APRIL 2013 $7.70 inc gst
TOYOTA 86 It’s a game changer
Dealers warned to ‘keep it real’ Unions rush legislation before Labor shuts up shop
Mark Brennan National Small Business Commissioner In the Big Chair
Jim Richards Speaks candidly about racing in the 70s
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HAND TOOLS & OEM PARTS
TERRAIN TAMER parts are proudly designed and developed in Melbourne by a team with decades of engineering experience. They are produced in partnership with the world’s leading manufacturers, such as this modified input gear for the LandCruiser that we manufacture in Japan. Talk fluent 4WD with us on 1300 888 444 or visit terraintamer.com
YOU’RE IN SAFE HANDS.
64 21,681 CIRCULATION
06 LAST STAND
38 OEM PARTS
08 GET REAL
42 HAND TOOLS
10 NOT FAIR
46 JIM RICHARDS
Unions’ final push for anti-business legislation
Official publication of the Victorian and Tasmanian Automobile Chambers of Commerce Level 7, 464 St Kilda Road, Melbourne 3004 P: 03 9829 1111 F: 03 9867 3159 ABN 63 009 478 209 President: J Buskes Executive Director: DA Purchase OAM
Dealers warned by ACCC on misleading ‘Was/Now’ pricing
Franchise Code of Conduct Review: small business bullied
14 CARBON TAX It is just plain bad for small business
16 NO MORE LEVY VACC adheres to its obligations under National Privacy Principles legislation. Information on products and services contained in the editorial and advertising pages of this magazine does not imply the endorsement of any product or service by VACC. Australian Automotive is copyright and no part may be reproduced without the written permission of VACC. Advertisers and advertising agencies lodging material for publication in Australian Automotive indemnify the VACC, its directors, Board, employees, members, and its agents against all claims and any other liability whatsoever wholly or partially arising from the publication of the material, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, indemnify each of them in relation to defamation, libel, slander of title, infringement of copyright, infringement of trademarks or names of publication titles, unfair competition, breach of trade practices or fair trading legislation, violation of rights of privacy or confidential information or licences or royalty rights or other intellectual property rights, and warrant that the material complies with all relevant laws and regulations. Advertising accepted for publication in Australian Automotive is subject to the conditions set out in the Australian Automotive rate card, available from email@example.com
Motorcycle Safety Inquiry hands down recommendations
20 TIME TO ACT
Police find shocking numbers of unsafe commercial vehicles
22 ENERGY EFFICIENCY Get in quick for free audits: your business could save
There’s nothing like the genuine article
Organisation can save lots of time, and it’s easier than ever
Racing legend talks exclusively to us about his early racing days
Window limit resets, semiconductors, Dr Rick, and more...
Toyota 86, Mitsubishi Mirage, Nissan Patrol, Volvo V40, Kawasaki Z800
67 SERVICE DIRECTORY Goods and services at your fingertips
Dealers excited by Nissan’s V8 Supercar marketing strategy
34 IN THE BIG CHAIR
74 MYTHICAL MOTORS
Mark Brennan, Australian Small Business Commissioner
Crossword, quiz, wordfind, Taillight Teaser, Bollocks, Horace Kope, The Sommelier, Derek’s Dipstick...
30 PUBLICITY RACE
Carbon pricing forces rethink from Mick
46 APRIL 2013
Rick Besserdin Qualified motor mechanic, Rick Besserdin, spent a number of years in the electronics industry. He was a Ford Master Technician and Master Training Coordinator and has a Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training and a Certificate IV in Automotive. He has been Editor of VACC Technical Department’s Tech Talk since 2004 and, this Issue, delves into semiconductors on page 50. He insists he is no relation to Dr Rick.
Paul Tuzson Paul Tuzson, Australia’s foremost automotive technical journalist, writes for several leading car magazines, including Street Machine. This issue, Tuzson reports on the time savings you can gain with considered handtool storage solutions. Elsewhere, Tuzson investigates the world of OEM parts. He talks to several major players. Check out his findings on page 38.
