For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Well, so says Newton’s Third Law and any number of derivative and inane pseudo-philosophers.
This week, scientists unveiled – in a sort of dance of the seven veils in which the latest one was quite gauzy – the glue that holds the universe together, the Higgs boson.
And as the universe started to make a little more sense, lo, it also started to make a lot less sense. It’s as though by pinpointing what stops the universe unravelling, we thereby kickstarted the unravelling process.
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Just when you’d given up all hope of Labor being able to break through to the voting public, along comes Craig Emerson. The Trade Minister has harnessed the power of music to drum home the Government’s message that despite dire warnings from the opposition, towns will not crumble under the carbon tax.
The moment to watch in his ABC interview is about 1:30 as he preps, pauses, jiggles, and finally launches into what could be the performance of his lifetime.
There’s really not much more to be said, except that we are thankful that he was not inspired to do a Titanic-esque ‘Whyalla will go on’.
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Federal Small Business Minister, Craig Emerson has taken the Federal Government’s spin and smear approach to policy issues to new depths. With a debate raging about the Federal Government’s failure to respond to the needs of small businesses and consumers, Craig Emerson took time out to reflect on the contribution being made to the small business and competition law debate by this author.
It’s extraordinary that a Federal Minister has the time to reflect on the contribution being made by a particular individual. Surely there are better things the Minister could be doing such as explaining why the Federal Government wasted millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money on a failed GroceryChoice website.
Perhaps the Minister’s time could be better spent explaining why Australia consistently has some of the highest levels of food inflation in the developed world which is pushing up grocery prices for Aussie families.
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While small businesses and franchisees are the engine room of the economy, it’s disappointing that only lip service is currently being paid federally to their concerns regarding anti-competitive and unconscionable conduct by larger businesses.
Sadly, the Federal Government, through its small business Minister Craig Emerson, is failing to fix the growing gaps in our laws dealing with anti-competitive mergers and unconscionable conduct. These gaps and the Federal Government’s ongoing failure to address them are costing small businesses and consumers dearly.
Instead, we are seeing window dressing federally in the lead up to the election. We have been seeing a flurry of proposed “amendments” that merely give the impression of doing “something” without actually fixing the problems.
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Do consumers want cheaper prices and greater product choices? Of course they do and that’s why it is essential that more Costco supermarkets open up around Australia.
Costco is a US company that operates retail warehouses where people can become members for a yearly fee which then entitles them to shop at a massive warehouse offering products at substantial discounts to competitors.
By way of background, Costco has about 563 warehouses worldwide with around 410 operated in the US, and the remainder operated in Canada, Mexico, the UK, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and Australia. We currently only have one Costco in Melbourne’s Docklands which opened on 17 August 2009.
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With consumers already being let down so badly on grocery issues by Mr Rudd and his Competition Minister Craig Emerson, you’d think that they would do better on basic consumer law issues. Well, you’d be very disappointed as Minister Emerson has presided over a continual watering down of consumer rights in the vital area of unfair contract terms.
Unfair contract terms may prevent the sale of items like this
We know or should know about unfair contract terms. We more commonly know them as the “fine print” in consumer contracts. These are the nasty terms of the contract that stack the contract well and truly in favour of the larger party, commonly a big business. Banks use unfair contract terms as do mobile phone companies. Car hire companies and your local gym also try to stack the contract terms in their favour.
Unfair contract terms are also found in contracts that small businesses may have with larger businesses. Small businesses also deal with banks, mobile phone companies and car hire companies. In this regard, small businesses are also consumers of basic goods and services. Sadly, small businesses can also get hit with unfair contract terms in franchise agreements, retail leases and supply agreements.
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