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Contents OUR MISSION The mission of MGA Independent Retailers is to deliver the best possible industry specific business support services to independent grocery, liquor, hardware and associate store members.


CEO welcome

6 2020 MGA TMA National AGM and Industry Update – Australian Circular Economy Solutions 8 Looming changes for casual engagement 9

Fairly Dismissed

10 Individual Flexibility Agreement. What are they and how are they

MGA NATIONAL SUPPORT OFFICE Suite 5, 1 Milton Parade, Malvern, Victoria, 3144 P: 03 9824 4111 • F: 03 9824 4022 admin@mga.asn.au • www.mga.asn.au Freecall: 1800 888 479

created? 11 Attorney General releases proposed Industrial Relations Reforms that will benefit the Australian economy. 12 Insolvency reforms a boost to small business owners 13 Ombudsman backs ACCC’s concerns over Woolworths’ PFD tilt 14 MGA TMA voices concern over proposed payments platform merger 16  Small business sector demonstrates resilience in COVID crisis:



Debbie Smith (President): Queensland Grant Hinchcliffe (Vice President): Tasmania Graeme Gough: New South Wales Ripple Parehk: New South Wales Ross Anile: Western Australia Carmel Goldsmith: New South Wales Chris dos Santos: South Australia Lincoln Wymer: Victoria Jeff Harper: Victoria

17  MGA TMA - Waste and the Australian Circular Economy


30 IGA Mascot NSW

Jos de Bruin 03 9824 4111 E: jos.debruin@mga.asn.au

CORPORATE PARTNERSHIP & MEDIA SALES Mark Paladino 0417 264 331 E: mark.paladino@mga.asn.au

DESIGN & PRODUCTION Cindi Damian E: cindi@mga.asn.au


19 Circular Economy Solution insights - Packaging 20 State and Commonwealth Government matters affecting Members 26 Long-awaited Illicit Tobacco Report released 27 WA CDS - Letter from Michael Rowe 28  WA Minister for Small Business Paul Papalia thanks MGA WA Director Ross Anile 29 Queensland - It’s the last straw for single-use plastics 32 SPAR Supermarkets Australia celebrates 10 years 33 Jail for masterminds of record WA cigarette importation 34 Small actions can make a big difference - Sustainability in the workplace 36 Provans scholarships 37 Implementing Risk Management into your business 39 Are you prepared for La Niña? 40 NAB introduces flat pricing for Least Cost Routing 40 MGA Welcomes New Corporate Partner, MB Group 41 Bond Seven, new look, same delicious taste! 42 Seppelt announces New Winemaker: Clare Dry 42 Keeping workplaces mentally healthy 44 Asahi Holdings Australia appoints new chairman 45 Victoria Police conduct more illegal tobacco raids 45 HURRY! NSW Bin Trim program ends soon

www.facebook.com/ MGAIndependentRetailers www.linkedin.com/company/ mga-independent-retailers www.twitter.com/ MasterGrocers

Front Cover: SPAR Acacia Ridge team coming together to play barefoot bowls and celebrating the 10th Anniversary – MD Lou Jardin pictured left

MGA Corporate Partners DIAMOND







tasmanian independent retailers


CEO Welcome Welcome to MGA’s first edition for 2021 of the Independent Retailer Magazine. Best wishes to all our members, corporate members, industry stakeholders and industry friends for a robust year of trading and business growth in a safe and COVID-19 free environment!

First and foremost, all members and industry stakeholders must be congratulated for your superhuman efforts in coping with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The investment all members have made in making their supermarkets, bottleshops and timber and hardware businesses safe community places for people to work and shop has been a credit to you all! Who would ever have thought such a Pandemic Catastrophe could strike Australia, let alone the world, and have such a profound effect on the daily lives of so many? MGA members around Australia have served and supported their communities and continue to be at the front line for supplying consumers with fresh food, groceries and household goods. I also wish to take this opportunity to thank MGA’s staff who have worked through these tough and challenging times and have worked tirelessly to advise, service and support members. It appears that shutdowns, lockdowns, wearing masks and following all the distancing rules are here to stay for quite some time into the future. At the time of writing, Brisbane City was in a 3-day lockdown, Sydney continues to have small COVID-19 outbreaks. The Victorian, WA and NSW borders were closed and Victorian travellers who were on holidays in NSW prior to borders closing have been left stranded awaiting their entry back into Victoria. Looking at the rest of the world we certainly don’t have anything to complain about. The United Kingdom, Germany and the United States continue to experience record daily COVID-19 infections and deaths. A new more infectious strain of COVID-19 has also been discovered putting the world on high alert. Overseas travel is something of the past for most Australians given the risks while abroad and then the risks of exposure upon returning to Australia, hence quarantining will be strictly enforced.

Travel around Australia is still tenuous given the uncertainty of the COVID-19 disease and the various border closure actions by state governments. Late in 2020 MGA held its Board nomination process. Three of MGA Directors stood down to renominate. Long-serving Director Mick Daly did not renominate subsequently allowing a new Director to join MGA’s Board. Please join me in warmly welcoming Ripple Parekh from NSW to MGA’s Board. Please also congratulate Debbie Smith for becoming MGA Board Chair and Grant Hinchcliffe has been appointed MGA Board Vice-Chair. MGATMA certainly has a big year ahead with many initiatives and matters requiring focus and energy to make sure our members’ voice is being heard. These matters include; IR reform - driving simplicity and reducing complexity to increase employment and offer additional hours of work. The Annual Wage Review to minimize any risk of exorbitant wage increases. Lodging submissions to senate inquiries. Competition matters, including opposing Woolworths acquisition of PFD Food Services. Reducing costly Merchant payment fees. Eradication of the illicit tobacco industry and most importantly introducing to all our members around Australia the principles of the Circular Economy. MGATMA will keep members informed via this magazine, email communique and the website with the latest news concerning the huge cost savings that can be gained by managing waste away from landfill. Now is the time to adopt the culture of reduce, reuse and recycle.

Until next edition - Good selling, and stay safe.

Jos de Bruin CEO MGA Independent Retailers




2020 MGA TMA National AGM and Industry Update – Australian Circular Economy Solutions MGA TMA (Timber Merchants Australia) held its very first virtual (video) National AGM and Industry Update, titled ‘Embracing the Circular Economy’, on 18th November 2020. Speakers included MGA President Debbie Smith, who spoke about MGA’s vision to embrace the Circular Economy. Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans, who spoke about the Federal Government’s plans to work with SME’s in embracing recycling, as well as, Chief Executive Officer of Australian Circular Economy Solutions (ACES), Max Haas. MGA President Debbie Smith said, “while the 2020 year has been one of anxiety, frustration and flux, it has also been a year of innovation, determination and drive. “While our industry has generally benefitted from COVID restrictions, our member stores in high tourist precincts and inner cities have been challenged by lack of regular foot traffic, incompatible rent demands and downturns in productivity. Government assistance packages became a lifeline for some,” she said. “The initiatives and innovations announced at this forum today have been developed to enable retailers of all sizes and brands to pursue a sustainable future. A future where our members can reduce their cost of doing business and consumers will choose an independent

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supermarket, liquor store or timber and hardware business because of their waste and energy reduction credentials and values,” Ms Smith said.

areas of IR Reform to drive jobs and grow the Australian Economy, namely; award simplicity, casuals, compliance and enforcement, EBAs and greenfields sites.

MGA Chief Executive Officer, Jos de Bruin agreed that while it has been an extraordinarily busy and challenging year, he was very proud of the resilience that all members around Australia have shown during this time, while at the same time also strongly supporting their communities.

MGA TMA also contributed its own submissions to drive award simplicity and flexibility. Minister Porter will be making IR Reform announcements sometime early in 2021, as a result of this initiative.” MGA TMA’s “Annual Wage Review” initiative, led by Legal Counsel Marie Brown, together with a committee of members, focused on two key areas of concern within our industry sector; the growing cost to employ people and the desire to employ more people and give them more hours of work.

Mr de Bruin said, “panic buying, supply disruption and the online shopping phenomena were evident in 2020, mostly due to vague messaging from our governments, as well as the media misreporting and creating fear within the community.” “Supply chains were also affected, and we liaised with the ACCC to stop the risk of large suppliers preferencing the chains at the expense of independents. What we need to do now is get the Economy going, while also continuing to trade and keep creating jobs.” “Between July and October 2020, the MGA TMA was invited, together with COSBOA (Council of Small Business Organisations Australia), to participate in the Prime Ministers IR Reform initiative, led by the Attorney General and IR Minister Christian Porter. There were five working groups which addressed five key

Mr. de Bruin was praising of MGA’s IR Reform Committee which embarked upon an extensive research study and survey of our members in late 2019 and early 2020. The findings of this report became the basis of our annual wage review submission to the Fair Work Commission. As a consequence of the survey findings, MGA TMA advocated for a zero per cent wage increase, given the precarious and uncertain circumstances we are living in. The Fair Work Commission took our submission, and that of many organisations into their consideration, and much to our disappointment awarded a wage increase of 1.75 per cent, which is effective from 1st February.”


“MGA TMA has also been dealing with many other issues, including merchant payment fees which have risen to unsustainable levels, and state matters such timber supply shortages, trading hours liberalisation, environmental matters and bans of single-use plastic items.” “MGA TMA has always been a major driver in addressing issues for our members. Recently these initiatives included IR Reform, competition law reform, the black Economy and the cost of managing waste and energy,” he said. At the conclusion of Mr de Bruin’s update, Ms Smith went on to explain MGA TMA’s involvement in Australian Circular Economy Solutions, which was the primary topic throughout the industry update. “The MGA TMA anti-waste strategy also aims to audit waste so that we can see which reclaimable materials are sent to landfill. Organics, plastics and cardboard make up the bulk of our waste streams, and all have viable recycling options. Together we as an industry sector can

reduce the cost of doing business, add an income stream, and reduce emissions. Our early test stores have reduced their bin pickups by at least 50 per cent – a huge saving,” she said. Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans also went on to explain how the Federal Government has become more involved in the circular economy in recent years. “One headline issue is the discovery that Australia is exporting huge quantities of its waste streams, including potential recyclable materials, to a lot of countries that are unable to deal with plastics and it has ended up back in rivers and oceans. It has also been trucked or transported around Australia to take advantage of different waste levies or taxes by different states,” he said. “The first thing I did was to organise all state and territory governments to come together, and all agree on the way forward under the National Waste Policy and the action plan that sits underneath it. Because this is the place where we


have set out who is doing what over the next ten years and we have some very ambitious targets over this time.” Minister Evans concluded by saying new recycling laws, including preventing the export of waste plastics, tyre, paper and anything that is contaminated cannot be exported to any country moving forward starting with glass on 1st January 2021. The new recycling laws will include many announcements and reforms at the federal level over the next few years, including some ambitious targets for packaging in Australia in 2025, he said. The Circular Economy is a very real and immediate action for all MGATMA members to embark upon – this will save members huge waste pick up costs, not to mention divert waste away from landfill. MGATMA will keep all members informed of an exciting and compelling Circular Economy Solutions launch in early 2021.




Looming changes for casual engagement The debate on what it means to engage casual employees in Australia has escalated in the past few years, culminating in the May 2020 Rossato Federal Court decision in that paved the way for casual employees to claim leave entitlements.