Government: you get what you deserve! PRIME MINISTER, JULIA Gillard, has called an election for 14 September. You now have less than five months to think about what you are going to do about it. Of course, other important things will be happening on that Saturday, but there will be only one event in which you can make a difference to the outcome. The election, unlike the fate of your footy team in the finals, is in your hands. Having the right employees is vital to the success of any business, and that’s why you ask for resumes, references, background checks and interviews before taking on someone new. So, why should a new government be any different? The government is, after all, an employee. It’s there to help your business, and to do so you have to pay it. Just like when hiring a new employee, it’s important to do your homework, so you can choose the right candidate. Are you informed? Do you know the policies of the major parties, and the key differences in those policies? The media, despite its fascination with leadership and personality, occasionally churns out the odd piece on policies and plans, and you will find plenty of these stories inside this month’s Australian Automotive.
Issues like the Carbon Tax (page 14), workplace relations laws (page 6), and promoting small business (page 34) will all feature prominently in this year’s election campaign. However, there’s plenty more to find out about the major parties, such as their attitude to funding the local car industry, and while we will continue to inform you over the coming months, it’s up to you to do the homework so you can make the best choice come September 14. Make sure those politicians work for you, though. Write to them, and expect clear answers on matters of policy, as they will be keen to impress you. So, to paraphrase a famous US President: Ask not what you can do for your government, but what your government can do for you!
Murray Collins Following the completion of his postgraduate Broadcast Journalism degree in Darlington, UK in 1994, Murray Collins spent six years working as a BBC local radio reporter. Collins then joined BSkyB Sky News Radio in 2001, producing and presenting national bulletins. In 2006, he moved to Melbourne and joined VACC in 2007. On page 10 he delves into the Franchising Code of Conduct.
Rod Chapman Rod Chapman has previously served as News Editor of Australian Motorcycle News and was Editor of British monthly, Motorcycle Sport & Leisure. He currently works for a number of Australia’s best motorcycling titles, including Motorcycle Trader, as a freelance journalist. In this issue, he experiences the many qualities of the Kawasaki Z800 (page 64).
Australian Automotive Managing Editor: David Dowsey 03 9829 1247 firstname.lastname@example.org Design & Layout: Gavin van Langenberg, Faith Perrett Database & Distribution: Mary Gouvas Contributors: Rick Besserdin, Dr Richard CreightonSmythe (retired), Nick Dalziel, Darren House, Horace Kope, Ian Porter, Dr Rick, Damien Slavin, The Sommelier
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Last Stand Unions seek to rush workplace changes through before Labor leaves office
WORDS David Dowsey t doesn’t take a crystal ball to predict the election result. And the unions know it.
The Federal Labor Government looks increasingly unlikely to be re-elected come 14 September, with a recent poll giving Labor a primary vote of just 30 per cent. Meanwhile, there has also been a rush on industrial relations legislation. A coincidence? Not on your life. Industrial relations feature in every election. But, recently, instead of reform, the practice has been to introduce political extremes. The Coalition is now reluctant to advocate reform because of the blow it received from Work Choices, legislation which many believed was too far in favour of employers. However, the Gillard Government continues to steamroll ahead in the opposite direction with laws that further tip the balance in the direction of unions and individuals to the detriment of Australian business, alarming
industry groups such as the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), and the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC). “It is concerning for business that so many union demands seem to be getting pushed through in this election year. It seems to us that unions are pressuring the Federal Government to rush through legislation because they can smell the winds of change,” said Leyla Yilmaz, VACC General Manager Industrial Relations, OHS & Training. “It appears increasingly unlikely that the Gillard Government will be re-elected and it is therefore beneficial to unions to get controversial antibusiness legislation passed before the lights go out on the Labor Government.” In the whirlwind of an election year, and the blur of the 24hour news cycle, the voice of business owners is being lost. But if stakeholders are not listened to, and unions are allowed to railroad the Federal
“Discrimination laws are more than plentiful, which makes it very difficult for employers to comply with legislation. The original intention, which VACC endorsed, was for the Federal Government to harmonise anti-discrimination laws, not add further layers and greater exposure to employers for litigation.
Peter Anderson Government into making broad changes, that will be difficult and expensive to overturn, the cost to all Australians could be immense. It is a time for wise heads and genuine discussion; a time for a balance of rights and obligations, say industry groups like ACCI and VACC.
