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Friday, 25 November 2011
Page: 9654

Senator XENOPHON (South Australia) (11:54): I am grateful for Senator Ryan's contribution. I indicate to him that I think that is a fair point. Just because you do not have more court cases does not mean that the legislation is not more effective or broader. But the coalition did state three years ago that there is a need for a statutory definition of unconscionable conduct and that the current law was not adequate. It then set out in the additional comments that there is a need for a statutory list of examples that constitute unconscionable conduct—which is consistent with this bill, I believe—that there is a need for a prohibition against bullying, intimidation, physical force, coercion and undue harassment and that there is a need for a statutory definition of the statutory duty of good faith as well as a legislative framework to deal with unfair contract terms in business relationships involving small businesses. That is something that the coalition signed up to three years ago. Senator Eggleston, Senator Bushby, Senator Joyce and I signed up for that.

Another way to put the question to Senator Sherry is this: will these amendĀ­ments in terms of unconscionable conduct broaden the operation of the section?