Wed 08 Oct 2014
The Victorian Small Business Commissioner 2013-14 Annual Report was tabled in State Parliament on 16 September 2014:
The Report notes a small increase in applications for assistance with commercial disputes during the year, with a 7.8% decline in retail lease disputes more than outweighed by growth in applications in other areas. The mediation settlement rate remained high at 82.7%, while 26.6% of disputes were resolved prior to mediation.
The Report presents the outcomes of research undertaken into the costs and other adverse effects on businesses of litigation, based on parties’ experiences in VCAT during 2012. Resolution of commercial disputes through VSBC processes is much less costly and quicker than litigation, without other adverse effects.
It also summarises the key features of amendments to the Small Business Commissioner Act 2003, which came into effect on 1 May 2014. A key change is the power to issue a certificate if a party unreasonably refuses to engage in dispute resolution with the VSBC under the Act, and to publish that party’s name in the VSBC Annual Report. No such certificates were issued in the period to 30 June 2014, although four certificates have since been issued.
If you have any questions about this, please contact CCF Victoria on (03) 9822 0900.