Anti-Discrimination The Executive Director of ACCI, Peter Anderson, has called on Parliament to delay the passage of new antidiscrimination laws. Consultation is needed in order to strike the correct balance, he says. Yilmaz backs up ACCI’s call. “Parliament would be doing the country a massive disservice if the anti-discrimination laws were rushed through in their current form in an election year,” she told Australian Automotive. “If the Federal Government goes ahead with this new anti-discrimination legislation, they will be breaking another promise to simplify laws. “The draft of these laws lacks the required balance; they fall in favour of aggrieved individuals, leaving business owners at the mercy of people who have an axe to grind against their employers.
“If these laws get up, employers will be exposed to multiple levels of litigation. The draft laws encourage forum shopping: lodging claims with multiple courts and tribunals, which adds a further layer, another potential claim area, making it more difficult for employers to defend themselves.” What’s more, even if aggrieved individuals are unsuccessful in their claims, they will not have to pay expenses, which further promotes this sort of activity, and the proliferation of ‘go-away’ money, as well as wasting time and public money in courts on vexatious claims. Small to medium-sized businesses across Australia can ill-afford the possibility of even more litigation. The draft anti-discrimination laws make it easier for individuals to sue, which does not meet the expectations business had when the Government embarked on the harmonisation of discrimination laws in April 2010. ACCI and VACC support the ‘consolidation’ of antidiscrimination laws; this will make complying with them easier for business owners, but the re-writing and additions, as opposed to consolidation, that has been exhibited in the draft laws, is concerning for both business advocates and employers, says Yilmaz.
VACC’s Leyla Yilmaz says Australian small businesses are concerned about legislation that is too far in favour of unions and workers, to the detriment of employers
“BUSINESS IS DIVERSE AND ‘ONE-SIZEFITS-ALL’ RULES FAIL TO MEET EMPLOYER NEEDS. A BLANKET SET OF RULES CANNOT BE APPLIED TO ALL BUSINESS OWNERS” Workplace Bullying The Federal Government’s proposal to change Fair Work laws, and to extend work and family and workplace bullying rights, appears to be wellintentioned. However, Yilmaz says they need to be considered as part of the bigger picture of industrial relations changes if the Labor Government wants support from business owners. “Important changes such as these require consultation and a considered approach,” says Yilmaz. “Laws don’t change behaviour, education does.” The proposed changes to workplace bullying laws, which take the issue of bullying out of the health and safety arena and place it into the realm of industrial relations, allows workers, who believe they have
been bullied, to lodge a claim with the Fair Work Commission. This will only increase the likelihood of vexatious complaints and will therefore see a spike in this type of activity in the workplace, leading to a loss in productivity and business confidence, says Yilmaz. “Bullying is something that we do not tolerate. However, the serious issue of bullying belongs with health and safety, not with the Fair Work Commission.” But while Workplace Relations Minister, Bill Shorten, says that businesses would not be open to bullying accusations, simply for telling their workers to improve their performance, this is not the message being relayed to employer organisations like VACC, by the owners of small businesses.
size-fits-all’ rules fail to meet employer and employee needs.A blanket set of rules cannot be applied to all business owners.” Over-regulation through Fair Work has a cost to business: employment. It is simple, really: when business gets expensive from such regulation, employers are unable to take on more staff. That’s why VACC calls on the government to abolish unnecessary imposts on business owners.
“Our members are reporting that they are fearful of litigation. Business owners are telling us that they can’t even ‘look sideways’ at an employee for fear of being reported for bullying behaviour. This is simply taking things too far.” Employers and employees need each other. Without effective More litigation means more relations between the two, there disputes, more expenses and is no industry: nothing gets done. a weakening of a business Therefore, it is in everybody’s owner’s position and confidence interests to come to a workable, to employ staff, says Yilmaz. levelled Industrial Relations policy In the end, everybody loses. that benefits all. But while an election year can be distracting, IR Reform it does provide an opportunity The swing from Work Choices to send clear messages to both to Fair Work has seen an sides of politics, says Yilmaz. overreaction that has left “We want Government to business owners hurting. implement the recommendations “Fair Work is unfair”, says Yilmaz. from the Fair Work Act Review “Most people agree that a safety Panel Report, which in their nature, net of rules is a good thing, but address balance, and not just to rules need to allow for flexibility; implement changes that win votes business is diverse and‘oneor that unions support.”