This month, the South Australian government adopted Labor MP Tony Piccolo’s reforms to redress an imbalance between franchisors and franchisees. A private member’s bill from Liberal MP Peter Abetz is also expected to be put before the West Australian Parliament this week.

The proposed reforms in both states include the ability to enforce penalties under the Franchising Code of Conduct, and creates a legal obligation of good faith in talks between franchisors and franchisees. Good faith is defined in the bills as acting fairly, reasonably, honestly and co-operatively.

Similar reforms to those made by SA were recommended by a federal parliamentary committee in 2008, and formed part of the federal government’s election commitments in 2007. However, federal Small Business Minister, Nick Sherry, has ruled out any further review of the code before 2013.

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