The outgoing ACCC Chairman, Graeme Samuel, has been quoted in The Australian Financial Review today supporting the need for alternative dispute resolution options for small business, particularly in the franchising industry.

Mr Samuels stated that the ACCC receives more than 500 complaints each year from franchisees. Mr Samuels endorsed options put forward by the Federal Minister for Small Business, Senator Nick Sherry, in his paper entitled 'Resolution of Small Business Disputes'. In that paper, Senator Sherry proposed a range of dispute resolution options aimed at assisting small business to avoid the high cost of court action. The options proposed included a national small business hotline, a low cost dispute resolution service, a small business tribunal and a small business advocate. The deadline for submissions on the options outlined in that paper has been extended from 30 June 2011 to 7 July 2011.