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National Newsagent February 2010 7
The proposed amendments to the
Trade Practices Act will make it clear that
protection from unconscionable conduct
relates not only to the process of settling
a contract but to the terms and conditions
of the contract and the ongoing behaviour
of the parties to the contract.
Penalties of up to $1.1 million for
corporations and $220,000 for individuals
will apply to anyone engaging in
unconscionable conduct or making false or
These penalties would apply upon
the commencement of the Australian
Consumer Law that is now before the
"These proposed protections address
to a small extent the unequal bargaining
power of small business when dealing with
big business but could go further."
Mr Kearney said.
The ANF in conjunction with other small
business groups has been calling for the
government to increase protections for
small business against big business for
a long time and now the government is
starting to listen.
"The ANF continues to have an open
and productive relationship with our
elected representatives whose decisions
so importantly affect our businesses and
future." Mr Kearney said.
The ANF has also taken the opportunity
to provide a submission of its views and
the views of our members on the nature
and application of unconscionable conduct
regulation and on the question of whether
statutory unconscionable conduct can
be further clarified in practice. We look
forward to the outcome of this process to
see how it may help our small businesses
into the future.
The proposed changes will strengthen
the unconscionable conduct provisions
of the Trade Practices Act providing
newsagents with greater protection from
anti-competitive behaviour by more
NEWS MAGAZINES TO
JOIN GORDON AND GOTCH
News Magazines will be moving their
distribution to Gordon and Gotch in 2010.
As leaders in the food and lifestyle
categories with titles such as Delicious,
Donna Hay Magazine, Super Food Ideas,
Woolworths Australian Good Taste,
Vogue Australia, Alpha and the soon
to be released MasterChef Magazine,
News Magazines sought a distribution
partnership that complemented their
portfolio and business model.
Craig Davison Managing Director Gordon
and Gotch Australia (GGA) commented:
`We have tremendous admiration for News
Magazines and welcome them to GGA. We
are excited at the prospect of distributing
this great portfolio and look forward to
working with News Magazines to continue
the next phases of growth of their titles.'
Tim Sligo, Chief Operating Officer, News
Magazines said: 'After much thought about
the future of our distribution requirements
in an ever-changing publishing and retail
landscape, we are pleased to announce
that GGA will be our new distributor.
GGA's distribution platform will allow us
the flexibility we require for our growing
range of titles.'
The planning for transition will
commence early in 2010 to ensure a
successful handover from NDD in April.
MODERN AWARDS NOW
Some newsagents are still unsure about
the new Fair Work national employment
standards and modern industrial awards
that came into effect from 1 January 2010.
The changes, together with the new
unfair dismissal and collective bargaining
laws that came into operation last July can
be particularly challenging for small and
medium businesses which do not have
dedicated human resource or industrial
relations experts on staff.
Some of the costs for employers, such
as increased wages and penalty rates in
modern awards, will build up over time.
Others such as the National Employment
Standards and aspects of modern awards
have immediate impact.
Newsagents should take the time to
familiarise themselves with the changes and
ensure all staff are paid in the correct manner.
Every week there are stories in the press
about businesses being prosecuted for
failing to pay the correct wages. In January
the Fair Work Ombudsman launched a
prosecution against retail giant Toys R Us,
alleging the company failed to promptly
At the VANA Conference in late 2009,
VANA Chairman Gary Tribe said that
newsagents had been given notice by
publishers that they had to change
and the News Limited contracts
reflected this. Newsagents, however,
were concerned about the disparity of
negotiating strength in the contracts.
After being addressed by the
Hon Joe Helper, Minister for Small
Business in Victoria, newsagents were
particularly incensed that Tattersalls
Scratchies were taken away from
agents who had paid Goodwill for same
when they purchased their business,
and then were forced to pay $10,000
for the nonperforming Intralot.
In 2009 agents had to contend with
an Introlot system that had been down
for up to 21 days at a time -- thus losing
business. They demanded to know
what the government was going to do
Newsagents lose money every day
because Tatts aren't allowed to have
Scratchies, they said.
Whilst the Minister claimed that
lottery turnover had increased overall,
newsagents were not appeased by a
situation that just leaves the public
inconvenienced and the agents out
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