The Australian Government Regulator for the Little People, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, is a tax payer Rip Off and refuses to act unless they get Paid.
The more I read about the ACCC, their charter, their speeches regarding their responsibilities and achievements and various Parliamentary papers, the more I realise that quite simply, they have no defense for not acting upon the complaints of Midas franchisees and the complaints of so many other victims and groups of victims.
What I have learnt so far..
Because they are a budget funding, dependant, agency, they only enforce the Australian Trade Practice Act for either;
a)Those that are clearly winnable.
b)Those that cannot or "believe" they cannot mount a defense.
a)While they must be winnable, these are the real "Big Names" of industry.
In all instances the ACCC has a media machine that goes to work to make the most "budget" mileage it can achieve. Often, the mere existence of the ACCC media machine ensures that weak targets capitulate quickly. The "Big Names" automatically generate media attention and the media machine then goes into overdrive.
The ACCC considers a case on this level;
It MUST be CLEARLY winnable. And then, if there is to be cost, that cost MUST generate a larger slice of the "budget" cake to warrant action.
The ACCC have to score points to gain funding and continue the farce so as to continue to employ those that maintain the farce.
This information is all supported on the web and by the complaints in the media. The ACCC have a responsibility to regulate, and enforce, the TPA. They make an appearance of fulfilling their charter, and that is publicized, but it is limited to that appearance which maintains the funding.
The ACCC continually defend themselves against criticism by stating they "cannot investigate when they don't have enough grounds." Consider that logic and re-read that excuse and then consider it in relation to very large groups of underfunded small business people making the same complaints about the same people but not fitting into the ACCC funding formulae. The ACCC simply won't investigate when the complaint will cost more than the media and "budget" benefit.
The Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, has within seconds of his last four Federal victories, been quick to assert that Australians have given him a mandate to run the country. What he overlooked was that Australians had placed upon him the responsibility to govern "for the people and for the country". To maintain the basic right of Australians to have access to justice is an obligation of government and it is clearly denied to many Australians by the ACCC for ulterior motives. Quite simply, when those Australians don't score points.
Repercussions of the failure of the Australian government and the ACCC to provide justice for all are financial and health destroying. Those people that suffer abuse and have no where to achieve a "fair go", have their lives shattered. The good news of course is that Graeme Samuel and John Martin etc of the ACCC continue to be employed and the Australian Federal Government continues to make good voter mileage from the publicized victories. Now that has got to count for something.
Had the ACCC acted on the large complaint submissions by Midas franchisees in 2001/2002 over 40 families would have been saved the trauma and devastation involved. The Midas franchisees are taking an independantly funded Class Action and many, not all, will receive compensation. That does not absolve the ACCC for not enforcing Australian Law.
Now the Australian Federal government are attempting to ignore a commitment made prior to the recent Federal election for a House of Representative Inquiry into Franchising.
In Australia, right now, there is a critical and moral need for a Royal Commission to he held into the operation of the ACCC and a Royal Commission into "Franchising".