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ICA makes submission to Treasury on Unfair Contract Protections for Small Business

Friday, August 01, 2014

Well, it has taken some doing, but ICA has now made its submission to the Treasury review on the Abbott government’s policy to implement unfair contract protections for small business people.

Our submission is BIG. 16,000 words in fact. But it’s a critically important and fundamental issue.

The odd thing is that objections to the unfair contracts protections are going to come, and are coming, from people who would ordinarily agree with us—that is, people who strongly support business activity in a free market economy. They say that trying to assess what a ‘fair’ contract is undermines the very idea of ‘contracts’ and a market economy.

However, we explain in our submission that the specific and focused identification of ‘fair’ in this policy will enhance and strengthen, not diminish, the operation of a free market in Australia.  

Our full submission is here. But we’ve split it into three sections for ease of reading:

•    Part A: The philosophy underpinning ‘unfair’ contract protections.
•    Part B: Our responses to the Treasury discussion paper.
•    Part C: Specific examples of unfair contract situations and actual unfair contract clauses.

Obviously we’re strong supporters of the Abbott government’s policy. However, we’re keen for a discussion and debate based on clear understandings. We hope our submission assists that debate.

Further information on that debate, including its history and a link to Treasury's Consultation paper, can be found on our Fair Contracts page.

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