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Statement lacks direction: industry

THE State Opposition’s small business direction statement has been criticised by industry for lacking direction.

The Labor direction statement is a precursor to its small business policy.

Combined Small Business Associations of WA president Oliver Moon said the direction statement was light on direction and heavy on rhetoric lambasting the Court Government.

However, Opposition small business spokesman Clive Brown said the statement addressed concerns raised with the Labor Party.

He said one key issue concerned commercial tenancy.

Labor is proposing greater protection for retailers at the end of their lease, providing a legal right for retailers to form and participate in merchant organisations and offering a less costly way for retailers to take action when they have been subjected to unconscionable conduct.

Mr Brown said security of payment for small businesses acting as contractors or subcontractors to larger organisations was also a concern and appropriate legislation was needed.

“There have been cases where small contractors have not been paid for the work they have done, even though it met the terms of the contract,” Mr Brown said.

“This has put some of them into a tough situation. In one case, the company went broke.

“It’s not an issue over contract conditions. The larger company just refuses to pay.”

Mr Brown said electronic commerce was another big issue facing small businesses.

“We’re saying it’s not a matter for government to tell small businesses how to run their businesses,” he said.

“However, it does have a role to give them information on the changing scene and how they can make the most of it.”

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