State and national legal and government bodies and a majority of WA franchising businesses have voted against the private member’s bill raised by WA backbencher Peter Abetz.

The bill, which is alleged to help franchisees, had only two franchisees and five ex-franchisees made submissions in favour of it. In contrast, 19 franchisees made submissions against the bill.

Franchising Council of Australia
executive Director Steve Wright said that Abetz had failed to undertake consultation prior to introducing his bill.

“The Abetz bill should be scrapped,” he said.

“Its motivation has been questioned in Parliament, its contents are ill-considered and counter-productive and its potential consequences are considerable. 

“If implemented, it would lead to a sudden and damaging drop-off in investment and employment in the WA small business sector.  And it could be years before this was recovered, potentially costing the WA economy hundreds of millions of dollars of active business spending and employment.

“And for what reason?  Mr Cowin’s commercial motivation is easily understood but that is not a reason Mr Abetz or the WA Parliament should support it.”

According to the FCA, franchise owner Jack Cowin of Hungry Jack’s admitted on Perth radio last week that he had been conducting a long-running campaign to have the law changed because he is in dispute with the franchise brand owner of the 50 KFC stores he owns in WA.

Cowin closed the KFC store he owns in Rockingham four years ago.  He is understood to have reached the end of his 30 year operating agreements with a number of other KFC stores he owns in WA, though these continue to operate, with the permission of the global owner of KFC, Yum! Brands.