The discussion on casual engagement continues, and notable developments include the Morrison Government’s proposed IR Bill and the upcoming High Court appeal of the Rossato decision. Watch this space – MGATMA will keep members informed as these further developments come to light.

Learning from Rossato The implications of Rossato for employers are obvious – casual employees should not be provided a “firm advance commitment to continuing and indefinite work” in order to preserve the informality and irregular nature of true casual engagement.

Members that have existing casuals that work a regular and systematic pattern may consider offering casual conversion to permanent status. Further, casuals covered by the General Retail Industry Award 2020 that work an ongoing regular and systematic pattern for 12 months are also entitled to request casual conversion.

An employer can reduce the risk of disputes surrounding the nature of a casual employee’s engagement by targeting factors that go toward establishing a “firm advance commitment to continuing and indefinite work”.

The MGA TMA Legal and IR Team can assist Members with preparing employment contracts for casual employees, as well as advising on casual conversion and how best to reduce risks in engaging regular and systematic casuals.

MGA TMA recommends implementing the following for new and existing casual employees:

What’s next for casual engagement?

WorkPac Pty Ltd v Rossato & Ors In May 2020, the full Federal Court in Rossato found in favour of a casual employee in its ruling that he was entitled to annual, personal/carer’s and compassionate leave entitlements, as well as payment for absences on some public holidays. In its finding, the presence of a “firm advance commitment to continuing and indefinite work” was considered paramount. The employee in question was engaged as a casual worker pursuant to a number of employment contracts and worked consistent rostered hours for a period of about four years. The regularity and predictability of the employee’s work pattern, the effective inability to decline allocated shifts and the expression of an expected duration of employment were important in deciding that the employee was a non-casual employee and was hence entitled to the corresponding permanent employee entitlements. The requirement to submit timesheets and the payment of an hourly rate of pay were found to be insignificant in themselves in deciding that the engagement was non-casual. However, a short termination notice period was found to be favourable of casual engagement.

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• a contract of employment that

clearly states employment on a casual basis, that hours of work are flexible and subject to change, and that the casual loading is paid in lieu of leave entitlements;

• offering shifts to casuals on an

at-needs and intermittent basis, or rostering casuals on short term rosters that require irregular hours;

• ensuring that over time, casuals do not work a predictable or regular and systematic pattern of hours and days;

• permitting casuals to decline shifts,

The Rossato ruling is due to be challenged in the High Court, although a hearing date is yet to be set. Although the Federal Court’s ruling in Rossato may be overturned, the decision stands at present and Members should continue to exercise caution in engaging casual employees. Further, the proposed IR Bill, if passed by Parliament, may clarify the meaning of casual engagement and may create further entitlements for casual employees. This proposed Bill will be explored in the next issue of Independent Retailer.

with no disciplinary action taken for declining shifts;

• avoiding engaging casuals for a

fixed/expected duration or placing casuals on a probation period; and

• ensuring that there is no obligation

for either party to provide notice of termination.

For further advice tailored to your needs, please do not hesitate to contact

MGA’s Legal and Industrial Relations team on

1800 888 479 (option 1)



Fairly Dismissed Terminations or dismissals are a complex area to navigate. There are several rules that businesses must adequately follow to mitigate risk of claims. Before considering terminating or dismissing an employee, performance management is crucial. Staff who are not meeting business expectations and standards must be appropriately addressed in a constructive and sensitive manner. This upholds the positive working environment of the store and ensures that the morale of the staff members remains healthy and productive. Employee issues occur because of varied reasons, such as:

• being unaware of the store’s expectations and

• whether the employee was notified of the valid reason; • whether the employee was given an opportunity to

Understanding the underpinning reasons will assist in properly resolving issues, but also having a clear process in place will simplify prolonging matters. A suggested performance management process may include: • determining the employee issue at hand; • evaluating and examining the issue; • setting a meeting with the employee to speak about the issue; • collectively brainstorming a resolution; and • supervising ongoing performance and behaviour.

respond to any reason related to their performance, conduct, or capacity; • whether the business allowed the employee to have a support person present to assist with discussions relating to the termination or dismissal; • if the dismissal related to unsatisfactory performance by the employee, whether the employee had been warned about that unsatisfactory performance before the dismissal; • the degree to which the size of the store’s enterprise would be likely to impact on the procedures followed in effecting the termination or dismissal; • the degree to which the absence of dedicated human resource management specialists or expertise in the business would be likely to impact on the procedures followed in effecting the termination or dismissal; and • any other matters that the Fair Work Commission considers relevant.

If similar or same issues recur, consider repeating the process. If the misconduct is serious, a decision to terminate may be explored, but the dismissal must be “fair”, “just” and “not harsh”.

Due process clearly focuses on the principle of “procedural fairness”. The Fair Work Commission wants to see whether in the process of terminating or dismissing an employee, the business afforded natural justice.

Any termination or dismissal process requires two elements: • having a valid reason; and • following due process.

Apart from following the list above, businesses could consider engaging an independent third party to investigate and consult. A critical point of the due process is being patient when managing employee issues. Additionally, providing the employee in simple and plain language the reasons behind being disciplined and allowing a right of reply. More importantly, ensuring the employee is aware that their employment was at risk and making the consequences of their non-compliance very clear to them.


• relational, background, and cultural differences; • lack of skills or knowledge to perform duties; • no constructive feedback, coaching, or counselling; • personal matters; and • workplace bullying and harassment.

Valid Reason Previous cases before the Fair Work Commission established that a valid reason for termination or dismissal includes: underperformance, misconduct, or capacity related matters. Each type of employee issue requires a distinct approach and consideration of the circumstances in which it occurred. Due Process Due process is a broad term that requires us to consider a range of factors, including:

MGA TMA can assist Members with managing underperformance and terminations in their businesses. We can provide templates for warning letters, performance checklists, disciplinary meeting guides, performance management plans, notices of disciplinary meetings, termination letters, and much more. Should you require any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact MGA TMA on 1800 888 479.





Individual Flexibility Agreement. What are they and how are they created? Individual flexibility agreements are becoming more and more common amongst businesses. In the three years ending June 2015, nearly 14% of employers had entered into an individual flexibility agreement (“IFA”) with employees1. An IFA is an agreement between an employee and an employer that allows the terms of a modern award or enterprise agreement to be varied. Every modern award made under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) contains a clause that allows employees and employers to vary certain terms of their respective award2. Clause 5 in the General Retail Industry Award 2020 governs individual flexibility arrangements which allows employees and employers to vary terms of the General Retail Industry Award 2020 that relate to: » when work is performed; » overtime rates; » penalty rates; » allowances; or » annual leave loading3. An example of an IFA may be if an employee is covered by an award that states that ordinary hours are worked between the hours of 8am and 4pm, however the employee enters into an IFA with the employer to alter their ordinary hours of work to be between the hours of 6am and 2pm. All other employees in the business will continue to have ordinary hours of work that are stipulated by the award (such as between 8am and 4pm). The employee in this example has requested the IFA to vary their ordinary hours in the award to allow them to pick their children up from school at 3pm. The employee will be better off overall by entering into this agreement as it allows them to spend more time with their family and attend to school pick ups which they otherwise would have been unable to do had they not entered into the IFA with the employer. Employers must ensure that the IFA is made after the employee commences employment with the employer4 and is made without coercion or duress. 5

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There are certain requirements that must be met to ensure that an IFA is enforceable, including but not limited to the following:

• the IFA must be in writing; • the IFA must result in the employee

being better off overall at the time of the IFA being entered into than if the agreement had not been made;

• the IFA must state the names of

the employer and the employee;

• the IFA must identify the award

term or terms that will be varied;

• the IFA must state the date that the agreement will commence;

employee may request that they wish to change their ordinary hours of work or reduce their days of work per week by working longer shifts. The business can refuse this request if there will be an unjustifiable burden on the business, such as needing the employee in question to be available for the busy periods of customer service hours in order to ensure the business can respond to customer queries and services at the relevant times. If you wish to discuss implementing an IFA, please contact the legal and IR team on (03) 98324 4111 (option 1).

• the IFA must be signed by the

employer and the employee; and

Employment Law Practical Handbook, what is an individual flexibility agreement, (Web Page) < https://employmentlawhandbook. com.au/topic/what-is-an-individual-flexibilityagreement/>.


• the employer must keep the IFA as a time and wages record as well as providing a copy to the employee.

Fair Work Ombudsman, Individual flexibility arrangements, (Web Page) < https://www. fairwork.gov.au/employee-entitlements/ flexibility-in-the-workplace/individualflexibility-arrangements>.


An IFA can be terminated at any time by mutual agreement between the parties. Alternatively, if one party seeks to terminate the agreement, under the General Retail Industry Award 2020, they must provide 13 weeks’ notice in writing to the other party.

Fair Work Commission, General Retail Industry Award 2020, MA000004, 20 November 2020, cl 5.


Ibid cl 5.3.

Ibid cl 5.2.



Ibid cl 5.


If an employee requests an IFA, you can refuse this request on reasonable business grounds. For example, an


Ibid cl 5.11(a).

Ibid cl 5.11(b).

Ibid cl 6.2(c).





Attorney General releases proposed Industrial Relations Reforms that will benefit the Australian economy In mid-2020 MGA’s CEO, Jos de Bruin and National Legal Counsel, Marie Brown, together with other industry Association leaders joined with representatives from the Unions to meet, discuss and hopefully overcome issues that are currently inhibiting employment growth and workforce flexibility. This was an opportunity for MGA to provide increased work opportunities, bring clarity to many areas of uncertainty and enable laws to be made that will benefit employees and our members as employers. It was hoped that by working together, there would be an opportunity to provide change where it is needed, increase job opportunities, and provide for employment growth in Australia. The Attorney General and Minister for Industrial Relations, Mr Christian Porter, took the bold step of bringing unions and employers together to reach consensus on legislative reform measures. So that businesses would function more efficiently, and employees would have access to plentiful and secure jobs along with more hours of work. It was hoped that the introduction of industrial legislation prior to Christmas 2020 and into early 2021 would restore our economy and provide protected workplaces. In the final sitting weeks of parliament, leading up to Christmas, the Attorney General, Mr Christian Porter, introduced the Fair Work (supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill of proposed amendments to the Federal Parliament. These proposed amendments were a culmination of all the consultation

and work that was done by MGA and otherIndustry Associations, and they include the following: 1. Casual employment In the interests of providing secure employment, it will be a lawful requirement for employers to offer permanent employment to a casual employee who has worked regularly for 12 months. Apart from providing for the security of employment, it will also ensure that casuals will not be able to claim additional payment for sick leave and annual leave. 2. Part-time employment and flexibility Employers will be able to offer additional hours of work to a part-time employee and will not be compelled to pay for the work at overtime rates. 3. The ‘better off overall test’ It is intended to simplify the ‘better off overall test’. To date, the so-called “boot test’ has caused many employers to shy away from making agreements because too many additional requirements were expected to meet the BOOT. It is intended that the test will be less demanding at least for the next two years to allow employers and employees to be less prescriptive about meeting this requirement.

