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Independent Reviewer Appointed and Further Review of Franchising Code of Conduct Announced

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On 15 August 2023, the Government announced that another comprehensive review of the Franchising Code of Conduct (Code) will be conducted prior to the end of 2023.

Dr Michael Schaper, small business expert and former Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has been appointed as the independent reviewer.

Treasury has stated that the review is intended to “evaluate previous reforms and bring a number of reviews under one umbrella, including statutory reviews of the Franchise Disclosure Register and new car dealership protections in the Code”.

A consultation paper is due to be released shortly, and following public consultation, Dr Schaper is to deliver his report and recommendations to the Minister for Small Business, the Hon Julie Collins MP.

Interested persons can register to receive notification when the consultation paper is available by email to franchisingreview@treasury.gov.au.

The Terms of Reference for the review are available here.

In its media release, the Small Business Minister stated that “the $170 billion franchising sector is an important employer and contributor to the Australian economy” and further declared that “the Albanese Government is committed to ensuring a fair playing field in franchising”.

The review is timely, given the Code is due to sunset on 1 April 2025 and comes hot on the heels of the release of the FCA’s “State of Franchise 2023” report, which was presented by an FCA delegation to key ministers in Canberra earlier this month.

Those involved in the franchising industry eagerly await the review process and its outcomes.