A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

If you’re finding it tough in your small business …

Take a moment to read about the 25-year old protection offered rich big businesses. This explanation published by respected journalist Michael West given you a hint into what should be considered a scandal:

It’s quite the cosy little arrangement that some of Australia’s “old money” billionaires enjoy, courtesy of the federal government. It’s a cosy arrangement afforded to no other Australians, and a number of the country’s wealthiest individuals have fought tooth and nail to protect their privilege despite repeated attempts by parliament, the corporate regulator and Treasury to end it.

Billionaires such as Gina Rinehart, Anthony Pratt, Harry Triguboff, Frank Lowy, Kerry Stokes and dozens of other “old wealth” Australian families are exempted from having to produce audited financial accounts to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

A total of 1,119 large proprietary companies are on this secret rich list; a result of “grandfathering” provisions of the corporations laws that were introduced by the government of Paul Keating 25 years ago.

The grandfathering exemption was put in place to give these wealthy proprietary companies time to adapt to a new financial reporting law introduced in 1995.

Introduced as a temporary plan by the Keating government, the list of exempt companies was to be reviewed after a few years but the Howard government stopped that move. The Rudd-Gillard government passed laws to limit the exemption, but the Coalition overturned them.

This an appalling situation, providing cover of darkness for thee businesses, while the rest of us here in the trenches are subject to tough regulation and oversight.

Rex Patrick is fighting to resolve this:

This is a story that should anger Avery small business owner as it’s us who are carrying the cost of measures like this one, which appears to protect big businesses.


Join the discussion

  1. Graeme Day

    I don’t see the relationship between Small Businees AND the Corporate ones. what’s the point we have our problems and we need to address them. Govt. and Big Business have always been bed companions, Labor and Liberal alike please don’t be precious about party preferences. If one thinks that comparing Big business with our problems with are having ourselves on ?
    Small Business has to stand collectively, there are bodies that do this. maybe we can support them?
    There is no way we can move on if Division, as being illustrated with COVID and the States playing poilitics proves anything except small mindesness.
    We need unbiased collective thought porocess as small business to move on. .this single thought process does need addressing division is not a way forward. Big business and Govt are not point scoring advantages. Proactive self interest is.


  2. Mark Fletcher

    Graeme, I posted about this as it is a story that does not get coverage in mainstream media. It’s an important reminder that successive governments talk about fairness but squib when they have the opportunity to legislate it.


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