ACCC won’t investigate Qld alliance

The ACCC does not intend to investigate concerns raised last November.

It is understood that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has decided not to investigate an alliance of Queensland providers, which was referred to the ACCC for anti-competitive practices in November last year.

The office of the Assistant Treasurer asked the competition watchdog to investigate fthe providers after they indicated that they would not be applying for stand-alone, non-extra-service high care beds in the 2008-09 Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR).

But Blue Care CEO, Stephen Muggleton has advised AAA that the ACCC sent him a letter stating that it did not intend to pursue the matter any further.

Mr Muggleton declined to make any further comment.

Fellow alliance member and TriCare CEO, Jim Toohey has confirmed that he received the same letter from the ACCC.

He said: “TriCare was never concerned about this because there was never any substance to it.

“Our only concern was that it was an inconvenient and useless distraction that diverted attention away from dealing with the real issues in aged care.

“I hope all the parties now realise that they need to make a contribution to this discussion and that they do so.”

The original complaint came from the office of the Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot.

It is believed that the concerns were raised in relation to clauses about restrictions of trade in the Trade Practices Act.

At the time, Blue Care and other alliance members said they would stand by their position.

The ACCC did not comment on the matter when contacted by AAA.

A spokesperson said the commission has a policy of only making public statements when a determination is made.

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