WA franchise inquiry has kicked off

It has been criticised by the franchisor representative body the Franchise Council of Australia for interfering in matters covered by federal laws.

February 6, 2008

WA franchise inquiry has kicked off
Jacqui Walker

Public hearings for the West Australian Government’s inquiry into franchising started on Monday in Perth. About 40 franchisors and franchisees attended the hearing but all but two of those who made an oral submission was a franchisee or former franchisee.

The inquiry, which is being chaired by franchisee Chris Bothams, manager of the South East Metro Small Business Centre, follows cries for help from Jack Cowin’s Competitive Foods following the company’s failure to renew its KFC franchise agreements in WA as they fall due.

But the inquiry has become a rallying point for all disgruntled franchisees and former franchisees across the country. Sue Brown and Frank Buemi, former Lenards poultry franchisees made submissions, as did Deanne De Leeuw, former Bakers Delight franchisee.

Richard Taylor, chief financial officer of franchisor Bakers Delight, appeared on behalf of the bakery chain that has been the target of recent negative publicity.

Competitive Foods was represented by barrister Tim Castle. Competitive Foods would like to see the law changed so that franchisees have more rights at the end of the franchise agreement.

But the terms of terms of the WA inquiry into franchising are much broader, and include reviewing the adequacy of existing legislative provisions, both state and federal, and identifying whether emerging trends in the franchising industry disclose patterns of unconscionable conduct that may not be covered under existing laws.

It has been criticised by the franchisor representative body the Franchise Council of Australia for interfering in matters covered by federal laws.

On Friday, public hearings will be held in Bunbury, two and half hours south of Perth.

None of the written submission to the inquiry will be made public before the inquiry chair Bothams reports to the Minister for Small Business in WA on 31 March.

Brought to you by WikidFranchise.org

Risks: Deanne de Leeuw, Government inquiries into franchise abuse allegations, Formal parliamentary public hearings, Renewal of contract denied, Renewing contract much tougher, Opportunism, Disgruntled, Blame the franchisee, Franchisor association not trusted by franchisees, System designed to fail for franchisees, Franchisee abandons their investment, Franchisee leader, Franchisee militates loses by turning store over to franchisor, Franchisee revolt, Tip of the iceberg, Franchisees more willing to speak up, Franchisor group, Franchisor takes back high-volume store, Franchisors want the minimum regulation they can get away with, General disclosure worse than no disclosure, Negative publicity, Sunk costs, Whistleblowers, Vacuum of information favours dominant party, Undue influence, Trade association creed, Tobacco industry-type defence, Symbiotic relationships (industry, banks, lawyers), Wealth is meant to be re-distributed (not created), Reputational risk, Evergreen renewals, Investor confidence crushed, no trust or buying, Call for franchise law, Don’t buy any franchise?, Trade association tells elected officials how to do their job, National press coverage, Refusal to acknowledge national franchisee association, National association claims it represents franchisees but retreats when questioned, Retaliation, Fear, distrust, hate and contempt, Fearmongering, Australia, 20080206 WA franchise

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License