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Keep up to date with the Office of the Small Business Commissioner News and other information relating to small business.
Mandatory mediation in place to help SA farmers
South Australian farmers will have greater financial protection and security to grow the state’s economy with legislation to require mandatory farm debt mediation now enshrined in law.
The Governor of South Australia, His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, proclaimed commencement of the Farm Debt Mediation Act 2018 today, signalling authority for the Small Business Commissioner to begin work on administrating the legislation from Monday 3 September for the benefit of South Australia’s farming community.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the new legislation brought South Australia in line with other states in efforts to support farmers.
Draft Mining and Resources Industry Land Access Dispute Resolution Code
The South Australian Government has committed to assist primary producers when dealing with resource companies seeking access to their land.
It is proposed that an Industry Code of Conduct (the Code) will be prescribed to enable the Small Business Commissioner to fully and effectively implement dispute resolution processes to resolve land access issues.
Feedback on the draft Regulation is being sought from interested parties. Feedback and comments can be provided to the Small Business Commissioner via email at email@example.com or by post at GPO Box 1264, ADELAIDE SA 5001 by Friday 28 September.
Berri Barmera Council becomes Small Business Friendly
Small Business Commissioner John Chapman will be in Berri today for the official signing ceremony for the Berri Barmera Council to join the Small Business Friendly Council Initiative.
Berri Barmera Council becomes the first Council in the Riverland and the twenty third Council in total to sign up to the Initiative, which is being coordinated through the Office of the Small Business Commissioner in partnership with the Local Government Association of South Australia. The Initiative aims to simplify interactions between councils and small businesses, and to recognise councils that are working to support their small business communities.
The Initiative was launched on 30th August 2017 in Whyalla, whose Council was the first to sign up. Since then, 16 regional councils and 7 metropolitan councils have signed up to the initiative and committed to the Charter Agreement which contains a number of principles, including a commitment to liaise with small businesses on a regular basis; prompt payment of accounts; commitment to local procurement wherever possible; and having a dispute resolution process if problems arise.
Mr Chapman congratulated Berri Barmera Council and said that the Initiative is particularly important for those regional small businesses who often have difficulty gaining access to essential resources needed to run their business.
“I am hopeful that regional small businesses will benefit from their Council signing up to this initiative as it will provide them with much-needed support and open the lines of communication.”
Mayor of Berri Barmera Council, Peter Hunt and Council CEO, André Stuyt were present for the signing of the Charter Agreement and said they look forward to working more closely with the small businesses in the region.
“Coming from a small business background myself, I can attest that the local businesses in this region have always embodied a true community spirit. The Initiatives set out in the Charter Agreement are in line with the services that the Council intends on implementing in order to better support our local small business community” Mayor Hunt said.
The number of Councils who have already committed to the initiative within its first year shows that a program such as this was needed. Participating Councils will work with the support of the Office of the Small Business Commissioner to meet the five required initiatives of the program, some of which are already in place in some councils.
“Some Councils are already achieving results in their existing programs. Participating in this initiative provides them with the recognition they deserve for the work they are already doing and also shows their small business community that they are in their corner” Mr Chapman said. “Small businesses are an integral part of the economic growth of our State and it’s the small things we can do to make it easier for small businesses that will essentially assist them in their journey.”
More information about the Small Business Friendly Council Initiative as well as a list of the participating Councils can be found here.
City of Adelaide joins Small Business Friendly Council Initiative
Today marks a step in the right direction for Adelaide small businesses as the City of Adelaide signs up to the Small Business Friendly Council Initiative.
The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Adelaide Martin Haese, City of Adelaide Acting Chief Executive Beth Davidson-Park and Small Business Commissioner John Chapman gathered for the official signing ceremony held in Adelaide Town Hall today.
The City of Adelaide has an extensive list of services available to small businesses, which includes their Enterprise Adelaide Business Advisors, who provide valuable support through their one-on-one programs, and their Economic Insights Dashboard, an online tool offering a range of data on key city indicators including demographics, the economy, employment, city businesses, property and tourism.
According to the City of Adelaide’s Economic Insights Dashboard there are 5,196 businesses operating in the Council area, employing 115,465 people (data from 2016).
“By signing up to the Small Business Commissioner’s Initiative, Council is demonstrating its strong support for over 5,000 small to medium sized businesses across the City of Adelaide,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Council recognises the vital role that SMEs play in providing jobs and greater opportunity for so many South Australians.”
The City of Adelaide is the twenty second Council to sign up to the Small Business Friendly Council Initiative, which is being coordinated through the Office of the Small Business Commissioner in partnership with the Local Government Association of South Australia. The Initiative aims to simplify interactions between councils and small businesses, and to recognise councils that are working to support their small business communities.
Councils have a significant responsibility in ensuring they are providing support and services to these businesses, and creating open and transparent communications with their local business community.
The Initiative was launched on 30th August 2017 in Whyalla, whose Council was the first to sign up. Since then, 15 regional councils and 7 metropolitan councils have signed up to the Initiative and committed to the general Charter Agreement which contains a number of principles, including a commitment to liaise with small businesses on a regular basis, prompt payment of accounts, commitment to local procurement wherever possible and having a dispute resolution process if problems arise.
In addition, each council is asked to implement three initiatives per year to foster and support small business in their local area.
“I am so pleased that the City of Adelaide has recognised the value in this program and cemented their commitment to businesses in the CBD and North Adelaide,” Small Business Commissioner John Chapman said.
“This Initiative will assist councils as well as their small business community in developing a collaborative approach to how small businesses are supported by their local councils. Improving this relationship is essential to the growth of the State’s economic development.”
Australian Building and Construction Commission
Code Covered Entities and Security of Payment
The Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) has responsibility for monitoring the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 (Code), which includes security of payment provisions.
The Code covers contractors and subcontractors who have expressed interest in or tendered for Commonwealth funded building work since 2 December 2016. These contractors are known as ‘code covered entities.’
Once you become a code covered entity, you must comply with the security of payment obligations in the Code on all building work awarded to you from then on, including private projects.
The ABCC can assist code covered contractors and subcontractors understand their obligations and rights under the Code.
There are a number of requirements placed on code covered entities that are intended to help ensure that progress payments are made in a timely manner.
There are new mandatory reporting requirements under the Code for when code covered contractors must report any disputed or delayed progress payments to the ABC Commissioner. These requirements must be transitioned to by code covered contractors by 1 September 2018.
If you are a subcontractor who is owed money, the ABCC can help you to identify if the contractor who owes you money, is a code covered entity.
A code covered entity that breaches the Code may find that the ABCC recommends that they are not able to tender for Commonwealth funded building work.
For more details on Security of Payment click here.