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Senate rescues small business. Abbott goes. Now what?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What an extraordinary day yesterday. Yes, Tony Abbott has gone as Prime Minister.

But what you probably don’t know is how, in the morning, the Senate rescued small business people. The Senate amended the Unfair Contracts Bill by lifting the $100,000 contract limit where the protections were to stop, to $300,000. This means that huge numbers of additional small business people should now have access to the unfair contract protections. We thank the Senate and Senators.

You may remember how, just 2 weeks ago, we expressed our shock at the Abbott government on the issue. Then we declared the Abbott government was breaking a key small business election promise. Finally, late last week, we said the government was conducting a con, doing a dirty deal with big business against small business people.

We can report that all the Senate Independents and Labor supported the Greens’ amendment to increase the contract limit to $300,000. We can also report how sensible and reasonable all the Senators were to deal with. They listened to our reasonings and they stopped bad policy.

We didn’t get everything we wanted. In our submission to the Senate we wanted NO contract limit. The Senators told us that they thought the government might accept the $300,000 limit. But, no surprise, the government announced that it would not budge.

That was yesterday. This is today and a new Turnbull government is in place.

Now we ask the Turnbull Coalition to honour its 2013 election promise to small business. The Bill goes back to the House of Representatives and can be changed.

The unfair contract protections must be made available to all small business people not some small business people. That was the election promise. We ask the Turnbull government to honour that commitment.

 

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