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Annual Report 2012

October 2012

Again, as usual, ICA has been very active during the year, lobbying on issues for self-employed small business people and achieving success in a number of areas.

Organisational issues

9 Board meetings were held during the year

ICA’s new website (www.independentcontractors.net.au) has been a major exercise, taking up considerable financial resources and time and taking some 9 months from inception to final completion. We are most pleased with the final result, with a more user-friendly website that is clearer and easier to access. Website traffic has been consistent at around 3,000 unique viewers a month.

Services: ICA’s purpose is to lobby for improved environments for independent contractors (self-employed people) We have, however, developed or are developing several services products for members. These include:

Events

Major events in which ICA was involved during the year included:
  • Thailand Regional Small Business Conference 2011
  • Wellington International small business conference 2012
  • National Small Business Summit Melbourne 2012

Consultation committees

ICA has representation on some key consultative committees including:
  • ATO small and micro business committee
  • ATO disputes management consultative committee
  • NSW procurement review consultative committee
  • Liaison activities with small business commissioners from WA, Vic, NSW, SA

Industry-specific discussions

ICA is actively working with groups and individuals in specific industry areas, developing programmes where possible to assist resolving issues in each area. These include liaison with:  
  • Virtual Assistants in Australia and internationally;
  • Meetings with freelance journalists who these days make up more than 70% of journalists in Australia;
  • Franchise Council of Australia on fair contract and small business commissioners;
  • Owner Drivers. ICA has this year reactivated Owner Drivers Australia;
  • Construction industry: particularly discussions around the code of conduct in Victoria; and
  • Small business finance issues, including attendance at a Reserve Bank discussions.

Submissions and lobbying

ICA’s core activity is lobbying. This year that has included:
  • Small Business Commissioner Bill NSW
  • Small Business reforms in Victoria
  • South Australia on OHS legislation
  • Victoria on OHS legislation
  • Western Australia on small business commissioners, fair contracts, procurement for small business people
  • Workers’ compensation reform New South Wales
  • Discussions with the Queensland government on small business dispute resolution, workers’ compensation reform, and more
  • Fair contracts discussions with several large businesses
  • Frequent discussions with ALP and Coalition at state and federal levels

International

ICA is actively networking with organizations internationally. This has included:
  • Contractor UK
and
  • The peak Australian (SEAANZ) and international (ICSB) academic organizations involved in small business issues.

ICA is developing a  comparative measuring tool that assesses the impact of government regulations on the ability of small business people to be entrepreneurial, the GEE Index.




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