Margaret Quirk

Margaret Quirk

Minister for Corrective Services; Small Business

    Franchising industry inquiry

    2/11/2007 3:47 PM

    Small Business Minister Margaret Quirk today announced the start of an inquiry into the operation of franchise businesses in Western Australia, one of the fastest growing sectors in the economy.

    The inquiry would invite written public submissions, with public hearings scheduled for metropolitan and regional areas over the coming months.

    The inquiry’s terms of reference are to:
    • review the adequacy of existing legislative provisions, both State and Federal;
    • identify whether emerging trends in the franchising industry disclose patterns of unconscionable conduct that may not be covered under existing laws;
    • examine whether existing remedies available to franchisees are adequate and, where appropriate, recommend changes; and
    • review existing practice in other jurisdictions, Australia and internationally, on unconscionable conduct and renewal of licences.
    Ms Quirk said the inquiry would be chaired by franchisee Chris Bothams, manager of the South East Metro Small Business Centre. He has a Master of Commerce (Business Administration) from Curtin University of Technology, having completed his thesis on Australia’s Entrepreneurial Spirit: The Contribution of Franchising.

    “This inquiry is about fairness in franchise arrangements,” she said.

    “I am concerned that existing franchise arrangements in WA may not offer sufficient protection or information to franchise operators who may find themselves in a similar situation.

    “We need to ensure there is a fair and competitive environment for businesses, and to safeguard public interest.”

    The Minister said Mr Bothams was independent and respected by the local franchising community. He had twice been awarded the Western Australian Franchisee of the Year, and in 2002 was named the National Franchisee of the Year.

    Franchise arrangements were becoming increasingly popular, with many Western Australians wanting to go into small business opting into a franchise arrangement.

    The Small Business Development Corporation would provide secretariat services to the inquiry, which would report on March 31.

    Minister's office - 9213 7000