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New unfair contract terms in force from tomorrow

ATA says the protections will apply to almost 98 per cent of trucking businesses


The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) is reminding industry members to get information regarding the updated unfair contract term rules before they come into effect tomorrow.

ATA chair Noelene Watson is urging small business operators to review their standard forms before signing new contracts or renewing existing ones.

The new protections apply to businesses with fewer than 20 employees that agree to standard contracts where the upfront price is no more than either $300,000, or $1 million if the contract is for more than 12 months.

“These protections have the potential to be extremely important for the trucking industry,” Watson says.

“Every small business in our industry and every larger business that uses standard form contracts needs to understand the impact of the law.”

Watson says the protections will apply to almost 98 per cent of trucking businesses.

Part of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 amendment, the new protections are designed to defend small businesses against unfair terms in standard contracts.

Cooper Grace Ward has warned that the new rules will have “significant repercussions for the road transport industry because transport operators routinely rely on standard form contracts, usually set out in fine print on the reverse of consignment notes”.

ATA had earlier released a contract checklist and comprehensive general information about the protections, including a review of unfair terms in selected industries.

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