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The State Government today announced the launch of the State’s first Alternative Dispute Resolution service for small business, designed to provide a low-cost, non-litigious means of resolving business disputes.
Small Business Minister Simon O’Brien said the service would be the responsibility of the newly appointed Small Business Commissioner, David Eaton, who is also head of the Small Business Development Corporation.
“The Government recognises that small business disputes can be time-consuming and expensive, and our aim is to provide a way of efficiently dealing with disputes, particularly those concerning retail shop leases, without the need for legal action,” Mr O’Brien said.
“While the alternative dispute resolution service will be welcomed by the small business sector in general, we also expect it will provide an effective means of resolving disputes between landlords and tenants in retail shopping centres.
“This is a timely initiative as retailers across the metropolitan area transition into a more deregulated trading hour regime.
“Through this service the commissioner will be uniquely positioned to make an informed assessment of market behaviour in Western Australia which can then be brought to the Government’s attention.”
The Small Business Commissioner and the Alternative Dispute Resolution service were established through amendments to the Small Business Development Corporation Act 1983, and passed through State Parliament with bipartisan support in December 2011. The Amendment legislation was gazetted on Friday, March 23, 2012.
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