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Senate supports Greens' amendments about unfair contract provisions for small businesses

Today the Senate supported (34 in favour, 25 against) the Australian Greens amendments to the Treasury Legislation Amendment (Small Business and Unfair Contract Terms) Bill 2015. The Bill seeks to introduce protection for unfair terms in standard form contracts for businesses with less than 20 employees.

Greens spokesperson for Small Business, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said, “The Greens moved amendments to increase the threshold for coverage from $100,000 to $300,000 for contracts up to 12 months long; and $300,000 to $1 million for contracts greater than 12 months.

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Abbott crabwalks away from ‘effects test’

Greens spokesperson for Finance, Small Business and Competition Policy expresses his disappointment at Prime Minister Abbott’s indication today that he is crab-walking away from introducing an ‘effects test’

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “This morning it was splashed across our TV screens and newspapers that Small Business Minister Bruce Billson was introducing an ‘effects test’ to Cabinet today and that although there were divisions it was going to pass.

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Greens will support proper ‘Effect Tests’ to rein in Supermarket Duopoly

Greens spokesperson for Competition Policy, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, says if the Government is willing to bring on legislation for a real “Effects Test” to rein in the powers of the supermarket duopoly then the Greens are willing to look at it.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The Greens had the strongest competition policies of all the parties at the last Federal election including an effects test. (Link here)

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Greens motion for Royal Commission into misconduct in the financial services sector rejected by Senate

Today the Senate voted against the motion lodged by Greens Finance spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, calling on the government to establish a Royal Commission into misconduct within the financial services sector.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “It has taken one Senate Inquiry into ASIC, many brave whistle-blowers and some dogged investigative reporting by Fairfax newspapers to reveal systemic abuses and misconduct within the financial services sector.

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Small business package puts back what the Government took away

The Greens spokesperson for Small Business, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, welcomes the Government’s attempts to put back into this budget, what they themselves took away in the last.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “If you weren’t cynical about politics before this budget, then surely you will be now.

“Last year the Liberals axed $5.4 billion in small business support including company loss carry-back and accelerated vehicle depreciation, and they reduced the instant asset write-off threshold from $6,500 to $1,000.

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ANZ’s entry into Financial Advice mess shows Royal Commission still needed

The Greens spokesperson for Consumer Affairs, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, says that revelations that ANZ charged 8,500 clients for a service they never received shows that more needs to be done to root out problems in the sector.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “It has only taken a few Senate inquiry hearings to pressure the banks to reveal systemic problems within the financial advice sector.

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Murray to Government on FoFA: Wrong way, Go back.

Greens spokesperson for Consumer Affairs, Competition Policy and Small Business, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson provides the following comments on release of the Murray Financial System Inquiry final recommendations today.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The vast number of recommendations contained within the Murray Inquiry to provide better protections to consumers, justifies the strong stance the Greens have taken on the Future of Financial Advice laws (FoFA).

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