The Abbott government has delayed its response to the Harper review on competition policy until at least September, and it will tend to keep away from state issues in the report.

These were among the key take-outs from Small Business Minister Bruce Billson’s appearance at a CEDA lunch in Melbourne today.

The final Harper report was handed to the government on March 31 and author Ian Harper was hopeful of an early decision to maintain reform momentum.

Mr Billson today made clear he backs the controversial changes to section 46, which outlaw abuse of market power, but on other areas of the report he was negative.

He made clear he didn’t agree with plans to split the ACCC with the creation of a competition policy council and also said he would let state regulators handle state law.

The landmark Hilmer review was led by the federal government using compensation to promote better state laws.

But when asked today about taxi reform, Mr Billson said it was an issue for the states.

There were several other policies cited in the report, like retail shopping hours, which were envisaged as being led by the federal government.

But Mr Billson has made it clear Canberra will leave states free to enact whatever laws they want.

Extracted in full from The Australian.