The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Peter Costello

Peter Costello

Treasurer

11 March 1996 - 3 December 2007

Media Release of 27/03/2007

JOINT PRESS RELEASE

TREASURER &
MINISTER FOR SMALL BUSINESS AND TOURISM

NO.015

HIGHER COLLECTIVE BARGAINING THRESHOLDS FOR SMALL BUSINESS

From today, higher thresholds for collective bargaining notifications will be available for certain industries.

The collective bargaining notification regime was implemented as part of the Coalition Government’s amendments to the Trade Practices Act 1974 (TPA) which commenced on 1 January 2007. 

This regime allows for a simpler, faster and less costly method for small businesses to collectively bargain.  It allows businesses to notify the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) of a collective bargain, which will come into force after 14 days (28 days in the first year) if it is not objected to by the ACCC.  To be eligible for notification the annual value of the transaction must not exceed $3 million.

The Government acknowledges that while the majority of small businesses will fit within the $3 million transaction threshold, there will be some small businesses that require a higher transaction limit as they have high turnover and small profit margins.

After extensive consultation with small business groups, the Coalition Government has implemented higher thresholds for:

  • petrol retailing, $15 million;
  • motor vehicle retailing, $20 million;
  • farm machinery, $10 million; and
  • primary production, including, but not limited to, fruit and vegetable growing, livestock farming, dairy farming, egg farming, wool farming, grain farming and cotton farming, $5 million.

This fulfils the Government’s commitment to bring these regulations into effect within six months of the Trade Practices Legislation Amendment Bill (No.1) 2006 (the Dawson Bill) passing the Senate.

Collective bargaining arrangements can create a public benefit by allowing small business to negotiate more effectively with big business and address imbalances in bargaining power. 

The amendments to the regulations will also extend the period of time in which related collective bargaining notices can be lodged with the ACCC and be eligible for a concessional fee of $0.  This period will be extended from 14 days to 28 days in the first year of the new regime’s operation, until 31 December 2007 when the Government will review the period.

CANBERRA
27 March 2007

Contacts:

David Gazard - Treasurer’s Office - 02 6277 7340
Kevin Lowe - Minister Bailey’s Office - 02 6277 7450