4. Wage theft It will become a criminal offence where an employer is found to have deliberately avoided paying the correct wages and any other entitlements to an employee. An employer could face up to $1.1 million in fines and imprisonment for up to 4 years. Underpayments of wages will still incur fines, but these have also been increased for up to $50,000. Despite the well-intentioned objectives of the legislation, the proposed amendments have met with strong objections from the Federal Opposition and some trade unions. There are concerns that there will be financial losses for employees and although that is unlikely it will no doubt be the subject of considerable discussion before, or if, any amendments are made to the Fair Work Act. The proposed amended legislation is now before a Senate review and MGA TMA and other organisations have made submissions on the contents of the proposed new laws. Many of the proposed changes to the Fair Work Act would be beneficial to our Members to employ more staff and offer additional hours of work but no doubt there will be serious debate on these matters before any amendments are successful. MGA will keep members informed of any further progress regarding this allimportant matter.





Insolvency reforms a boost to small business owners MGA welcomes new Business Insolvency laws that are to be introduced from 1 January 2021. The Insolvency reforms will impact small incorporated businesses (i.e. Pty Ltd entities) with liabilities of less than $1 million. They will enable a company to continue to trade under the control of its directors while a debt restructuring plan is developed and voted on by creditors. This legislation will make it easier for small businesses to restructure or wind up. Basically, the reforms will enable; 1. a new insolvency process for small businesses whereby financially distressed but viable companies can restructure their existing debts and continue to trade; and

The company will be required to appoint an “insolvency practitioner” to assist with the restructuring of the company over a 20 day trading period and will prohibit creditors from taking actions against the company and its Directors. Once a plan is developed, the “small business restructuring practitioner” will circulate the plan and supporting documents to creditors for their approval within 15 days; if the plan is not approved, the company may then be placed into liquidation or voluntary administration. This is fundamentally different from the current situation involving companies, in which once a liquidator is appointed, the liquidator takes control of the company, and the control is removed from the director.

2. a simplified liquidation process which will allow for faster and lower-cost liquidation.

drive incremental summer sales pack includes:


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Ombudsman backs ACCC’s concerns over Woolworths’ PFD tilt

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell says the ACCC is rightly concerned about Woolworths’ proposed acquisition of 65% of PFD Food Services Pty Ltd. In October, the Ombudsman wrote to the ACCC to formally oppose the $552 million deal, saying it would be detrimental to small businesses in the food distribution space and the economy more broadly. “We share the ACCC’s competition concerns as detailed in its preliminary statement ahead of its final decision next year,” Ms Carnell says.

“As a major beneficiary of COVID restrictions, Woolworths’ supermarket operations saw a significant upswing in sales, while independent food distributors struggled. “Now that Woolworths has exhausted its acquisition opportunities in the large supermarket space, it is moving into the smaller supermarket and food services arena. Allowing Woolworths to buy a controlling stake in PFD would give it significantly more power over other small supermarket operators that rely on PFD for deliveries and food services. “This deal would dramatically impact on the food distribution market – many of which are small and family businesses – especially outside the major cities. “I am also concerned about the potential for significant job losses as smaller suppliers and distributors would have a battle on their hands to compete, particularly if a major player like Woolworths moves aggressively into this sector. “Australian small businesses have been hit hardest by the COVID crisis and now is not the time for opportunistic takeovers by large corporations.” Source: Kate Carnell – Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman


“Woolworths has described its push into the food services sector as a ‘strategic investment’, but the timing is opportunistic at best.

Kate Carnell AO Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman


“My office has made it clear to the ACCC that the proposed deal would likely add to Woolworths’ already substantial bargaining power in its dealings with food manufacturers.


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MGA TMA voices concern over proposed payments platform merger MGA TMA has been advocating the Federal Government and Regulators for many years for a fairer merchant fee payment scheme, Least Cost Routing, citing the current payment transaction fees imposed upon members by banks and the global card companies have become an unsustainable business cost. George Lekakis is a banking journalist who makes the following observations concerning a recent announcement involving the merger of 3 payment vehicles. Small business groups have responded to the proposed merger of Eftpos, National Payment Platform (NPP) and BPay with “cynicism” and “concern”, saying they fear it has potential to remove competitive tension in the payments market.

Mark McKenzie, the chair of the peak national small business council, COSBOA, said his organisation had campaigned for many years for least cost routing (LCR) in the contactless debit payments market and was worried that the merger could undermine Eftpos role as a source of price tension.

An industry committee set up by NPP Australia earlier this year announced in late December 2020 that the shareholders of the merger candidates unanimously supported a three-way union and would be seeking regulatory clearance from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in 2021.

He described the proposed governance structure for the merged entity as messy and bizarre.

The merger involves the creation of a single 13-member board to oversee the three payments schemes, with any key decisions on the future of each scheme to be subject to the approval of the shareholders that use each particular system. While Coles and Woolworths are shareholders in Eftpos and the Reserve Bank is a part-owner of NPP Australia, the four major banks – NAB, CBA, ANZ and Westpac – collectively control each of the businesses.

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“Our principal concern is that there could be a loss of competitive tension in the payments market resulting from the merger,” he said. “It’s a bizarre corporate structure with the three companies operating under one board. “How does the board ensure there is no cannibalisation of one payments method by another?” The chair of the industry committee – Payments Council kingpin Robert Milliner – believes the merger will unlock “incredible value”.

“Eftpos, BPay Group and the NPPA provide Australians with reliable, safe and affordable payments options every single day,” he said. “Working together towards common goals, they can unlock incredible value, invest more in innovation and realise cost savings that will ultimately benefit the Australian public.” However, small business leaders and payments experts questioned whether Milliner and the banks could guarantee any alleged benefits would flow to independent retailers and consumers. For almost three years the four major banks have resisted pressure from regulators to accelerate their LCR rollouts, which has denied thousands of merchants the opportunity to direct contactless debit transactions to the lowcost Eftpos network. The banks stand to lose up to A$550 million a year in merchant fee revenue from offering Least Cost Routing, and their laggard rollouts have created mistrust among small business groups.



“I am a bit cynical about this merger proposal,” admits Jos de Bruin, chief executive of the Master Grocers Australia / Timber Merc. “We’ve always tried to help drive down the fees that independent grocers incur for accepting contactless and other types of payment.

“Unfortunately, the major banks have been too slow to roll out Least Cost Routing.”

merger risks upending the potential for each of the schemes to evolve new businesses through digital innovation and thereby boost competition in the payments sector.

sector who advises small businesses on reducing their costs of acceptance, said he was concerned the merger would constrain Eftpos’ ability to deliver further savings to independent merchants.

“This proposal takes each of them out in one fell swoop – they’re not going to behave like separate product providers, and they’re not going to be led by different products,” he said.

“I’m not sure independent retailers were given any say in the development of the merger proposal,” he said.“Eftpos has been terrific for small businesses in Australia, but there are too many vested interests in the payments sector as a whole and in this merger.”

“It’s a triple jeopardy risk.”

McKenzie and de Bruin said they each had received letters from Milliner to discuss the effects of the merger.

Grant Halverson, a payments consultant and former managing director of Diners’ Club Australia, said he did not believe the proposed governance arrangements for the combined entity were tenable.

Noting Milliner’s involvement in the Business Council of Australia – the national lobby group for corporate Australia – de Bruin questioned why small business representatives had not been consulted earlier in the process.

“How the hell does one board expect to manage three different payment businesses with three different CEOs and inconsistent shareholders?” he said.

“The BCA has never been friends of small business, really,” he said. McKenzie is also concerned that the

“Put simply; the governance arrangements don’t pass the pub test.” Jeff Rogut, a longstanding campaigner for transparent pricing in the payments

Source: George Lekakis, Associate Editor, Banking Day





Small business sector demonstrates resilience in COVID crisis: report Australian small businesses have shown they can be resilient and agile in the face of extremely challenging conditions, according to the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell’s new Small Business Counts report.

The report, released by Ms Carnell, provides a statistical overview of small business performance in Australia, using the latest available data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and other trusted sources. A feature of the report is a dedicated chapter regarding COVID-19, which reveals 40% of small businesses changed the way they provided products and services in response to the crisis. “2020 has been a year like no other and certainly the toughest Australia’s 2.3 million small businesses have ever experienced,” Ms Carnell says. “Natural disasters such as catastrophic bushfires at the beginning of the year were followed by a global pandemic, during which necessary government-imposed restrictions forced many small businesses to close their doors - some for months on end. “While the true toll this year has taken on small businesses - including the mental health impact - won’t be known for some time, our Small Business Counts report shows that

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many small businesses have pivoted their operations to adapt to the rapidly changing conditions. “According to ABS data, of the 40% of businesses that made changes to their service or product delivery, 20% indicated those changes would stay in place. “It’s been inspiring to hear the stories of small businesses that made a decade’s worth of change in a matter of days and managed to keep their business afloat. “Of course, there are those small businesses in industries such as tourism and the arts that have been decimated by this crisis.

small businesses were being paid an average of 31 days late, compared to 13 days late in October 2019. This ongoing problem is having a devastating impact on small businesses. “It’s more important than ever to remember that although Small Business Counts is a statistical report, behind every number is a person. “Small businesses are the engine room of the Australian economy, but they are also hard-working people who have had to overcome huge obstacles in 2020, and our report shows why their recovery matters to all of us.”

“While a range of measures taken by the government and the banks have cushioned the blow for small businesses and the economy, our report provides figures that offer some insights about the true state of play and what’s to come. “CreditorWatch data cited in our report, shows payment times have deteriorated this year. In October,

Source: Kate Carnell – Australian Small Business & Family Enterprise Ombudsman




MGA TMA - Waste and the Australian Circular Economy As members will have seen in earlier editions of the IR magazine, MGA TMA has embarked upon an historical Joint Venture with its Corporate Partner Aussie Energy to form a company, Australian Circular economy Solutions Pty Ltd. (ACES) to address the immediate and urgent issues regarding members waste and energy management.

ACES will be developing a unique Circular Economy Solutions programme for members via the Sustainable Supermarkets, Sustainable Bottle Shops and Sustainable Timber and Hardware businesses. More information will follow, including a plan to reuse most of the waste we generate in our businesses and having alternative uses as a part of a comprehensive recycling programme.

Waste and Energy usage in the independent supermarket, liquor store and timber and hardware sectors. Waste and energy usage and management have become an enormous cost to do business for our members and will continue to exponentially rise as state and federal governments impose new taxes and levies upon consumers for the disposal of organic and non-organic waste to landfill. Waste generated by our members’ businesses can actually become a new

resource. Almost all organic and nonorganic waste streams, when properly managed, can be recycled into products to reuse the raw materials and reduce the need for new resources to be used.

Circular systems and solutions introduced in member businesses will enable the reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling of waste to create a closedloop system that will help minimize the use of resource inputs and the further creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions.

The principles of the Circular Economy

What is the Circular Economy, and why is it relevant for our industry sector/s? A circular economy is an economic system aimed at eliminating organic and non-organic waste in MGA TMA members supermarkets, liquor stores and timber & hardware businesses and driving the continual reuse of resources.

The principles of the Circular Economy involves members putting a range of measures in place within their business that will structure the behaviours of their consumers and staff alike, to avoid waste, reuse that waste, recycle that waste and recover energy.

Why should MGA TMA members adopt the principle of the Circular Economy? MGA TMA members are the hubs within the communities they trade - by adopting the principles of the Circular Economy within their businesses waste management costs and burdens for business can be turned into




revenue streams whilst doing good for the environment.

that customers who care about the environment they live in will return to your store over and over again.

