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How one proposed Victorian law threatens justice for all

Monday, February 26, 2018

Earlier this month we labelled a proposed Victorian law a 'shocker'. We said that we were preparing a detailed analysis which we have now done. A short summary is here.

The Victorian Labour Hire Licensing Bill is a 'shocker' because it strips away basic access to justice to which everyone in the community should be entitled. More...

It's a shocker, an invitation to corruption. Go back to the drawing board, people!!

Monday, February 05, 2018

The Victorian government is looking to push its new Labour Hire Licensing Bill through Parliament, starting this week. The Bill is a legislative scam pretending to do one thing, but in reality will do something else—namely, open new doors to corruption in Victoria.

The Bill is supposedly a (long overdue) response to the exposé by the ABC's Four Corners programme on 4 May 2015 about the exploitation of migrant workers on some Australian farms. What Four Corners exposed was illegal migrants, working below legal pay rates and organized through some small, illegal 'labour hire' businesses.  More...

Some big wins! More to come? Let’s hope so!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A few update issues:

Competition law reform. Success!
We reported to you last Sunday on why the ‘effects test’ Bill is opposed by Labor. It’s simple: Follow the money. Coles pays the shoppies’ union who pays the Labor Party. Coles opposes the Bill. Labor opposes the Bill. Well, on Wednesday, the Misuse of Market Power Bill (Effects test) passed Parliament. Here’s the Senate debate  (watch from about 12.52). Labor opposed. The Greens supported the Bill along with other independent Senators. Well done to them in ensuring a fairer deal for small business people and competition! More...

Big end of town to pay on time! Or are they?

Saturday, June 03, 2017

It looks like truly good news. The ‘big end of town’, through the Business Council of Australia, last week launched a new small business ‘pay on time’ code. That is, big businesses signing up to the code have agreed to pay small business suppliers on time. And the Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBA) has endorsed the code.

Let’s be clear. It appears that BCA has moved on the code because the Victorian government has implemented one, the Federal Small Business Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, has been pushing for one and the ‘big end of town’ doesn’t want to see legislation forcing them on this.   More...

Are owner-drivers at risk again? And what about Uber employees?

Friday, February 03, 2017

You’ll recall the mess last year in the attempts to destroy the businesses of owner-drivers in Australia.

However, the Victorian government is now reviewing its owner-driver laws, laws that we say are pretty good as they stand. We don’t think the review is looking to set up price-fixing as happened under the disbanded federal law. But Federal Labor voted to keep the disbanded laws. Who knows what the Victorian Labor government’s agenda might be? We urge owner-drivers to keep a close eye on this. More...

Changing times spawn new challenges

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Last week ICA was involved in the very successful National Small Business Conference in Melbourne. Here’s a quick video giving an overview of the conference.
The presentations were outstanding. You can access PowerPoint presentations from the motivational speakers, the government policy people and academics here.

We were sorry to discover that the current Victorian Small Business Commissioner, Geoff Browne, is not seeking reappointment. Geoff has done a brilliant job for small business people in Victoria. Here’s his press release. Our thanks to Geoff. More...

Self-employment update: Innovation, happiness and the ‘gig’ economy

Monday, November 09, 2015

Last week, ICA’s Executive Director, Ken Phillips, wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Turnbull which was published in Business Spectator. It was about the PM’s desire for an innovation society. Ken said small business innovation is in trouble because of the Tax Office and other matters. He said that there are two tasks:  More...

It is naive to think that Australia is not a corrupt country

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Australians tend to look down on developing countries, viewing many of them as suffering from wide-scale corruption. We think of Australia as relatively clean. We have independent authorities that root out and investigate corruption. Where corruption is found, we see it as the bad behaviour of individuals and not something that’s inbuilt into our social, legal, political, governance and business systems.

However, ICA Executive Director Ken Phillips has recently written a series articles for Business Spectator that put a different view. He argues that there’s plenty of evidence that, in Australia, we have corruption ingrained in key institutional arrangements. Our corruption is undertaken at a highly sophisticated level and is even given ‘legal’ cover. It sits under our noses but we choose to ignore it. More...

Tony Abbott as a one-term Prime Minister?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

ICA Executive Director Ken Phillips had an article in Business Spectator recently in which he argued that Tony Abbott is close to being a one-term Prime Minister. Here’s the article.

Ken's reasoning is that the Victorian election result has proven that the 40 per cent of voters who are now swinging voters will kick out a one-term government. A parallel scenario has rapidly developed at the Federal level.  More...

Exotic dancers and the tyranny of the status quo?

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Since 2012 ICA has been tracking the extraordinary debate happening in the UK about the ‘evils’ of self-employment. The debate was first ignited by the UK Trades Union movement. UK self-employment has doubled since 1975 to be now 15 per cent of the workforce (4.5 million people). Incredibly, UK unions say this is socially destructive.

Earlier this year a union-orientated think-tank, the Resolution Foundation, made similar claims.   More...

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