Welcome to the Australian Lottery and Newsagents’ Association

The Australian Lottery and Newsagents’ Association (ALNA) is the peak industry body representing Australian newsagencies and lottery agents. There are 4000 individually owned and operated newsagencies in the country and together they make up Australia's largest retail and home delivery group.
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ALNA Membership

Through strength and size, the ALNA has the necessary means to achieve outcomes difficult to achieve by a single business.

For just $876 per annum*, your ALNA membership gives you access to industry representation, complimentary advice on industrial relations and leasing matters, discounts on insurance, access to accredited industry training courses, and so much more.

Click here for a membership form

*Membership prices vary by state. Membership fee is capped at $876 per annum.

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ACCC releases report into Unfair Contract Terms

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released a report last week into potentially unfair contract terms affecting small business. ALNA contributed feedback from our industry to this review.

The ACCC conducted a review of 46 contracts over the last 12 months of some of Australia's largest businesses across seven industries to identify clauses in their existing contracts that could become problematic under the new law.

The Unfair Terms in Small Business Contracts Report provides an industry-by-industry breakdown of the common terms of concern identified by the ACCC following its engagement with businesses in the seven industries, including advertising, telecommunications, retail leasing, independent contracting, franchising, waste management and agriculture.

The ACCC said in their media release that, "Positive engagement with the ACCC over the last year has seen businesses such as Australia Post, News Limited, Optus and Scentre Group (Westfield) amend or remove contract terms that may have been problematic when the new law commences."

The report details the ACCC's review of a number of contracts in key industries to evaluate the range and type of unfair contract terms that would be problematic under the new laws. Of the contracts reviewed, the most commonly-occurring problems were terms that allowed the contract provider:

  • To unilaterally vary all terms (or at least those have a significant bearing on the contractual arrangement, or which could cause detriment if varied) in an unconstrained manner.
  • Potentially broad and unreasonable powers to protect themselves against loss or damage at the expense of the small business by imposing broad indemnities or excessive limitations of liabilities.
  • An unreasonable ability to cancel or end an agreement as it suits them.

In addition, the review identified a number of industry specific terms that could raise concerns, for example, automatic renewal clauses of advertising contracts.

Firms have removed or amended a significant number of clauses that were identified as problematic.

Where traders sought to justify the retention of particular clauses, the ACCC acknowledged that businesses could argue that a clause is in their legitimate business interests, but that the ACCC may revisit concerning clauses after the law is being enforced.

The release of the report marks the end of the ACCC's 12-month compliance project. The ACCC will now pursue enforcement action against B2B UCT issues that align with its Compliance and Enforcement Policy.

What to do if you think a term in a new contract you are signing is unfair?

The ACCC has provided the following guide for small businesses about what to do if you think a term in a new contract you are signing is unfair:

  • Ask the other party to remove the term or amend it so it is no longer unfair
  • Contact your local state or territory consumer protection agency (fair trading or consumer affairs), your local Small Business Commissioner (if applicable), or the national Australian Small Business & Family Enterprise Ombudsman.
  • Contact the ACCC's small business helpline on 1300 302 021 or lodge an online report form by visiting www.accc.gov.au/contact-us/contact-the-accc/report-a-small-business-issue
  • For unfair terms in relation to financial products and services, contact the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's (ASIC) general enquiries helpline on 1300 300 630 or visit www.asic.gov.au
  • Talk to a lawyer about your options.

CLICK HERE to read the ACCC's media release about the report.

CLICK HERE to read the full report.

ALNA will keep all members informed of changes affecting common contracts and of any ACCC enforcements now the new law is in effect.

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