This will be a unique and distinct point of difference for members businesses within the communities in which they trade and will endear customers to the business, resulting in them coming back to the store day in day out.

MGA TMA and Australian Circular Economy Solutions Pty (ACES) - Who is ACES?

Consumers will be drawn to members businesses because the MGA TMA Sustainable Solutions promotional program, will include, share and attribute what you do and your success in minimizing your environmental footprint, with your customers to foster a joint action toward creating a better planet.

What does the public – your customers think about the Circular Economy – protecting the environment? The public is becoming increasingly aware of the environmental fragility of the planet and the world we live in. There is a groundswell of public support for businesses implementing and executing “planet-saving” strategies into their businesses and helping to make consumers feel they are contributing and “doing their bit” to help eliminate waste from landfill, embracing the circular economy, resulting in creating a more sustainable environment. The benefits of your business being a leader and a beacon for your local community sustainability and MGA TMA assisting you to promote your circular economy credentials, is

mga.asn.au | February 2021 | Edition 1

Together with MGA TMA, ACES operates within the sustainability industry. We focus on providing environmental and socially responsible management solutions to businesses to help reduce the cost of waste and the negative consequences associated with waste being sent to landfills, reducing annual quantities of CO2 equivalent gasses into the atmosphere.




Circular Economy Solution insights - Packaging Suppliers of products and retailers can no longer ignore shoppers’ packaging concerns Key findings from a recent research study conducted by Toluna include:

• 82% of Australians say it’s important to them that products are packaged sustainably

• For one in five shoppers, sustainability now defines

Brooke Donnelly, CEO, Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) said one of the most powerful things consumers can do to drive change on this issue is to vote at the cash register and support brands that are doing the right thing, while Will Caruso, Senior Marketing Scientist and Packaging Expert at the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Scientist said sustainability packaging is becoming a category norm that should not be ignored.

their choice of retailers, brands and products

• 25% of 18 -34 year-olds have stopped using a brand in the last six months due to sustainability concerns

• Industry comments

Source - Toluna




State and Commonwealth Government matters affecting Members This is a brief summary and update of advocacy matters and issues MGA is currently addressing at Federal and State levels on behalf of all members. Current Federal matters MGA is currently engaging with Ministers and Shadow Ministers about the following issues and matters; 1. COVID-19 – Coronavirus Pandemic – Australians been plagued by lockdowns, shutdowns and movement restrictions around Australia - MGA is a member of the Federal Government, Department of Home Affairs Supermarket Task Force / Food Security Group, National Treasury Forums re JobKeeper, JobSeeker, JobMaker, cash flow boosts and rent relief, as well as State and Territory business economic recovery and stimulus committees – ensuring members have a voice in avoiding unnecessary new regulations and are well supported with timely and accurate Covid-19 information. Engagement with FWC, ATO, Fair Work Ombudsman, ACCC, Human Rights Commission, Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman and COVID-19 Business recovery Commissioner – Nev Power. 2. COVID-19 - Mental Health for Family and Private businesses – Seeking further support from Governments to better understand the plight members face when addressing their mental health, particularly during the very stressful COVID-19 movement restrictions. 3. Industrial Relations & Wages Reform – employ more staff and offer more hours of work - see below

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4. Circular Economy Solutions – Turn Waste into revenue and avoid landfill – see below 5. Annual Wage Review – MGA to lodge a comprehensive submission comprising facts, evidence and data to persuade the FWC to minimise any wage increase effective 1st July 2021. The submission is due for lodgement March 2021 and the decision will be brought down in May 2021. a. There will be a delayed 1.75% increase in wages from 1st February 2021 as per the FWC 6. National Measurements – MGA is involved with the review of Country of Origin Labelling in 2021 7. Least Cost Routing – Reduce Merchant Payment Fees – heavy engagement with Government, RBA, eftpos and to engage the 4 banks to significantly reduce increasing Merchant Payment Fee costs – formed the Fair Merchant Payment fees Alliance with other employer organisations 8. Illicit / Illegal Tobacco – costing our industry sector $300m in sales per annum – MGA has been actively engaging with the Federal Government Black Economy Task Force, Treasury and other Government and Regulator levels to strengthen laws and increase enforcement resources – WIP. 9. Energy costs – constantly working on the federal government to drive for cheaper energy – also working closely with ACCC (The Australian Energy Regulator) 10. Unfair Contract Terms – further

strengthen contract terms that better protect family and private businesses – lift the contract value threshold to $1m. 11. Company Tax reductions – MGA is supporting the fast-tracking of reductions to 25% for businesses with $50m or less in sales 12. ACCC Matters currently being addressed a. Member of ACCC Small Business and Franchise Consultative Council b. Oppose Woolworths acquisition of PFD – submissions, forums and consultation c. Shopper dockets - “4 cents per litre enforceable undertaking” continues. d. Unsustainable Merchant Payment Fees & Least Cost Routing for members e. Investigate Employsure - misleading marketing, promotional & contract behaviours 13. MGA is a member of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman’s (ASBFEO), Kate Carnell working groups. 14. MGA is a Director of the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia (COSBOA)

Advocacy Priorities for 2021 3. Industrial Relations & Wages Reform – Priority ONE

» The Attorney General and

Minister for Industrial Relations,



NATIONAL Mr. Christian Porter, took the bold step of bringing unions and employers together to try to reach consensus on legislative reform measures so that businesses would function more efficiently, and employees would have access to plentiful and secure jobs along with more hours of work.

» It was hoped that the introduction

of industrial legislation prior to Christmas 2020 and into early 2021 will restore our economy and provide protected workplaces.

» MGA (Jos de Bruin & Marie

Brown) has been a member of Christian Porter’s 5 IR Reform working groups since July 2020.

» Each of the 5 Working groups consists of 5 employer and 5 employee (union) groups.

» Working groups were created in

response to businesses closing and the enormous downturn in employment caused by Covid-19 lockdowns.

» Purpose of the working groups

is to simplify the Award system. The current Award system is inhibiting employment growth and workforce flexibility. Removing Award complexity will create more certainty for employers and will result in employment growth and more working hours offered.

» The culmination of hundreds of

hours of research, submissions, consultations and idea generation has led to a Bill being presented to the Parliament, by Minister Porter just before Christmas 2020.

Mid-December 2020 - Attorney General releases proposed IR Reforms that will benefit the Australian economy. These proposed amendments are a culmination of all the consultation and work that was done by MGA and other Industry Associations and they include the following:

1. Casual employment In the interests of providing secure employment, it will be a lawful requirement for employers to offer permanent employment to a casual employee who has worked regularly for 12 months. Apart from providing for the security of employment, it will also ensure that casuals will not be able to claim additional payment for sick leave and annual leave.

Many of the proposed changes to the Fair Work Act would be greatly beneficial to our Members to employ more staff and offer additional hours of work but no doubt there will be serious debate on these matters before any amendments are successful.

2. Part-time employment and flexibility Employers will be able to offer additional hours of work to a parttime employee and will not be compelled to pay for the additional hours of work at overtime rates.

3. The ‘better off overall test’ (BOOT) It is intended to simplify the ‘better off overall test’. To date, the so-called “boot test’ has caused many employers to shy away from making agreements because too many additional requirements were expected to meet the BOOT. It is intended that the test will be less demanding at least for the next two years to allow employers and employees to be less prescriptive about meeting this requirement.

4. Circular Economy - Sustainability – Waste Management Solutions – Priority TWO

4. Wage theft It will become a criminal offence where an employer is found to have deliberately avoided paying the correct wages and any other entitlements to an employee. An employer could face up to $1.1 million in fines and imprisonment for up to 4 years. Underpayments of wages will still incur fines, but these have also been increased for up to $50,000. Despite the well-intentioned objectives of the legislation, it is expected to meet with strong objections and will no doubt be the subject of considerable discussion before, or if, any amendments are made to the Fair Work Act.

• MGA is now engaged in.

o A FWC “Loaded rates” Inquiry (submissions & consultations) and o A Senate Inquiry investigating the merit for the Fair Work (supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill of proposed amendments to the Federal Parliament.

Advocacy priorities

» MGA has engaged the Federal

Minister for Waste, Trevor Evans, who has voiced his strong support of our industry sector initiative and action to grow the Circular economy in our industry sector.

» MGA’s Board of Directors has

embarked upon an historical Joint Venture with its Corporate Partner, Aussie Energy to form a “Social Enterprise” company, Australian Circular economy Solutions Pty Ltd. (ACES) to address the immediate and urgent issues regarding members waste and energy management.

» Supermarkets generate an

enormous amount of waste…. tonnes & tonnes and its costly to get rid of!

o Organic waste

• Vegetables and Produce - Out of

code dairy products (yoghurts, dips & cheeses), meats, chicken, bakery, paper towelling, delicatessen items coffee grinds and cooking oil – wood sawdust, timber offcuts & shavings.


INDUSTRY NEWS o Non-Organic waste

NATIONAL • o Plastic soft and hard (pallet

shrink wrapping), cardboard, rubber gloves, paper towels, foam vegetable and fruit trays, Styrofoam, plastic punnets, foil etc..ACES will be developing a unique Circular Economy Solutions programme for members via Sustainable Supermarkets, Sustainable Bottle Shops and Sustainable Timber and Hardware business programmes.

What is the Circular Economy, and why is it relevant for our industry sector/s? » A circular economy is an

economic system aimed at eliminating organic and nonorganic waste in MGA members supermarkets, liquor stores and timber & hardware businesses and driving the continual reuse of resources, thus reducing the CO2 footprint of members businesses.

The principles of the Circular Economy » The principles of the Circular

Economy involve members putting a range measures in place within their business that will structure the behaviours of consumers and staff alike, to avoid waste, reuse that waste, recycle that waste and recover energy, significantly reducing the costs of doing business.

Why should MGA members adopt the principle of the circular economy? » MGA members are the hubs

within the communities they trade - by adopting the principles of the Circular Economy within their businesses, waste management costs and burdens for business can actually be turned into revenue streams whilst doing good for the environment.

» This will be a unique and

distinct point of difference for members businesses within the communities in which they trade

mga.asn.au | February 2021 | Edition 1

and will endear customers to their business, resulting in them coming back to stores day in day out.

MGA and Australian Circular Economy Solutions PTY (ACES) - Who is ACES? » Together with MGA,

ACES operates within the sustainability industry.

» We focus on providing

environmental and socially responsible management solutions to businesses to help reduce the cost of waste and the negative consequences associated with waste being sent to landfills, reducing annual quantities of CO2 equivalent gasses into the atmosphere.

State Issues and matters A. State Covid-19 Business Economic Recovery Committees B. Circular Economy – Waste Management C. Planning, zoning and development D. Trading Hours issues E. Container Deposit Schemes / Single-use plastic item bans F. Tobacco Laws G. Packaged Liquor H. Debilitating Energy Costs I. Payroll tax

opening strategies, JobKeeper matters, Covid-19 work practises, restrictions and business information tools and industry training and development. Qld Premier’s & Small Business Commissioner - Covid-19 Business Economic Recovery Committee NSW Treasurer’s & Small Business Commissioner – Covid-19 Small Business Economic Stimulus Committee Vic Small Business Minister & Small Business Commissioner – Small Business Recovery Committee WA – Small Business Minister - Small Business Covid-19 Economic Recovery Group B. Circular Economy – Waste Management - Priority MGA has been strongly advocating the Federal and state governments for; o Assistance to better support members to embrace the principles of the Circular Economy with their waste management practices. o Currently, this is a huge business cost for members and escalating. o MGA is engaged with the Federal and State Departments of the Environment to communicate the opportunities within our industry sector to help members reduce their waste management costs and to avoid landfill.

