MADELEINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR SMALL BUSINESS
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR RESOURCES
MEMBER FOR BRAND
ANDREW LEIGH MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION AND PRODUCTIVITY
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE IN SERVICES
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CHARITIES AND NOT-FOR-PROFITS
MEMBER FOR FENNER
LABOR FIGHTS FOR SMALL BUSINESS WHILE COALITION SIDE WITH THE TOP END OF TOWN
The Coalition has once again failed small business by failing to take proper action on unfair contract terms.
Despite their own review finding that the current provisions are not enough to protect small businesses from the big end of town, Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert can't even commit to making unfair contract terms illegal.
Weasel words offering options – which may or may not be implemented after further delays – are not enough.
Robert and his colleagues didn’t need their own review to tell them this was a problem – the Council of Small Businesses of Australia said:
“Some big businesses have been snubbing their noses at the current legislation as it lacks any capacity to punish those who abuse their power. The ACCC, who governs this activity, are basically powerless to make certain big businesses stop adding these unfair terms."
And the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair Rod Sims said:
“The law simply isn’t strong enough. Unfair contract terms should be illegal.”
Only Labor will protect small business by making unfair contract terms illegal.
Under a Shorten Labor Government, unfair contract terms will also be punishable with multimillion dollar fines. Labor will also expand the definition of small businesses eligible for protection from such contract terms, measures which will complement reforms to help small businesses take court cases to address anti-competitive conduct.
Australia’s small businesses need smart reforms to ensure that they aren’t pushed around by the big guys. While the Coalition has committed to a chat, Labor has pledged action.
Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra.