Senate passes bill to protect small businesses

The Senate yesterday passed a bill to give small businesses the same protections against unfair contracts that consumers currently enjoy.

AAP reports that the government promised in the last Federal election to protect small business against unfair contracts on the grounds that they don’t have the resources of larger businesses and such contracts have a larger impact on their bottom lines.

Yesterday’s bill will allowed courts to declare void contracts under $100,000 or $250,000 over more than one year.

The Greens amended the bill to increase the threshold of contract values to $300,000 and $1 million. This was supported by the Opposition and independents; and was passed.

This amendment gives greater protection to small businesses. The $100,000 would leave many such businesses unprotected. According to the Business Spectator, this signals that the Greens and the Labor Party will be targeting small business owners at the next Federal election.

The government is not expected to support the amendment in the Lower House, so many small businesses will not receive the protection.

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