The ANF has lobbied hard to improve the thresholds for which the Unfair Contract Terms Bill 2015 will apply. As a result, Senator Whish Wilson tabled an amendment to the Unfair Contract Terms Bill 2015 in the Senate to increase the thresholds to the compromise position recommended by the ANF of $300k for 1 year contracts and $1 million for multi-year contracts.
The vote was won 34 votes to 25. The bill will now return to the lower house with the ANF’s recommended thresholds in the legislation.
However, the game may now have changed on the other important issue the ANF has been lobbying hard on, that of reforming competition laws and adding an “effects test” for misuse of market power, now that we have a new PM.
Lobby groups on either side of the ‘effects test’ debate will be keen to have their voices heard by Australia’s new prime minister, after the issue came to the fore in parliament.
PM, Malcolm Turnbull, has flagged a further cabinet discussion on the ‘effects’ test for business.
Coalition partners, The Nationals, support the introduction of an effects test, with three Nationals crossing the floor of the Senate last week to vote against the government.
The Greens have backed a motion calling for an effects test on market power to be included in competition policy.
The introduction of an effects test was recommended by the Harper Review released in March.
Big retailers, such as Coles and Woolworths, have opposed any change, while the Council of Small Business of Australia is calling for its introduction.