J. Small Business Advisory Councils A. State Covid-19 Business Recovery Committees MGA is a member of a number of State and Territory Covid-19 Business Economic Recovery Committees

o MGA is applying for various grants to assist members. C. Planning, zoning and development matters are a major concern. MGA has been strongly advocating state governments for;

o Meetings held weekly and fortnightly o Many issues and opportunities discussed including removing of red tape for members to home deliver, rental relief schemes and assistance, payroll tax relief, return to business

o Council consistency – require and follow state planning and development guidelines to give Family businesses the confidence to invest in their businesses and innovate

INDUSTRY NEWS o Stop unfair crowding out of our NATIONAL members by the Chains – reducing consumer choice and stifling competition. o MGA allocated significant financial and human resources into opposing the unfair manner in which Kaufland – 4th largest retailer in the world – tried to enter the Australian retail market. They were given unprecedented “planning and zoning FREE kicks” by state governments – an unfair practice our members could never achieve. Kaufland withdrew from Australia in January 2020. D. Trading Hours issues o W  A – Christmas and New Year MGA lodged a submission with WA Attorney General John Quigley - maintained the status Quo for Christmas 2020 and the New Year 2021 – no change from the previous year! o Q  ld – 5 Year Trading Hours Moratorium – commenced August 2017. 1.5 years remain for MGA and the Palaszczuk Government to seek a solution to “future proof” Qld independents. Despite MGA’s objection - Christmas Eve Public Holiday Trading Hours commenced at 6 pm o  SA – Christmas and New Year Trading Hours were not changed from last year. E. Container Deposit Schemes NSW o Launched December 2017 – very messy system – very little consultation o This is a For-Profit Model – costing consumers more than any other state. o NSW / Vic Border issues – MGA has secured additional temporary relief support for NSW members along the Border - 37 outlets. This will continue for short term

Victoria o A CDS will not be introduced into Victoria in 2023. o MGA is a member of the Victorian CDS task Force o This will be a relief for all members on the NSW side of the Murray River. WA o MGA is a member of the WA CDS taskforce o The WA CDS was launched in November 2020 o MGA will endeavour to maximise opportunities and minimise costs for members QLD o MGA is a committee member of the Qld Single-Use Plastic Item Ban task force led by Department for the Environment Director, Kylie Hughes. o  QLD CDS – launched November 2018 1. M  GA is a member of the Qld CDS Taskforce - working well with little cost or red tape impact on members. 2. This is a Not for Profit model. F. Tobacco Laws o  MGA’s Tobacco Training module – free for members – has been endorsed by state governments and territories. o E  Vapourisers – E-Cigarettes - MGA has been advocating for uniform and consistent federal and state government policies concerning E vapourisers – MGA members must be able to stock, market and sell Vapourisers! •M  GA has formed an Australian Vaping Industry Association – AVIA to raise profile o  NSW - MGA is a member of the NSW Tobacco Control Committee – no imminent changes.

o  QLD– MGA engages with the Department of Health (Minister for Health Dr Steven Miles) – there are no imminent changes – particularly nothing new in regard to tobacco licences o  WA – MGA advocated against the law changes concerning the downsizing of instore Tobacco Product Sign Boards from an A3 size to A4. Highly impractical. The Minister has advised that MGA lodge a submission with the 2020 Tobacco Control Act review, to build a case, with evidence, against this draconian and ill-thought of initiative causing MGA members much unnecessary grief with customers. Owing to COVID-19, this review did not happen! o  Tas – A Watch Out - A bill to ban the sale of cigarettes to Tasmanians aged under 21 is still “on the table”. Independent member for Windermere, Ivan Dean, was expected to introduce the legislation - a first in Australia - to the Upper House in 2020 but it was withdrawn due to a lack of support. MGA and many others lodged submissions “against this silly” Bill. G. Packaged Liquor. MGA has a National Liquor Committee – comprising of members and industry stakeholders representing all national and state brands - see committee members below. Issues around the states and territories include; MGA opposing Woolworth’s inappropriate developments (DM) in the NT and WA, digital and online disruption, website shop fronts, outdoor signage close to schools, alcohol-related signage on public transport, National RSA training, instore signage and continual Liquor Control Act reviews. o NSW – Digital Licenses – after a thorough trial period – NSW Digital Drivers Licenses are now acceptable for proof of age purposes

o  Victoria – MGA is a member of the consultation committee presiding over the Tobacco Control Act – no imminent changes


• MGA has a strong relationship with the NSW OLGR

o ACT – Peter Kakarzis is a longserving member of MGA’s National



NATIONAL Liquor Committee. Peter represents MGA Liquor and ACT members on the ACT Liquor Control Advisory Board. o  Victoria – MGA is a member of the Statutory Liquor Control Advisory Council (LCAC)

• MGA and the MGA Liquor committee has a very strong working relationship with the new Minister for Liquor and Gaming, Melissa Horne, her Department and VCGLR • A submission was lodged on in November 2020 making further comments in regard to proposed Liquor Act amendments concerning online sales of packaged liquor and RSA – post-COVID-19 – home deliveries etc.

o WA – MGA continues to grow its Alliance with LSA WA, which represents independent packaged liquor stores. Together we are stronger when advocating for members at a state Government level. An MOU has been signed. Many MGA members have packaged liquor departments next to their supermarkets.

• Dan Murphy Como WA – ongoing support provided to local groups to oppose the development of a 1600 square metre Dan Murphy store in Como.

o NT – MGA strongly opposed and continues to oppose the proposed building of a Dan Murphy store in Darwin which will eliminate packaged liquor competition in this city.

• MGA liaises with the NT Government in regard to, capping liquor sales to 25% of a supermarkets total sales, the discriminatory regulations that disallow supermarkets from externally advertising liquor.

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o SA –SA supermarkets, have been able to stock, market and sell packaged liquor from 18th November 2019. Owing to COVID-19 there has been a slow uptake by members in SA.

• MGA is currently working with a few retailers to create a model of how it is to be done.

• The cost of a packaged liquor licence is high at $6k


but nothing is likely before the 2020 election. They will support the programme.

o Post Election - All Qld Government Ministers and key regulators, have and will, continue to support this initiative that was formerly sponsored by previous Small Business Minister Shannon Fentiman, now Di Farmer.

o MGA and the MGAQ Committee have acquired the support for the Entrepreneurial Pipeline Programme from Qld Small Business Commissioner Maree Adshead, Ministers, Cameron, Fentiman, Farmer and D’Ath as well as various Department Heads including Qld Small Business Executive Director, Warwick Agnew.

o Queensland Boutique Brewers Association, The Qld Distillers Association and the Qld Wine Industry association are fully supportive of the program.

o There was a great fear from health agencies that alcohol would become even more “normalised” and hence a health and safety risk if stocked in indie supermarkets. The Wine Industry Association had a fear that our sector would engage in discounting and subsequently damage their brands????? And generally, it was felt that indie supermarkets stocking locally produced alcoholic beverages would not add to a “whole of meal” solution and there were concerns that this initiative would be exclusionary in nature and hence anticompetitive.

o Meetings and consultation forums are being arranged with Qld Ministers, and

Entrepreneurial Pipeline Project – locally produced Packaged Liquor for Independent supermarkets.

o The MGAQ Committee has been liaising and working with the Qld Government for almost 4 years to drive for locally produced Queensland wines, beers and spirits to be stocked by MGA members as a part of a whole of meal solution and to help boost Qld made products and increase employment….similar to Tassie model. o The MGAQ Committee met with Minister Fentiman and key Department Heads in February 2020 to voice our industry concerns that our industry sector would not be included in the first round of liquor legislative changes being considered by the Qld Government. We discovered that the Qld Small Business department research of industry stakeholders to ascertain the merit of the Entrepreneurial Pipeline Project was flawed and inaccurate. The feedback given in the surveys was incorrect or simply misrepresented stakeholders, and each industry sector view as a whole. Minister Fentiman and her team promised further work would be done



NATIONAL Department heads to further the sale of locally produced packed liquor in Queensland grocery outlets. H. Debilitating Energy Costs – being addressed with the relevant State Ministers and their departments at every opportunity. Each state has a different system and ownership structure for electricity generation and electricity retailing, adding complexity, confusion and costs. I. Payroll Tax – This is a debilitating tax on employment – MGA has again voiced strong concerns that this tax is a handbrake on employment growth, particularly, as we emerge from the Pandemic. Payroll tax relief or deferment was given by some state Governments during Covid-19 in 2020. States and territories raise $22B per in revenue from payroll Tax.

4 FoodWorks stores (3 x Sydney & Regions 1 x Qld), MGA Director Lincoln Wymer – NSW / Victoria | Reddrops FoodWorks Group (17 stores), | Operations Manager | MGA Board Director Chris dos Santos – South Australia | IGA Henley Beach | MGA Director Graeme Gough – New South Wales | SPAR Ballina | MGA Director Phil Ibbotson – MGA Company Secretary | (Chartered Accountant)

MGA Liquor Committee George Kovits - President | MGA Adrian Ricci | IBA | NSW State Business Manager Nick Cook | Foodworks | 3 x stores (Mt Beauty, Yackandandah & Myrtleford) Angelo Giannetta | Independent Retailer | IGA Express Jeremy Goodale | ALM | Victorian General Manager Michael Reddrop | Reddrop Group | CEO

Karl Loh | Ritchies Liquor | General Manager Tony Ingpen | IGA Mt Evelyn | IGA National Liquor Board Chairman Tony Bongiovanni | Indepentdent Retailer | Cellarbrations Peter Karkazis | Local Liquor ACT | Director Tony Leon | Steve’s Liquor | Director Kim Satterthwaite | Foodworks | National Business Manager Liquor

MGA TMA Committee Peter Alexander - Victoria | Pueker & Alexander | President MGA TMA Committee Richard Hill - Victoria | Hazelwood & Hill | Vice President MGA TMA Committee Mike Drew - Victoria | Bayswood Timber | MGA TMA Committee Member Clive Dossetor - Victoria | Karem Woodcraft P/L| MGA TMA Committee Member Hugh Turner - Victoria | Smartwood P/L | MGA TMA Committee Member

Small Business Advisory Councils o Queensland – Debbie Smith, FWks Toowoomba - member of Qld Sml Bus Advisory Council o NSW – MGA is a member of the Small Business Commissioner Small Business Round Table o Victoria – MGA & Tony Ingpen, Supa IGA Mount Evelyn is a member of the statutory Small Business Advisory Council



MGA Board of Directors Debbie Smith - Queensland | 3 x FoodWorks stores in Toowoomba | President of MGA Board Ross Anile – Western Australia, | IGA Fresh Roleystone | MGA Director Jeff Harper - Victoria, | 2 x IGA stores – Melbourne | MGA Director Grant Hinchcliffe – Tasmania |MGA Vice President and CEO Tasmanian Independent Retailers | (92 stores) Carmel Goldsmith – New South Wales | 2 x IGA stores (Jamberoo & Wollongong Uni) | MGA Director Ripple Parekh– NSW | 7 x IGA and




