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We don’t usually praise a bank. But—well done NAB!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

First we said that NAB had ‘trashed its own small business brand’. We said this in March this year because of NAB’s lie that it had made its small business finance contracts comply with the unfair contract laws.

Last week we expressed tentative praise for NAB after it had ditched its bad contracts and come up with new ones. NAB’s self-congratulatory PR seemed to indicate a major step forward. But we said we’d check its standard form contract first.  More...


Bank lawyer: “We’ll do what we’re made to do”. Now they’re doing it!

Sunday, October 08, 2017

More good news on the unfair contract front! But first some background.

Back around 2009, when we were talking to big businesses about having fair contracts, the chief legal counsel for one of the big banks said to us, “We’ll do what we’re made to do.” We realized then how difficult our campaign would be. But we succeeded. The new small business unfair contract laws we pushed for started at the end of 2016More...


Australia’s economy is restructuring in a way no other economy is

Friday, September 08, 2017

We don’t know if the two are related, but

Australia’s economic growth is unexpectedly surging beyond expectations, and
The unfair contract protections for small business people are really starting to kick in.
Whether the two issues are connected or not, there’s no question that Australia’s economic structure is undergoing reform in a way not happening in any other economy.  More...


Another BIG win for the ‘little’ person

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

We’re delighted to report that the Vulnerable Workers Bill passed the Senate on the evening of 4 September. This is the new law resulting from the 7-Eleven worker wages fraud scandal exposed by 4 Corners/Fairfax in late 2015.

The Bill passed with only minor amendments, but that kept the integrity of the protective measures in place. Here’s our analysis of the Bill from May. The law will not only protect low-paid workers but will: More...


Banks forced to change small business contracts. A huge win for fairness!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

We’re mighty proud of the work we did, over close to a decade, to achieve the 2015 unfair contract laws protecting small business people. Here’s the tracking of our campaign from 2009. And it’s pretty fair to say that, without us, the laws would not have come into existence.

In that long struggle the banks consistently opposed the unfair contract laws. During that campaign one bank, NAB, was found by the courts to have engaged in ‘misleading and deceptive conduct’ in relation to a business mortgage. In our view NAB’s bank officers arguably behaved as they did because NAB’s small business finance contracts seemingly gave them unfair power. More...


Billson admits receiving payment from Franchise Council while still an MP

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

The former Abbott Government Small Business Minister, Bruce Billson, has admitted to the ABC that he was receiving payment from the Franchise Council of Australia while still a Member of Parliament. The admission came on the 7.30 Report viewable here.

You might remember that we did battle with Abbott and Billson back in 2015 when they brought in the Unfair Contract Bill limiting it to contracts up to $100,000.  More...


ACCC targets unfair contracts. Franchisors pull in US Vice-President. (What???)

Monday, July 24, 2017

It’s great to report the fabulous work being done by the competition regulator in stamping out unfair contracts. Our ten-year campaign to get the laws in place really is paying off for self-employed small business people. 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...


Big end of town to pay on time! Or are they?

Saturday, June 03, 2017

It looks like truly good news. The ‘big end of town’, through the Business Council of Australia, last week launched a new small business ‘pay on time’ code. That is, big businesses signing up to the code have agreed to pay small business suppliers on time. And the Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBA) has endorsed the code.

Let’s be clear. It appears that BCA has moved on the code because the Victorian government has implemented one, the Federal Small Business Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, has been pushing for one and the ‘big end of town’ doesn’t want to see legislation forcing them on this.   More...


Like naughty schoolchildren, banks now complying with unfair contract laws

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Readers might recall our news alert headline, “we’ll only do what we’re made to do!” This was a senior counsel from one of the banks responding to our efforts about eight years ago asking them to support the unfair contract laws.

Then in March this year we said that NAB was trashing its own small business brand because it had, in our view, lied about changing its small business contracts to comply with the now operational unfair contract laws.  More...



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