Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)
Commission to afford opportunity for conference before determining application for authorisation
(1) Before determining an application for an authorization (other than an application for an authorisation under subsection 88(9)), the Commission shall prepare a draft determination in relation to the application.
(2) The Commission shall, by notice in writing sent to the applicant and to each other interested person, invite the applicant or other person to notify the Commission, within 14 days after a date fixed by the Commission being not earlier than the day on which the notice is sent, whether the applicant or other person wishes the Commission to hold a conference in relation to the draft determination.
(a) the draft determination provides for the granting of the application unconditionally; and
(b) no person has made a written submission to the Commission opposing the application;
each notice by the Commission under subsection (2) shall inform the person to whom the notice is sent that the draft determination so provides.
(a) the draft determination does not provide for the granting of the application or provides for the granting of the application subject to conditions; or
(b) the draft determination provides for the granting of the application unconditionally but a written submission has, or written submissions have, been made to the Commission opposing the application;
the Commission shall send with each notice under subsection (2) a copy of the draft determination and:
(c) in a case to which paragraph (a) applies - a summary of the reasons why the Commission is not satisfied that the application should be granted or why it is not satisfied that the application should be granted unconditionally; or
(d) in a case to which paragraph (b) applies—a summary of the reasons why it is satisfied that the application should be granted unconditionally.
(5) If each of the persons to whom a notice was sent under subsection (2):
(a) notifies the Commission within the period of 14 days mentioned in that subsection that he or she does not wish the Commission to hold a conference in relation to the draft determination; or
(b) does not notify the Commission within that period that he or she wishes the Commission to hold such a conference;
the Commission may make the determination at any time after the expiration of that period.
(6) If any of the persons to whom a notice was sent under subsection (2) notifies the Commission in writing within the period of 14 days mentioned in that subsection that he or she wishes the Commission to hold a conference in relation to the draft determination, the Commission shall appoint a date (being not later than 30 days after the expiration of that period), time and place for the holding of the conference and give notice of the date, time and place so appointed to each of the persons to whom a notice was sent under subsection (2).
(7) At the conference:
(a) the Commission shall be represented by a member or members of the Commission (being a member or members who participated in the preparation of the draft determination) nominated by the Chairperson; and
(b) each person to whom a notice was sent under subsection (2) and any other interested person whose presence at the conference is considered by the Commission to be appropriate is entitled to attend and participate personally or, in the case of a body corporate, may be represented by a person who, or by persons each of whom, is a director, officer or employee of the body corporate; and
(c) a person participating in the conference in accordance with paragraph (a) or (b) is entitled to have another person or other persons present to assist him or her but a person who so assists another person at the conference is not entitled to participate in the discussion; and
(e) no other person is entitled to be present.
(8) A member of the Commission participating in the conference shall make such record of the discussions as is sufficient to set out the matters raised by the persons participating in the conference.
(9) The member of the Commission who represents the Commission at the conference, or, if the Commission is represented by more than one member of the Commission, one of those members appointed by the Chairperson:
(a) may exclude from the conference any person who uses insulting language at the conference, creates, or takes part in creating or continuing, a disturbance at the conference or repeatedly interrupts the conference;
(b) may terminate the conference when he or she is of the opinion that a reasonable opportunity has been given for the expression of the views of persons participating in the conference (other than persons excluded from the conference under paragraph (a)); and
(c) shall give a certificate certifying the day on which the first notification under subsection (6) in relation to the draft determination was received by the Commission and the day on which the conference terminated;
and any such certificate shall be received in all courts as evidence of the matters certified.
(10) A document purporting to be a certificate referred to in subsection (9) shall, unless the contrary is established, be deemed to be such a certificate and to have been duly given.
(11) The Commission shall take account of all matters raised at the conference and may at any time after the termination of the conference make a determination in respect of the application.
(12) For the purposes of this section, interested person means a person who has notified the Commission in writing that he or she, or a specified unincorporated association of which he or she is a member, claims to have an interest in the application, being an interest that, in the opinion of the Commission, is real and substantial.
(13) Where the Commission is of the opinion that two or more applications for authorizations that are made by the same person, or by persons being bodies corporate that are related to each other, involve the same or substantially similar issues, the Commission may treat the applications as if they constitute a single application and may prepare one draft determination in relation to the applications and hold one conference in relation to that draft determination.