On 20 October 2011, the Small Business Commissioner Bill 2011
was passed, creating controversial and unprecedented powers for the
South Australian Small Business Commissioner (SBC).
Under the new provisions, the SBC can prescribe industry codes
as regulations for the purposes of administering them as law. To
enforce these new powers, the SBC can impose fines for:
failing to provide the SBC with information (including
personal, financial or business information and trade secrets) when
requested – up to $20,000; and
contravening a provision of an industry code that has been
prescribed by the SBC – up to $10,000 for individuals and
$50,000 for companies.
The SBC must consult with industry representatives before
prescribing an industry code.
South Australian businesses (particularly franchises) should
ensure they are compliant with the applicable industry codes (for
example, the federal Franchising Code of Conduct) as their
requirements under such codes may soon be enforced by the SBC, as
well as the ACCC. Businesses need to keep up to date with changes
to applicable codes as South Australian requirements may become
different to national requirements. With the introduction of the
SBC it is now possible for both the ACCC and SBC to investigate
complaints concurrently; the potential overlap is still
Industry stakeholders now await the date for the new legislation
to come into force.
Winner - EOWA Employer of Choice for Women Citation 2009, 2010
Winner - Australasian Law Awards Gold Employer of Choice 2011
Finalist - ALB Australasian Law Awards 2008, 2010 and 2011 (Best
Winner - BRW Client Choice Awards 2009 and 2010 - Best Australian
Law Firm (revenue less than $50m)
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