10 August 2021

Delivering franchise reforms: Morrison Government releases automotive franchising discussion paper

The Morrison Government is continuing to bring significant reform to the franchise sector with the release of a discussion paper on further reform to protect Australia’s family‑owned automotive businesses and their employees from the growing power imbalance with multi‑national car companies.

Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert, today released the discussion paper to seek views on the merits of a standalone automotive franchising code of conduct and options to achieve mandatory binding arbitration for automotive franchisees. The paper also seeks evidence to support expanding protections for new vehicle dealerships to other parts of the automotive sector.

Minister Robert said the discussion paper builds on the reforms to the Franchising Code of Conduct introduced on 1 July this year.

‘The Morrison Government has already delivered big wins for thousands of small businesses across the country—including auto dealers—as its franchising reforms were delivered earlier this year,’ Mr Robert said.

‘Now, the Morrison Government is seeking feedback from family‑owned automotive businesses and their employees to understand the extent of other potential issues in the sector and the possible need for further reform to contribute to providing a level playing field for automotive dealers and manufacturers.

‘The Morrison Government is delivering reforms to help ensure a fair go for dealers that employ more than 60,000 Australians, including 4,000 apprentices, and contribute more than $12 billion to the economy.’

The discussion paper is available on the Treasury website

Stakeholders are invited to provide a submission to smallbusinessfranchising@treasury.gov.au by 13 September 2021.

Information on the reforms to the Franchising Code of Conduct that came into effect on 1 July can be found on the Treasury website.