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So big businesses don’t like having their powers cut back. How surprising!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Big business is angry that the Abbott government is proposing to make anti-competitive behaviour by them more difficult. New laws would restrict big businesses from abusing their market power. Small Business Minister Bruce Billson has hit back saying big business is talking “utter nonsense”. We agree.

Just recently, Coles had to refund $12m to 200 suppliers due to unconscionable conduct by Coles. And the competition regulator (ACCC) is finally responding to evidence of big business cartels in the construction industry. What’s odd is that unions and Labor seem be lining up with big business on this. More...


Tax update on self-employed issues: Good news; bad news

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Good news: Income splitting
ICA receives queries from self-employed people who have become caught up in the Personal Service Income Tax rules. They are denied tax deductions and prevented from sharing income with their spouses. With such queries we always first ask if they are a partnership. That’s because income-splitting by partnerships is legal and allowed by the ATO. However, some ATO case officers and many accountants don’t know this.  More...


Firm receives tendering ban for breach of Victorian Construction Code

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Victorian government this week imposed the first sanction against a construction firm for breach of the Victorian Construction Code, banning it from tendering for a period of 3 months. The firm was dictating industrial relations arrangements to a subcontractor, forcing the subbie to use the union. Ken Phillips explains the issue hereMore...


Boral CEO says ‘no’ to criminal cartel arrangements with CFMEU

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Read this speech by the head of Boral concrete, Mike Kane, describing the intimidation they have stood up to from the construction union, the CFMEU. Mike recognises that to agree to CFMEU demands would rightly open a company to accusations of ‘criminal cartel conduct’. Ken Phillips wrote an open letter to Mike on the issue in July. More...


To elect Labor to run Victoria would hand control to the CFMEU

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Ken Phillips wrote in Business Spectator about the huge threat to Victoria if the ALP wins the upcoming November election. Ken says that to elect Labor  “…the voters will have put the CFMEU in control of Victoria".  Labor supports the CFMEU’s aim to terminate the state's Construction Code even when CFMEU officials are facing Federal Court proceedings and court proceedings for alleged coercion. More...


Businesses in a conspiracy with unions

Friday, July 11, 2014

The ugly truth about Australia’s industrial relations problems was on full display this week. The concrete supplier Boral has been ‘black banned’ by the construction union because they supplied concrete to the unions' hated enemy: Grocon. The CEO of Boral has made strong accusations alleging that competitors are in collusion with the union.  

ICA's CEO, Ken Phillips, wrote an open letter to Boral’s CEO, which was published in Business Spectator, expressing his agreement. Among other things, Ken said that where there is union thuggery “there is inevitably collusive coordination by the union with a competitor”. Ken's full blog post is hereMore...


Big business conspires against lower construction costs

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

In extraordinary media reports yesterday, it appears that major construction firms have decided to keep construction costs as high as possible. If true, they are in the ‘business’ of conspiring against the people of Australia in defiance of the combined commercial weight of Coalition governments across Australia. More...


More tales from the small business frontline

Sunday, March 30, 2014

We receive a lot of input from self-employed people about the realities of being their own business. The practical examples below help bring home the truth about the complexities of being in business for yourself.

  More...


Construction sector: FWBC's enforcement regime paying dividends

Sunday, March 23, 2014

We’ve long campaigned against the oppression experienced by independent contractor subbies at the hands of union officials in the Australian construction sector. More recently, we've submitted our concerns about the collusion in the sector between unions and some large, dominant firms which limits competition.  More...


Local tax attacks on the self-employed

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

We recently received an email from a construction contractor in Brisbane describing how his use of independent contractors has come under attack from tax officials. He’s been forced to use employees, resulting in a significant drop in productivity. Here’s his email and our comment.  More...



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