*T&C’s apply





Long-awaited Illicit Tobacco Report released At last, the hard work of many has paid off. After four years, 11 months and 12 days the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement has now released their final report into Illicit Tobacco. This process all commenced with the MGA Board of Directors engagement with the then Chair of the Black Economy Task Force, Michael Andrew AO joining an MGA Board meeting at which the subject of Illicit Tobacco was raised more than five years ago. Michael understood immediately not only the impact of illicit tobacco on retailers legal tobacco sales and profits but the Government’s ability to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in Excise Tax. Sadly, Michael passed away last year. The Black Economy Task Force Chairman is now former ACCC Deputy Chair, Michael Schaper. This is only the start and will hopefully stop illicit tobacco from eroding the sales and profits of legitimate tobacco sales that we have seen with our members around Australia. While handing down the report, the Committee’s Chairman, Craig Kelly MP brought in a bag of chop-chop and a branded Marlboro pack that he had delivered to his Parliamentary office (easily making its way through Parliamentary security) - photo The Committee report included a number of recommendations which are summarised below and cover off most of the policy suggestions we have been sharing with Government over recent months. 1. All responsibility for illicit tobacco removed from the Department of Health and transferred to the Department of Home Affairs. 2. Development of a National Illicit Tobacco strategy in conjunction with mga.asn.au | February 2021 | Edition 1

3. State and territory police forces, as a co-ordinated, national law enforcement-led response, which includes:

» alignment of state and territory

legislation with enhanced Federal offences and penalties;

» introduction of on the spot fines for retail enforcement

» the Federal Government providing adequate resources for the development and implementation of this strategy

» a nationally consistent licencing regime for tobacco products, including tobacco product manufacturing supplies and equipment.

» .clear roles and responsibilities

of all relevant stakeholders and agencies;

» specific actions and strategies to be implemented;

» strategies for improved

information and data collection and sharing; and

» illegal tobacco data published

as a subset of the National Drug Strategy

4. Develop a strategy for the use of proceeds of crime to fund law enforcement operations of the Commonwealth and states and territories targeting illicit tobacco. 5. The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission include data and analysis of illicit tobacco in future iterations of the Illicit Drug Data Report.

Craig Kelly MP

6. The Australian Taxation Office continues with its tobacco tax gap project on a permanent basis and, where appropriate, uses all available external information to assist in developing its understanding of the scale of the illicit tobacco market in Australia. 7. The committee recommends the Department of Home Affairs work in collaboration with the relevant law enforcement agencies to provide definitive advice to the Australian Government on the implementation of a track and trace regime in Australia, and whether Australia should become a signatory to the World Health Organisation Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, provided it takes into account Australia’s unique circumstances. On behalf of all members around Australia, MGA sincerely thanks the Member for Hughes in NSW, who is the Federal Government Illicit Tobacco Committee Chairman, Hon Craig Kelly MP for working very hard to drive for a result to stamp out illicit tobacco in Australia. This is a win for retailers and taxpayers alike!



A letter from Michael Rowe, Director General, Water and Environmental Regulation Dear Mr De Bruin, As you would be aware, the container deposit scheme, Containers for Change, commenced on 1 October 2020, delivering an election commitment of the McGowan Government. More than 21 million containers were returned in the first four weeks of the scheme. Early container returns have exceeded expectations as well as the container return benchmarks set in New South Wales and Queensland. The encouraging early success of the Western Australian scheme has been due to the participation of all stakeholders working through the Advisory Group and the supporting technical working groups. With the commencement of Containers for Change, the role of the technical working groups is now complete. Thank you for your commitment, expertise and support to achieving the best possible outcomes and congratulations on the part you have played in the successful launch of Containers for Change. I am very grateful for the significant work and support provided by the technical working groups. Yours sincerely Mike Rowe DIRECTOR GENERAL 16 November 2020

MGA (Ross Anile & Jos de Bruin) have been a WA Container Deposit Scheme Task Force members representing WA members from inception. WA Environment Minister, Stephen Dawson wanted to make sure the WA container deposit scheme was the most cost-efficient and least disruptive scheme for communities and businesses in Australia!





WA Minister for Small Business Paul Papalia thanks MGA WA Director Ross Anile MGA WA Director and Roleystone Supermarket Owner Ross Anile was invited along with other industry representatives to a special breakfast with the WA Small Business Minister Paul Papalia as a “thankyou” for all the help and support given to the Minister during the Covid-19 pandemic crises over the past 12 months. Thanks to Ross, MGA WA members have been well represented at WA State Government level addressing many matters of concern.

L-R: WA Small Business Minister Paul Papalia with MGA WA Director and Roleystone Supermarket Owner Ross Anile

mga.asn.au | February 2021 | Edition 1




Queensland - It’s the last straw for single-use plastics

The Palaszczuk Government has re-introduced legislation to ban single-use plastic items in Queensland, starting with straws, stirrers, cutlery and plates. MGA has been widely consulted through MGAQ Committee meetings as well as MGA participating in government environment department meetings. Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Meaghan Scanlon said that the Palaszczuk Government was committed to reducing the devastating impact of plastic waste on marine life and the environment. “We have banned single-use plastic bags, we introduced the highly successful Containers for Change program and banning single-use plastics like straws and stirrers is the next important step. “Importantly, we’ve consulted broadly to ensure that these changes reflect what Queenslanders want. “In March 2020, we asked Queenslanders to decide the future of single-use plastic items, and the overwhelming majority were in favour of a ban. “The community’s sentiment is clear, with 94 per cent of the

20,000 respondents supporting the proposal to ban singleuse plastic items. “This consultation is very important because we want to make sure we hear everyone’s perspectives on single-use expanded polystyrene items - community and industry alike. “In recognition of the fact that this has been a difficult year for many small businesses in the hospitality sector, the ban’s start date will be no earlier than 1 September 2021, and we will confirm the start date once the Bill passes in early 2021. “This will allow businesses and the hospitality industry time to source appropriate products and further consultation to occur. “This Bill will ban the supply and sale of single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery and plates, and provide provisions for more single-use plastic items to be banned in the future, subject to public consultation.” “Local government, retailer associations and environment groups have all called for expanded polystyrene products to be included in the plastics ban. There are preferred alternatives available that are less harmful to the environment.




IGA Mascot NSW

The IGA is pictured shortly before the last panel of fencing blocking access from Church Street was erected.

In mid-June 2020 a 12-year-old high rise residential building, Mascot Towers, in Mascot Sydney was reported as having significant structural damage and deemed to be unsafe.After the closure of some three weeks, IGA Mascot continued to trade. However, MGA Members and owners of the IGA on the ground floor of Mascot Towers in Sydney’s innersouth, Ward Mellick and Scott Hill watched on in early December, as a wall of fencing was built at the front of their store. A spokesman for the Mascot Towers Owners Corporation said the fencing was erected to comply with the SafeWork notice and advice from its own engineers.

That gave Mr Mellick and Mr Hill just a week to clear stock worth $400,000 and inform 15 workers they had lost their jobs in the lead-up to Christmas. ‘To give us seven days notice to pack up a family business is just nasty,’ Mr Mellick said. ‘It’s cruel.’

Mr Mellick said he and Mr Hill had prepared for relatively normal Christmas trading, but were now facing big losses.

In late December SafeWork NSW granted an extension to the required measures which allowed the retailers to remain open until January 29.

‘Being Christmas, you stock up in December and you back off in January,’ he said. ‘We started ramping up our orders again. ‘The worst thing is the perishables. Every day they lose value.’

While remediation work was on hold and litigation was ongoing, the corporation had to ensure the building was safe.

Mr Mellick said some of the other six businesses below the towers could pack up and move, but his 500 square metre supermarket was fitted out with equipment worth $400,000.

‘Basically, they’re locking us out on Christmas Eve,’ Mr Mellick said. Residents of Mascot Towers were evacuated in June last year after major cracks appeared in the structure, but businesses on its ground floor had continued to trade. Retailers were blindsided when Mascot Towers Owners Corporation told them on December 10 that access to their premises would be blocked due to safety concerns. A letter from the corporation’s lawyers said the tower facades were ‘leaning and unstable’, posing a risk to the public on the Bourke and Church Street boundaries. The letter advised a SafeWork NSW notice would require the erection of hoardings and public access exclusion to avoid the risk of falling bricks and rubble. mga.asn.au | February 2021 | Edition 1

‘People aren’t going to do it,’ he said. ‘It’s just going to be a mess. A mess to get in and mess to get out.’

Ward Mellick (far left) and Scott Hill (raising hand) out the front of their supermarke as the fencing is erected

‘When it was January 29, I thought, “Oh my God, I’m just going to get throughChristmas and New Year with the family”,’ Mr Mellick said. ‘I thought January’s going to be tough, but I could focus on my wife and kids. I didn’t think we’d be in this scenario where we’re again fighting to save our business.’ As contractors began erecting fencing along Church Avenue, Mr Mellick and Mr Hill estimated it would reduce access to their IGA by 90 per cent. Mr Hill said casual customers would not search for another way to get into the supermarket, which was now barely visible from the street.

‘We’re not going to find another site like this,’ he said. Mr Mellick, who has two boys aged eight and six, and Mr Hill, who has a ten-yearold daughter, have run the IGA since 2016 and have 15 years left on their lease. The supermarket has a bottle shop attached and Mr Mellick and Mr Hill, both 48, also have a coffee shop next door. ‘We’ve got a really good following,’ Mr Mellick said. ‘It’s a great community. We’ve got regular customers, and we’ve got a really good team.

