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Some big wins! More to come? Let’s hope so!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A few update issues:

Competition law reform. Success!
We reported to you last Sunday on why the ‘effects test’ Bill is opposed by Labor. It’s simple: Follow the money. Coles pays the shoppies’ union who pays the Labor Party. Coles opposes the Bill. Labor opposes the Bill. Well, on Wednesday, the Misuse of Market Power Bill (Effects test) passed Parliament. Here’s the Senate debate  (watch from about 12.52). Labor opposed. The Greens supported the Bill along with other independent Senators. Well done to them in ensuring a fairer deal for small business people and competition! More...


You open the mail. You owe us $422,030.64 says the ATO. What??

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Imagine this. You arrive home from work. You’re a freelance consultant; an engineer or maybe an IT specialist currently doing work for a bank. Even an aged care worker or a plumber! You’re one of the 2 million plus self-employed people in Australia, one of the new breed of entrepreneurial ‘gig’ economy workers, so the commentators say!

A month ago you had a phone chat with a couple of seemingly friendly ATO officers who had queries about how you work and your tax returns. You were open and honest. Nothing to hide! Pretty simple really?

There’s a letter. You open it. It’s 18 pages of confusing Tax Office bureaucratic blabbering. Somehow you’re accused of tax fraud/evasion. You struggle to understand. But one thing hits you. It’s a demand to pay $422,030.64 for taxes going back 10 years, with 50% penalties and interest! More...


We’ve changed our name! But we’re still the same—only getting stronger

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Well here’s a turn-up for us! In 2000 (goodness, 18 years ago!) we formed Independent Contractors Australia to advocate for the rights of self-employed people. And in that time we’ve been more successful than we could have envisaged. More...


Good news: BIG review of Australian Taxation Office

Thursday, June 08, 2017

You’ll be aware of our ongoing heavy criticism of the Australian Taxation Office in their treatment of small business people.  In our view:

‘Mum and dad’ businesses are targeted by the ATO with unfair, even questionably legal, tactics.
And as just one example, we successfully defended Rod Douglass from baseless ATO accusations of fraud/evasion. More...


‘We’ll only do what we’re made to do!’ says bank’s legal counsel

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Around 8 years ago, we (ICA) were approaching the banks about supporting the introduction of unfair contract laws for small business people. One of the big bank’s chief legal counsel said to us “We’ll only do what we’re made to do!” What a sad attitude. But, unfortunately, in our dealings with many at the ‘big end of town’, that’s our experience with them.

Unfair contract protections
It took us ten years of hard advocacy, but late last year the small business unfair contract laws took effect. Now the change is happening. In The Australian yesterday Robert Gottliebsen detailed how the ACCC has forced Sensis to fix unfair contract clauses. Sensis had concealed clauses that renewed contracts without the small businessperson agreeing. Sensis could cancel contracts but the small businessperson could not. Sensis has agreed to make refunds.  More...


Will franchisors get away with it? Vulnerable Workers Bill

Sunday, May 14, 2017

It’s getting close to decision time in the Senate! Remember the 7-Eleven wages fraud scandal exposed by 4Corners/Fairfax late 2015? The scandal has spread since then with Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, Caltex and United Petroleum being caught out underpaying workers.

The Federal government has put forward legislation (The Vulnerable Workers Bill) that will require franchisors to be at least partly responsible if underpayment occurs. We strongly support the Bill. It will force franchisors to properly support the 79,000 small business franchisees to prevent underpayment. More...


The Australian Constitution protecting our freedoms

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

ICA Executive Director Ken Phillips spoke at a ‘Liberty’ conference in Sydney over the weekend. With over 350 people in attendance and with more than 70 speakers it was a stimulating, ideas-packed weekend. Not everyone agreed with each other, but all present agreed on the right to speak freely.

Ken talked about how we at ICA have used the Australian Constitution to defend individual liberty, specifically the right of people to be self-employed. You might recall last year our:  More...


Some good news? Workcover NSW and Federal Government contracts

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Mostly we’re complaining about bad government behaviour. And we should! And we will continue!

BUT, it makes a pleasant change to report some good news.

Workcover NSW:
As far back as 2005 we had been actively trying to defend self-employed people in NSW from the NSW WorkCover Authority. In 2012 the new government undertook a review. In our submission we stated that the workers compensation scheme is More...


Big business struggling to control the plot and to call the shots. No surprise!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Big business ‘leaders’, such as the Business Council of Australia for example, have for many months been openly expressing their worry that they are failing to influence public policy.

It’s not such a surprise. Australia’s big business leaders have for some time openly and through political backdoors been trying to kill off important economic reforms that make for a better Australian economy.  More...


Big end of town Red Herrings create policy indigestion

Monday, April 10, 2017

It is at it again—the Franchise Council of Australia that is! Again, it is opposing new laws that will make franchisors more responsible. This time it is desperate to block new laws that will impose obligations on franchisors for franchisee workers being underpaid and exploited.

We’ve covered this before in March where we explained what is going on. But now Fairfax media is on the case. Last week Adele Ferguson explained The plot to kill off tough new wage fraud laws. Adele has exposed wage fraud at 7-Eleven, Dominos, Caltex and United Petroleum. She’s now exposed the role being played by ex-Small Business Minister Bruce Billson in trying to block the anti-wage-fraud laws. More...



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