AN ACCOLADE FOR KEN: Three weeks ago we published the article ‘Big business needs to get with the contract overhaul program’ that was published in The Australian, November 11, 2016.   We revisit this article because of its enormous significance to bringing long overdue fairness to small businesses in their day-to-day commercial dealings. Significantly, the accolade for achieving this momentous outcome for small business goes, in large part, to Ken Phillips, CEO of the Independent Contractors Australia, a champion of small business. Ken for his part should be awarded a gong for his persistent effort in bringing this long overdue matter forward and to fruition.

Additionally, with the media reporting that the WA Government will be implementing the WA Construction Industry Code of Conduct before Christmas, to regulate head contractor/union contact deals struck to the detriment of small business sub-contractors (see article: ‘Nahan takes on construction union’s wages push’ below), it is to be noted that Ken Phillips played no small part in working with the government in the development of the code.

All in all this week has been a mementos one for small businesses engaged in the building and construction sector, and not so for the big end of town and unions. Additional to those initiatives mentioned above the federal government is on the cusp of having the ABCC Bill pass the Senate. And, an accolade for that goes the Nick Xenophon Team Senator Nick Xenophon and Justice Party Senator Derryn Hinch, in particular for having the Bill amended to regulate the behaviour of the big end of town imposing unfair contracts on small businesses.

Under the heading ‘Crossbenchers can transform the ABCC bill into something wonderful’, Robert Gottliebsen reports in The Australian on 23.11.16 (see full test of the article below): “To their great credit, the crossbenchers have already picked up that the people who need extra help are the small contractors. The large contractors ram down the throats of small contractors standardised horrific non-negotiable contracts that boost their costs and force them to pay big sums to the unions, a part of which is then transferred to the ALP and the Greens.   And if the small contractors don’t toe the line, the union declares they can’t join the club. In other words, they’re out of business. Sadly, that’s Australia 2016.