Impact of internet shopping explored by govt inquiry

Wednesday, 25 October, 2017

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A new inquiry will look into the impact of global internet-based competition on Australian businesses.

The House Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources Committee will examine how Australian businesses, particularly in the retail and small business sectors, have responded to growing competition from global online companies.

The committee welcomes submissions to the inquiry addressing the terms of reference.

Committee Chair Michelle Landry said that the inquiry is both timely and important.

“Online sales currently make up a small but noticeable proportion of Australia’s total retail spending. While that will grow, it is vital that parliament understands the effects it will have on local Australian businesses,” she said.

The inquiry will also examine the effects of global internet-based competition on the broader Australian economy, as well as on the employment levels and conditions for those in the sector.

“Approximately 10% of Australians are employed in the retail industry, and around 40% of Australia’s private-sector employment is in small businesses, so changes in how those sectors operate will have a significant impact on Australia’s economy as a whole,” said Landry.

The committee is calling for submissions by 1 December and will schedule public hearings to further examine issues in detail.

The committee will inquire into the impacts of global internet-based businesses on local Australian business, particularly in the retail and small business sectors, and will consider the following:

  • How has/will the existing retail industry cope with changes to the sector’s landscape brought about by the existence of global online retail business?
  • What are the consequences for small businesses in terms of new competition and access to digital platforms?
  • How are small businesses responding to digital change and what is their uptake of new digital business services?
  • What impact does the above have on employment, including employment levels and conditions?
  • What roles can the Commonwealth Government and parliament play in fostering innovation for Australian businesses to respond to these challenges?

Image credit: ©maxsim/Dollar Photo Club

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