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Protection may increase

A “GREEN” Bill has been introduced into WA Parliament, aimed at increasing protection for small businesses from unfair commercial practices.

The Bill proposes introducing small business unconscionable conduct protection into the Fair Trading Act – similar to the Commonwealth Trade Practices Act.

Fair Trading Minister Doug Shave said the Bill would provide greater clarity for small business and complement existing protection against misleading and deceptive conduct under the Fair Trading Act.

It will also create commercial standards for transactions with small businesses.

WA is the first state or territory to propose such protection in its Fair Trading Act.

Labor Small Business spokesman Clive Brown said the WA Government had failed to honour its election commitment that it would protect small businesses from unfair dealings.

“At the last election the Government promised small business that it would introduce this type of legislation to complement the Federal Trade Practices Act,” Mr Brown said.

“The Green Bill introduced today does not carry with it a commitment by government to legislate to outlaw unconscionable conduct.

“It has ducked making a decision by releasing the Green Bill for a three month consultation period.

“Everyone knows this means the Government will not be able to proceed with the legislation before the election.”

Copies of the Bill are available from www.fairtrading.gov.au or phoning 9282 0911.

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