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Consumers and small businesses win big the better business reforms


Consumers and small business owners around the State will save more than half a billion dollars over 10 years thanks to the NSW Coalition’s sweeping Better Business Reforms.

The package of reforms, which passed Parliament this week, includes significant red tape reductions for small businesses and better transparency measures for consumers.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said it’s the biggest shakeup of NSW consumer law in more than three decades.

“We’ll be saving consumers at least $150 million over 10 years by giving them greater transparency to help them make more informed decisions. This will save our NSW families precious time and hard-earned money.

“The NSW Coalition is determined to help small business owners compete for a stronger, better future. This suite of common sense red tape reductions will save small business owners at least $495 million over 10 years.”

The key reforms to help small businesses thrive include:

·         Extending the durations of more than 70 licenses, which will save more than 410,000 licence holders $216 million over 10 years;

·         Introducing specialised licenses for motor vehicle dealers and repairers, saving them $175 million over 10 years and helping regional businesses keep their doors open; and

·         Making 13 types of home building licenses ongoing, meaning tradies will only have to notify Fair Trading every 5 years to confirm they want to maintain their licence.

The key reforms to empower consumers include:

·         Making businesses clearly tell consumers up front about the potential effects of terms and conditions which could prejudice their interests;

·         Giving consumers the right to report dodgy or dangerous products to Fair Trading, despite non-disclosure agreements; and

·         Making brokers and product comparison businesses come clean on the kickbacks and commissions they receive.

In May, Mr Kean asked more than 100 business groups, academics, think tanks and members of Parliament for ideas to remove red tape and make it easier to start and stay in business.

The Better Business Reforms for small business and consumers are the culmination of this consultation process.