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   14   MESSAGE FROM THE SENATE

Message No. 298, 22 March 2018, from the Senate was reported informing the House that the Senate had agreed to the following resolution:

That the following matters be referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services for inquiry and report by 30 September 2018:

(a)        the operation and effectiveness of the Franchise Code of Conduct, including the disclosure document and information statement, and the Oil Code of Conduct, in ensuring full disclosure to potential franchisees of all information necessary to make a fully-informed decision when assessing whether to enter a franchise agreement, including information on:

                                    (i)       likely financial performance of a franchise and worse-case scenarios;

                                  (ii)       the contractual rights and obligations of all parties, including termination rights and geographical exclusivity;

                                (iii)       the leasing arrangements and any limitations of the franchisee’s ability to enforce tenants’ rights; and

                                (iv)       the expected running costs, including cost of goods required to be purchased through prescribed suppliers;

(b)        the effectiveness of dispute resolution under the Franchising Code of Conduct and the Oil Code of Conduct;

(c)        the impact of the Australian consumer law unfair contract provisions on new, renewed and terminated franchise agreements entered into since 12 November 2016, including whether changes to standard franchise agreements have resulted;

(d)        whether the provisions of other mandatory industry codes of conduct, such as the Oil Code, contain advantages or disadvantages relevant to franchising relationships in comparison with terms of the Franchising Code of Conduct;

(e)        the adequacy and operation of termination provisions in the Franchising Code of Conduct and the Oil Code of Conduct;

(f)         the imposition of restraints of trade on former franchisees following the termination of a franchise agreement;

(g)        the enforcement of breaches of the Franchising Code of Conduct and the Oil Code of Conduct and other applicable laws, such as the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 , and franchisors; and

(h)        any related matter.