Photos © Matrix News for Daily Mail Australia

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SPAR Supermarkets Australia

SPAR Acacia Ridge team coming together to play barefoot bowls and celebrating the 10th Anniversary – MD Lou Jardin pictured 2nd from left

Ten years ago in 2010, experienced supermarket operator and industry leader Lou Jardin had the vision to expand and grow the SPAR independent supermarket network and business. Lou and his family invested their resources and time into the SPAR business located in Acacia Ridge Queensland, and Lou became SPAR Australia Managing Director. The SPAR Australia business included warehousing and distribution facilities, store support services and SPAR Marketing, Advertising and Promotional functions. The SPAR business has been driven by a team of dedicated professionals who together have significantly accelerated the modernisation of the SPAR Brand, always acting with the best interests of SPAR, SPAR Express and 5 STAR Supermarket branded members in mind. mga.asn.au | February 2021 | Edition 1




Jail for masterminds of record WA cigarette importation Story source© Australian Border Force Newsroom

The two masterminds behind an attempt to smuggle a record-breaking 9.5 million cigarettes into Western Australia from Vietnam have been sentenced to almost five years jail. The importation remains the biggest illicit cigarette detection in WA and represents an attempt to evade more than $8.5 million in Duty and GST. Australian Border Force (ABF) officers intercepted the consignment at the Fremantle Container Examination Facility on 31 October 2018. Anomalies were identified when the 40-foot container was x-rayed, and an ABF detector dog also gave a reaction indicating the presence of tobacco. The physical examination of the container revealed an initial layer of boxes of plastic panels, but behind that officers found the rest of it packed full of boxes of cigarettes manufactured in South East Asia. The final count was 47,500 cartons of cigarettes, worth more than $7.66 million in evaded duty and $862,000 of GST. On 16 November 2020, the two men, who are cousins aged 31 and 38, each pleaded guilty in the Perth Magistrates Court to one count of Importing Tobacco Products with the Intention of Defrauding the Revenue under section 233BABAD (2A) of the Customs Act 1901. On the same day, a third man, aged 47, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of importing goods, being tobacco products, being reckless as to whether there would be defrauding of the revenue, contrary to s 233BABAD(2A) of the Customs Act 1901. On 19 November 2020, he was sentenced in the Perth District Court to two years and four months jail but released

Record WA illicit cigarette seizure Image source© Australian Border Force Newsroom

forthwith on a $3,000 recognisance to be of good behaviour for a period of two years. Today in the Perth District Court, the two masterminds were each jailed for four years and ten months, with a minimum period of two years before becoming eligible for parole. ABF Acting Commander of Operations West, Felicity Horrocks, acknowledged the combined efforts of the officers at the container examination facility who made the detection, and the investigators who pulled together the brief of evidence. “This was a big case by every measure, with investigators executing 12 warrants in the ten months following the detection,” Acting Commander Horrocks said. “As we’ve said many times before, tobacco and cigarette smuggling is not a victimless crime - with profits from illegal sales in Australia often being used to fund other criminal activity both here and overseas. “Detecting, investigating and disrupting the illegal tobacco trade is an operational priority for the ABF.” The maximum penalty for tobacco smuggling is ten years imprisonment and/

or a fine of up to five times the amount of duty evaded. Last financial year (2019/20) the ABF seized more than 177 tonnes of loose-leaf tobacco and 422 million cigarettes, with the amount of duty evaded totalling some $611 million. The ABF continues to implement illicit tobacco measures as part of its frontline border law enforcement and customs activities to protect the integrity of Australia’s borders and through its leadership of the Illicit Tobacco Taskforce (ITTF). The ITTF brings together the ABF, the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, the Australian Taxation Office, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre. The ITTF enhances the whole-ofgovernment response by proactively targeting, disrupting, and dismantling criminal syndicates dealing in illicit tobacco. MGA encourages members with information on the illegal importation of illicit tobacco to contact Border Watch at www.australia.gov.au/borderwatch. This can be done anonymously.




Small actions can make a big difference - Sustainability in the workplace

Most businesses acknowledge that incorporating sustainability practices is critical for their operations, finances, and relationship with the community and their employees.

Choose energy-efficient equipment, lights, and appliances. E.g., swap out your traditional incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving options like CLF and LED lighting.

Research conducted on the benefits of sustainability in the workplace found the benefits include financial. Practices like energy conservation increase savings in the utility bills. The study also concluded that employee retention, productivity, and overall engagement all increase within the workplace.

Review current equipment in the business. Can it be engineered to save money- e.g., adding doors to display fridge or is it more cost-effective to change the unit that has been tested for its energy rating

For an organisation to be truly sustainable, it requires everyone to be committed to the cause – from the owner/manager to employees. It only takes small actions to start the sustainability movement. It should implement as a two-tier action 1. Through operational processes/ implementation 2. Employee engagement

Operational processes/ implementation Be sustainable in everyday retail practices There are several actions you can take in your day-to-day operations to promote sustainable retail. Some of these include:

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Even the simple act of having regular maintenance on equipment to check its operation, or seals etc. assists with energy-saving Minimise paper usage There are so many areas that can and have reduced paper use. With the technology available, businesses are well on their way in paper reduction. Examples of this include;

• electronic payslips • electronic rosters • ordering online with suppliers • social media for marketing and advertising

• training by using e-learning Are there any other areas on the floor or in the office that paper could be reduced? Such as;

• notices to employees- could the

business use messaging apps (moderated of course) to inform

employees of updates

• induction handbooks- to be available online

• invoices moved to be electronic(also being implemented)

• food Safety logs/compliance

documentation to be moved electronically – this can be done through simple documents that can be saved on the centralised systemor there is a range of companies that offer software solutions to meet all sorts of budgets

• receipt paper- is there an

environmentally friendly solution? Such as digital receipts

Other areas for businesses could review for sustainability could be; • Waste streams

• Maintenance in cleanliness,

equipment, and safe operational workspace

• Using Eco-friendly chemicals in the work environment

• Packaging Alternative (suppliers and customers)

• Digital bulletin screen in the staff

common area. If this cannot be the case- laminate posters so they last longer


Employee engagement NATIONAL

MGA can support you going ‘green’

Review employee’s sustainability practices Not only is a recycling program something many employees want and appreciate, but it may also be required.

• Give employees the ability to recycle in the staff break rooms

• Recycle paper and containers (metal cans, plastic bottles and tubs, and glass bottles and jars)

• Sort and separate recyclables

correctly (glass is almost always collected separately)

• Other materials/equipment- can it be upcycled/donated?

Above all, make it easy for your employees by keeping recycle receptacles easily accessible. You may even want to place posters above bin showing what should go in each one and what should not. Create a green team Invite employees to develop a green team. The goal of this group is to build internal awareness of the business’s efforts, educate others on important environmental issues, and provide opportunities for employees to brainstorm and give their sustainability ideas. This is a great way to gain a better understanding of what sustainability measures are most important to your staff. From there, you will be better equipped to develop an approach that fits the needs of your workers. A green team is also a great way to get your entire staff on board with your environmental initiatives. Encourage employees to use reusable utensils (for personal use only) It’s easy to allow single-use items to dominate the common areas – it is a simple action to throw out once finished, especially in the current climate. However, the impact on the environment is detrimental. Ban bottled water – create a social distancing space for staff to store their water bottles or allow them to be carried


with them depending on their job task for their shift BYO Utensils-Encourage to bring their own cups to work or Keep-it cups for their hot refreshments. Ensure signage for their responsibilities for washing, drying and storage of these items when finished.

Through our partnerships with leading companies in sustainability programs that can advise, implement, and audit your business to ensure that operationally you can be sustainable but also save money. Check out our website on www.mga.asn.au under the Sustainability Tab and importantly...

Signage Have reminder signage in common areas or high traffic areas to remind employees of actions such as;

• in the kitchen and bathrooms

highlighting water conservation activities.

• which bins are for what task, paper, food etc?

• turn off lights if not required • place small stickers on computers and peripherals reminding people to turn them off when not in use.

Provide Incentives and make it fun No employee wants to add another chore to their list of work responsibilities, so it is important to make workplace sustainability enjoyable. Make these processes easy. Could be as simple as providing more bins in the common areas or space to store their own utensils (if possible)

ACES Australian Circular Economy Solutions: Our platform and programs focus on the circular economy and waste hierarchy. We aim to reduce the environmental and financial burden of business operations. Through innovative and practical solutions, we improve the utility and sustainability of businesses and reduce their carbon emissions footprint. Our online platform provides utility management solutions and data visualisation for businesses to promote their sustainability initiatives to the community.

Motivate employees with incentives for maintaining a green work environment. Reward employees with awards such as Green Champion of the Month or other types of reward systems Be an Example Lead the way for employees by demonstrating green behaviour. When employees see managers and owners practicing conservation, they are more likely to do it themselves. When everyone in an establishment works together, green business practices become the norm instead of a burden.

MGA INDUSTRY TRAINING IS HERE FOR YOU! Call our specialist team 1800 888 479 (option 2)



Provans scholarships The renowned Melbourne firm and family are investing in the next generation of timber trades. The name Provans has a long and respected history in Melbourne timber. In the early 20th century, David Provan set up a timber mill that grew to include a joinery business and hardware store that helped build many of the homes, factories and businesses of working-class Clifton Hill. “He was an extraordinary individual,” says his great-grandson, who shares his name. “Both a successful businessman and a mentor. He treated his colleagues and staff with respect and dignity, and he was a humanitarian. For example, he taught himself sign language, back in 1920, so that he could employ and communicate with deaf people. And he had a workforce of many deaf people because he saw that as a need in the community.” Recently, the current David Provan had been looking for a way for his family to honour their great-grandparents, grandparents and parents, all of whom had put such enormous work into making the company successful, but also into the local Clifton Hill/ Collingwood and wider Victorian community. His great-grandfather had been a founding member of the Committee of the Collingwood Technical School, which would later become Melbourne Polytechnic, and proudly remained involved until his death in 1931, serving as President of the school’s board in 1921 and 1922.

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“I have a photograph of all the students of Collingwood Tech forming a guard of honour along Johnston St outside the school as my great-grandfather’s funeral cortège passed en route to the Melbourne General Cemetery where he was buried,” Provan says. “So there’s a special connection to both the school and my family.” Provan approached the Rosenbergs, who took over the business in 1966 and discussed the idea of an annual award and scholarships, trading as Provans Timber & Hardware. “They were thrilled to join us,” he says. “Particularly given the lockdowns and how many people have experienced significant challenges. We think it’s an important way of contributing to those who may not be in a position to pursue a career given their circumstances. And it’s a small but important way for both families to give back for the extraordinary support that we’ve received from the local community and the industry over the 117 years that the business has been operating.”

Practical support Out of the discussions have emerged three ‘Provan and Rosenberg Families, Provans Timber and Hardware’ annual scholarships to the value of $1815 per annum to cover tuition, and the David Provan & Sons Annual Award for Carpentry, Joinery and Cabinet Making, worth $500 cash plus a $500 voucher for tools of the trade. Provan harked back to his family’s tradition of helping everyone who wants to find work. “That’s why when I drafted the criteria for the assessment of applications for these scholarships, I encouraged people from marginalised groups to apply,” he says. Education at Melbourne Polytechnic combines leading-edge understanding of materials and applications with traditional skills and apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship training. Teachers bring real-life industry experience to their roles and are able to equip students with skills they need to be jobready, setting them up for a career.



Implementing Risk Management into your business “We want to help people to pursue new careers,” Provan says. “We’re encouraging mature-aged students, women, people who have decided to change from their current career to a timber trade and also people from marginalised, disenfranchised and financially disadvantaged groups to lodge an application for the 2021 scholarships. We think that funding their tuition, tools and materials may help them access these programs in a very tangible way.” For further background on Provans Timber & Hardware visit www. provans.com.au

MGA TMA late last year held a Risk Management Webinar on Safety Management Systems, with the assistance of MGA TMA Safety Consultant - Kevin Doherty, who revealed some not so obvious safety concerns that can be found in any business. With over 30 year’s experience in the manufacturing industry, including the petrochemical industry, Mr Doherty also boasts 10 year’s experience consulting for a wide variety of businesses on safety and compliance. Mr Doherty initially highlighted the aims of safety management, which included seeking to protect the health, safety and welfare of employees, while ensuring that the health and safety of the public is not put at risk by work activities. Workplace and Occupational Health and Safety is a step-by-step process, according to Mr Doherty, who said there are four major steps involved.

This scholarship certainly resonates with the MGA TMA Frederick O’ Connell annual scholarship which is currently open for applications. Visit www.mga. asn.au/frederick-richard-oconnellscholarship for more information.

