Home' The Channel Magazine : The Channel April 2016 Contents 52 | The Channel
The first few months of 2016 have been busy in the policy
space as a number of important consultations were finalised
during this period.
As the year progresses we will continue to strengthen our
advocacy efforts on behalf of members. An immediate focus
will be on discussing the challenges for small business of the
current Workplace Relations system, with political parties
before the 2016 election. You can read a summary of what
we have been working on for members below.
Options to strengthen the misuse of market power
In December, the Government responded positively to
most of the recommendations in the Harper Competition
Review and released an issues paper on the most contested
recommendation, that of introducing an ‘effects test’ for
Section 46 that covers misuse of market power.
The reform of Section 46 is the line between big business
and small business and the issues paper discussed a range of
options for reform.
The ANF has been very involved in this issue, through a range
of submissions and face to face consultations. The ANF was
one of only a handful of small business groups invited to two
roundtables held with the Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer
MP in February.
The ANF made a presentation and provided four examples of
potential misuse of market power in our industry that have
not been picked up by the current law. We also engaged in
a number of the discussions during the roundtable. We have
since written to the Minister regarding their approach to this
issue and have provided a final submission to the discussion
paper seeking reform.
ANF appointed for the first time to both the ACCC
Small Business and Franchising Consultative
Committee and the Australian Tax Office Small
Business Liaison Group
The ANF applied for inclusion on the ATO Small Business
Liaison Group and the ACCC Small Business and Franchising
Consultative Committee once again last year. For the first
time since the ANF was established in 1999 we have been
included on both committees for the next two years. This is
a reflection of the focus we have had over the last few years
on providing robust policy and advocacy support for our
membership through the national body.
The timing is excellent for us to be included and is a good
outcome from our recent strong engagement with the
government and regulators. There are important changes
being overseen by the ACCC that impact our members such
as Unfair Contract Terms legislation and codes of conduct.
The Tax commissioner and government have also flagged
considerable reform at the ATO.
These appointments will enable us to provide regular
feedback and seek support on issues impacting members. We
will be provided with opportunities to raise members issues
directly at the highest levels in these regulators and to also
importantly discuss these with other influential associations,
small business commissioners and ombudsman.
Meetings and advocacy during this period
The ANF completed a consultation meeting with the RBA
in December on the Review of Card Payments.
The ANF met with MasterCard to discuss the RBA review.
The ANF met with Senator Nick McKim the Greens
spokesperson for small business and ran through a
range of topics including competition law reform, penalty
rates, unfair contract terms, franchising and interactive
gambling, small business commissioners, and lastly the
Review of Card Payments Regulation. It was a worthwhile
meeting and we hope to influence some of the thinking
the Greens have about small business.
The ANF also met with Senator Nick Xenophon to discuss
similar issues to those discussed with the Greens.
The ANF attended the Section 46 Competition
Roundtable meeting in Melbourne in January.
The ANF CEO and Policy Manager attended a range of
meetings in Canberra on 9 and 10 February, including
The Small Business Advisor of Federal Small
Business Minister Kelly O’Dwyer MP
ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper
The Senior Advisor of Environment Minister Greg
Hunt MP, Tasmanian MP Eric Hutchison and
Deputy Secretary of the Department of Heritage
regarding a proposal for a Heritage and Arts
Lottery to potentially be run through
Michelle Rowland MP, Shadow Minister for Small
Peter Strong, CEO of the Council of Small
Outgoing Small Business Commissioner Mark
Brennan. (Pictured over)
ANF Policy Report
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