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As an independent legal authority, the Commission manages the Trade Practices Act 1974 (TPA) and the Prices Surveillance Act 1983 and has additional powers under other legal provisions. The EEA`s objective, as defined by legislation, is to improve the well-being of Australians by promoting competition, fair trade and consumer protection. As part of the national competition policy reform programme, the AEA has been amended to ensure that its prohibitions on anti-competitive behaviour apply to virtually all businesses in Australia, as well as to applicable national legislation. As part of the agreement on the implementation of national competition policy and related reforms, the Australian government granted three tranches of payments to states and territories initiated in 1997-98. Payments were made to states and territories (per capita) where they made satisfactory progress in their reform commitments. In addition to annual evaluations, the National Competition Council conducted additional and deferred assessments during the national competition program period. These evaluations focused on specific issues that showed that implementation of the reform was underway, but that it had not yet been fully implemented at the time of the annual evaluation. The national competition policy and related reform package, as defined in the three national competition policy agreements, included: on 4 October 1992, Prime Minister Keating announced the creation of a wide-ranging independent inquiry into competition policy in Australia, thus implementing the decision of the previous year`s Heads of State and Government; see the Prime Minister`s statement on national competition policy and the annexed mandate of 4 October 1992. The mandate was established in consultation with states and territories and focused on areas outside the Trade Practices Act.

The survey was chaired by Professor Fred Hilmer, Dean of the Australian Graduate School of Management at the University of New South Wales, which was joined by Geoff Taperell, a partner at Baker-McKenzie, and Mark Rayner, Executive Group, CRA Ltd. The National Competition Council presented the Treasurer of the Australian Government with its assessment of progress in implementing the reform. Progress assessments have focused on the Australian government as well as on states and territories. Reports on the situation became public when the Treasurer announced a decision on the distribution of transfers: the Evaluation Reports of the National Competition Council for 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 are available to the public. In addition, the Competition Policy Reform Act 1995 created two new institutions to ensure the implementation of the competition policy package. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) was created by the merger of the former Trade Practices Commission and the Prices Surveillance Authority with the main mission of implementing the TPA. The National Competition Council (NCC) was established on 6 November 1995 as an independent advisory body for all Australian governments on national competition policy, in accordance with Section 29A of the TPA. The Trade Practices Act is our main legislative weapon to ensure that consumers get the best deal from the competition. But there are now many sectors of the Australian economy that are immune to this law: some Commonwealth companies, state-owned enterprises and important sectors of the private sector, including the professions. In December 2016, the NSW Prime Minister signed the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) on Competition and Productivity Reforms, in collaboration with the governments of Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. In approving the principles of competition policy set out in the Hilmer report, COAG adopted a series of initiatives such as those outlined in the Council of Australian Governments` Hobart Communiqué of 25 February 1994, including the Salt Agreement