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In this article on franchise legislation from Fairfax media, Chalpat Sonti suggests it is ironic that a joint parliamentary committee's report into rectifying flaws in the Australian franchising code of conduct is being ignored.
Here again we hear a potent warning for all prospective Australian franchisees;
There's no comeback when you've made a bad business decision. But there should also be no comeback for anyone carrying out an injustice
Chalpat offers an overview of many of the issues and some of the players that brought about two State Inquiries that forced a federal Inquiry.
Angered at what he claimed was unreasonable treatment by Yum Restaurants International, which owns KFC – [Jack] Cowin is the WA [Western Australia] franchisee and was told his rights to the stores would not be renewed when their various agreements expired - he provided the inquiry with the grunt that helped small franchisees get heard, telling the inquiry of their own problems.
As with every politician in the land, Chalpat and almost every other journalist has had firsthand experience with franchisees facing the consequences of bastardized franchising;
Most have lost everything - money, homes, families - as what appeared to be an opportunity to be their own boss turned horribly wrong.
They believed they had been hard done by. But without the funds to fight powerful companies in court, there's no scope for their claims to be tested, much less redress.
It was not that long ago when a new government was considered to offer some light at the end of the tunnel.
Enter Craig Emerson. The federal Labor MP was a tiger for supporting franchisees when in Opposition, giving them hope that reform would finally come.
Now that hope seems lost;
Most observers believe he has been captured by the arguments of franchisors and would rather quietly shelve the inquiry.
Franchising’s contribution to Australia’s GDP is just shy of 15% and Australian's would believe that the health of that contribution is worth protection. It seems the Minister places more credibility on those that are paid to influence him than the committed wall of industry experts, renowned academics, the franchisee community and franchise lawyers that clearly state that existing franchising regulation and law is dangerously flawed.
Craig Emerson MP has seemingly ignored politicians from his own party that support bi-partisan demands for effective regulation. The whole country is asking why a federal minister is only influenced by people paid to influence him.
Franchisees wait but come December 1 when Emerson is expected to offer crumbs, there will be an outpouring of disgust. Come December 2 if the South Australian government is forced to push forward that State’s franchising reform; then Franchisees will begin a national effort to push for all States to follow.