ceasing to be a party to Competition Principles Agreement               158

44P........................ State or Territory ceasing to be a party to Competition Principles Agreement          158

Division 2B—Competitive tender processes for government owned facilities   160

44PA..................... Approval of competitive tender process.......................... 160

44PAA.................. Commission may request information............................ 161

44PB..................... Report on conduct of tender process............................... 162

44PC..................... Revocation of approval decision..................................... 162

44PD..................... Time limit for Commission decisions............................. 164

44PE...................... Commission may invite public submissions................... 166

44PF...................... Commission must publish its decisions.......................... 167

44PG..................... Review of Commission’s initial decision........................ 168

44PH..................... Review of decision to revoke an approval...................... 170

Division 2C—Register of decisions and declarations                              172

44Q....................... Register of decisions, declarations and ineligibility decisions  172

Division 3—Access to declared services                                                         173

Subdivision A—Scope of Division                                                                      173

44R........................ Constitutional limits on operation of this Division.......... 173

Subdivision B—Notification of access disputes                                              173

44S........................ Notification of access disputes........................................ 173

44T........................ Withdrawal of notifications............................................. 174

Subdivision C—Arbitration of access disputes                                               174

44U....................... Parties to the arbitration.................................................. 174

44V....................... Determination by Commission....................................... 174

44W....................... Restrictions on access determinations............................. 176

44X....................... Matters that the Commission must take into account...... 178

44XA.................... Time limit for Commission’s final determination............ 179

44Y....................... Commission may terminate arbitration in certain cases... 180

44YA.................... Commission must terminate arbitration if declaration varied or set aside by Tribunal              181

Subdivision D—Procedure in arbitrations                                                      181

44Z........................ Constitution of Commission for conduct of arbitration... 181

44ZA..................... Member of the Commission presiding at an arbitration.. 181

44ZB..................... Reconstitution of Commission........................................ 182

44ZC..................... Determination of questions............................................. 182

44ZD..................... Hearing to be in private................................................... 182

44ZE...................... Right to representation.................................................... 183

44ZF...................... Procedure of Commission.............................................. 183

44ZG..................... Particular powers of Commission................................... 184

44ZH..................... Power to take evidence on oath or affirmation................ 185

44ZI....................... Failing to attend as a witness.......................................... 185

44ZJ...................... Failing to answer questions etc....................................... 185

44ZK..................... Intimidation etc............................................................... 186

44ZL...................... Party may request Commission to treat material as confidential               186

44ZM.................... Sections 18 and 19 do not apply to the Commission in an arbitration      187

44ZN..................... Parties to pay costs of an arbitration............................... 187

44ZNA.................. Joint arbitration hearings................................................. 187

Subdivision DA—Arbitration reports                                                               189

44ZNB.................. Arbitration reports.......................................................... 189

Subdivision E—Effect of determinations                                                        191

44ZO..................... Operation of final determinations.................................... 191

44ZOA.................. Effect and duration of interim determinations................. 192

Subdivision F—Review of final determinations                                             193

44ZP...................... Review by Tribunal........................................................ 193

44ZQ..................... Provisions that do not apply in relation to a Tribunal review 194

44ZR..................... Appeals to Federal Court from determinations of the Tribunal                194

44ZS...................... Operation and implementation of a determination that is subject to appeal               195

44ZT...................... Transmission of documents............................................ 196

Subdivision G—Variation and revocation of determinations                    196

44ZU..................... Variation of final determinations..................................... 196

44ZUA.................. Variation and revocation of interim determinations......... 196

Division 4—Registered contracts for access to declared services   197

44ZV..................... Constitutional limits on operation of this Division.......... 197

44ZW.................... Registration of contract................................................... 197

44ZX..................... Review of decision not to register contract..................... 198

44ZY..................... Effect of registration of contract...................................... 199

Division 5—Hindering access to declared services                                  200

44ZZ...................... Prohibition on hindering access to declared services...... 200

Division 6—Access undertakings and access codes for services       201

Subdivision A—Giving of access undertakings and access codes              201

44ZZA................... Access undertakings by providers.................................. 201

44ZZAAA............. Proposed amendments to access undertakings................ 203

44ZZAAB............. Access undertakings containing fixed principles............ 205

44ZZAA................ Access codes prepared by industry bodies..................... 207

44ZZAB................ Commission may rely on industry body consultations... 209

Subdivision B—Effect of access undertakings and access codes               210

44ZZBA................ When access undertakings and access codes come into operation            210

Subdivision C—Extensions of access undertakings and access codes       211

44ZZBB................ Extensions of access undertakings and access codes...... 211

Subdivision