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More protection for small business.

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NO. FSR/028

More Protection for Small Business

The Government today announced a new regulation which means more Australian businesses will be protected from unconscionable business conduct.

From 1 July, the Trade Practices Act will prohibit unconscionable conduct in business transactions for amounts up to $3 million. Until now, transactions exceeding $1 million dollars were not protected by the Act, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission was limited in its ability to assist small business.

"This change gives small business a fairer go in the marketplace," Joe Hockey, the Minister for Financial Services & Regulation, said today.

This change is but one step of the Governments response to the Joint Select Committee on the Retailing Sector report Fair Markets or Market Failure (the Baird Report).

The Committee considered that the existing limit of $1 million made it difficult for small business to access the unconscionability provisions of the Trade Practices Act.

The Government will also make further changes to assist small business in amendments to the Trade Practices Act to be introduced in Parliament in the near future.

"This initiative is another move by the Government to address the changing needs of Australia's small business, to help respond to the demands and pressures it faces.

"This Government is committed to ensuring that small business has every opportunity to establish profitable and thriving enterprises."

22 June 2000

Media contact: Matthew Abbott, Minister's office, 02 6277 7230 0413 076213 Jan Harris Department of Treasury 02 6263 3992






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