“The four steps include identifying hazards, or finding out what could cause harm, assessing risks and understanding the nature of the harm that could be caused by the hazard and the likelihood of it happening, controlling risks with effective control measures and reviewing control measures.

Safety responsibilities Any person who owns a business or enterprise (PCBU) has a primary duty of care to ensure the health and safety of any person who comes

into contact with business activities including workers, contractors, visitors and members of the public, according to Mr Doherty. “Health and safety legislation imposes specific duties on the officers of a business who can be found personally liable. Officers may be employees of a business but they also have a duty to ensure the WHS/ OHS legislative requirements are being met. Responsibilities apply to employers (PCBU), officers, managers, as well as employees,” he said. Just as an example to MGA TMA members, Mr Doherty highlighted common risks that may be found in the timber industry including poor layout, lifting, repetitive tasks at the workshop, unloading, moving, installing finished products at client sites, machine/powered-tool guarding exposure to wood dust and noise, forklifts, trucks and other vehicles, as well as injury management and return to work

Duties of employers Under the legislation, an employer or person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) has a duty to ensure health and safety, according to Mr Doherty.




NATIONAL “This duty includes elimination of risks to health and safety, so far as is reasonably practicable, as well as monitoring workers’ health when they are conducting hazardous activities. This duty includes notifying the relevant safety regulator of certain accidents and incidents in the workplace, as well as consulting with workers on health and safety issues. In some circumstances this could also mean appointing a health and safety representative (HSR) and a health and safety committee, as well as keeping appropriate health and safety records, while co-operating with inspectors from the health and safety regulator,” he said. “To comply with your duty, you must provide and maintain safe systems of work, including a safety management system to ensure people at the worksite are not exposed to risks. You must also provide and maintain safe plant and equipment, as well as ensuring the safe use, handling, storage and transport of plant or substances. Each workplace must be maintained in a safe manner so that the physical premises does not pose risks to health or safety,” Mr Doherty said. “Employees must also provide adequate facilities for the welfare of workers, including break areas, staff kitchen and toilets, as well as consult with workers and provide them with adequate information, training, instruction and supervision. Failure to comply will constitute a breach of the health and safety legislation.”

Ensuring health and safety When it comes to knowing what is reasonably practicable in relation to ensuring health and safety in a workplace, this means taking into account and weighing up all relevant matters, Mr Doherty said. “These matters include the likelihood of the hazard or the risk concerned occurring, the degree of harm that

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might result from the hazard or the risk, what the person concerned knows, or ought reasonably to know about the hazard or the risk, and ways of eliminating or minimising the risk.” “After assessing the extent of the risk and the available ways of eliminating or minimising the risk, matters also include the cost associated with available ways of eliminating or minimising the risk, including whether the cost is grossly disproportionate to the risk,” he said.

Duties of workers and employees Firstly, a worker or employee is someone who carries out work for a person conducting a business and this can include employees, contractors or sub-contractors, employees of contractors or sub-contractors, labour hire personnel, truck drivers, volunteers, trainees, apprentices, work experience persons or those that work from home, according to Mr Doherty. “In saying this, all workers or employees must take reasonable care for their own safety; ensure that their acts or omissions do not endanger others; cooperate with policies and procedures as laid out by the business; comply with lawful instructions given by the employer, while also not engaging in discriminatory conduct. Serious breaches of the legislation by employees carry significant penalties.” “It is also your legal duty to provide and maintain a safe place of work. By conducting a risk assessment, you will be able to identify the high-risk activities in your business and be able to prioritise those areas which need attention in a planned and organised manner,” he said. There are three stages to risk assessment including assessing the inherent risk, considering the current controls already in place, and also assessing your residual risk.

“Inherent risk is an assessment of risk if there were no controls of any sort in place. The reason for this is that it was found that people tended to under evaluate the potential for harm. Residual risk is different because it is an assessment of risk after controls have been placed to mitigate the risk. Then risk is the reassessed to ensure the risk has been reduced sufficiently or requires further controls,” he said.

Risk assessment template Mr Doherty also provided a Risk Assessment Template business owners may use to record risk details throughout their businesses. The process for completing the risk assessment template is straightforward and consists of three stages. Stage one consists of: 1. Identify and record each individual hazard. 2. Determine the impact which this hazard would cause. 3. Assess the risk assuming there are no safeguards in place using the risk calculator. 4. Determine the likelihood that an incident might occur. 5. Determine the consequence if an incident did occur. 6. Multiply the likelihood by the consequence to give the Inherent Risk Rating. Stage two consists of:

• Considering the controls which are currently in place.

• Listing all the controls relative to

the hazard in the Current Controls column. This might include safety guards, training provided to operators or the issue of Personal protective equipment (PPE), to name a few.

• Business owners can only list

the controls which have been implemented and they are certain the proper procedures are being followed.



NATIONAL Pic cap – (Insert slide 23 – Hierarchy of controls here) Stage three consists of:

• Assessing the residual risk with all

the controls and mitigating actions in place.

• Assessing the likelihood of an

incident occurring considering the effect of the controls.

for the inherent rating. The reason for this is that the consequence will always be the same if all the controls fail to prevent an incident. Mr Doherty also pointed out that if a business owner’s residual risk is still assessed as high, then they must apply further mitigating controls to bring the risk to at least medium.

• Remembering that administrative

controls such as work instructions and PPE are the least effective type of controls.

• The consequence rating will not

For more information visit the MGA TMA web site at: www.mgatma.com.au

change from the assessment given

Are you prepared for La Niña? Craig Love | Senior Risk Adviser, Adroit Insurance & Risk

The Bureau of Meteorology has declared a La Niña is officially underway, signalling we could be in for a wet spring and summer. The last major La Niña events were in the summers of 2010-11 and 2011-12. They resulted in 2010 to 2012 being Australia’s wettest two-year period on record. Flooding was widespread and devastating. In early 2011, large parts of South-East Queensland were underwater; the Lockyer Valley was hit by a cascade of water coming off the Toowoomba range,

and Brisbane saw its worst flooding since 1974.

watercourse, whether or not altered or modified; or any reservoir, canal, or dam.”

In 2010-2011, regional Victoria also witnessed widespread flooding, with many rivers experiencing their highest recorded flood levels. We can easily forget flood cover whilst we have drought and bushfire.

A few questions to ask yourself: • Do I have assets (business or personal) in a flood-prone area?

Remember, the definition of Flood is – “The covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or been released from the normal confines of: any lake, or any river, creek or other natural

• Am I covered for flood damage? Has this been documented in writing?

• If you are unsure, please contact your Risk Adviser, and we will assist

It is better to be prepared and on the front foot rather than receive that dreaded call where your property has been damaged by flood and you do not have the correct cover in place.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of your supermarket insurance program, please contact our specialist supermarket Risk Advisers at Adroit Insurance & Risk on 1300 My Adroit for a free health check on your supermarket insurance program.




NAB introduces flat pricing for Least Cost Routing MGA members who bank with NAB should be aware the company recently provided an update on its progress regarding Least Cost Routing (LCR), introducing a flat fee and simplifying packages. As a reminder, LCR refers to when customers make ‘tap and go’ payments with their dual-network debit cards, and the merchant chooses to send those transactions via the debit network that costs the least to accept. It’s been an important issue over the last few years, as merchants have suffered from the high fees charged to accept contactless debit transactions. Merchants in the vast majority of cases do not have the option to send these payments over the local eftpos network, which is often cheaper, and this state of affairs is estimated to cost merchants $500 million in fees across Australia every year. The MGA and other industry associations have lobbied for the banks to amend the rules to be fair to merchants, and it now looks like those efforts are starting to pay off.

NAB said that its business customers are set to benefit from LCR, which will be rolled out later this year. There will be one flat price of 1.15% on card transactions, replacing 10 separate pricing plans and enabling savings for businesses – with contactless debit card payments automatically processed on the lowest cost network. MGA CEO Jos de Bruin said it was great to see NAB introducing LCR before Christmas, and also putting competitive pressure on the other banks to compete on service and value. “NAB’s deployment of LCR is especially good news for small and medium businesses, especially as our members have often noted the complexity of understanding payments packages from the big banks, especially when opaque charges and rates are blended or bundled together,” he said. “The NAB approach will default to the cheapest payment rails for contactless debit, and therefore reduce the cost of accepting payments at a time when margins are tighter than ever. “On a wider scale, this move shows

the benefits of having a competitive payments system in Australia, which helps stop merchants being gouged on fees. LCR is a perfect example of how payments competition drives down costs, and the ongoing attempts by the banks and others to reduce this competition by merging the payments companies together should be strongly resisted.” Advice for Members • MGA members banking with NAB are encouraged to talk to their bank representative about LCR and uncover the potential savings it can deliver to their business.

• Members not with NAB should also

ask their own bank about LCR, and be prepared to shop around for the best deals.

• However, asking your bank to give you an estimate of potential LCR savings should not result in any of your other fees or charges being increased.

o If that happens, and NAB or any other bank says that to implement LCR will also mean that you pay more for cash-out costs, for example, please bring it to our attention.

MGA Welcomes New Corporate Partner : MB GROUP is a trades services and contracting company specialising in refrigeration and air-conditioning (HVAC/R), building management systems, energy management systems, turn-key energy efficiency projects and ongoing maintenance services. MB Group has a growing focus on bespoke heating and cooling applications, from complete EPCC-M engagements (Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Commissioning & Maintenance) for greenfield supermarket construction projects and complex refurbishments, to mga.asn.au | February 2021 | Edition 1

bespoke and highly specialised equipment and energy retrofit projects. MB Group is a leading installer of transcritical CO2 refrigeration systems in Australia and has completed multiple projects utilising an extremely capitalefficient, energy efficiency, and lowmaintenance integrated HVAC/R plant design. ‘At MB Refrigeration, we have a close-knit team of staff who are family-focused, creating a great atmosphere in which to work. This is reflected in both the service

we provide, how we provide it, as we engage with our customers and each other’. Shaun Davis General Manager MB Group. General contact details Phone: 03 9729 1997 Email: enquiries@mbgroupsolutions.com or Shaun Davis Mobile +61 447 981 921 shaun.davis@mbgroupsolutions.com



Bond Seven, new look, same delicious taste! Bond Seven Australian Blended Whisky has recently undertaken a brand refresh and packaging redesign, the new look package pays homage to and encapsulates the brands heritage and provenance. The square glass bottle and label highlighting each brand element masterfully to create a highly distinctive package design which is sure to elevate the products shelf presence. Bond Seven Australian Blended Whisky is proudly Australian made and Australian owned. Honouring traditional ‘bottled in bond’ aging and bottling methods, Bond

Seven is an exceptional blended whisky. Uniquely Australian, the Bond Seven whisky blends are carefully selected from the finest local malt and grain whisky’s available. As a result, Bond Seven is an approachable, aromatic whisky with hints of peat and fruit. 37.0% ABV/VOL, 700ml is available in all good independent retailers.

Distributed by Edgemill Group | www.edgemillgroup.com.au | p. +61 3 99828700





Seppelt announces New Winemaker: Clare Dry Seppelt is pleased to announce the appointment of Clare Dry as the winery’s new lead winemaker.

Commencing her role in November 2020, Clare brings a wealth of experience to the position and a clear focus on continuing to craft an exceptional portfolio of still and sparkling wines, for which Seppelt is renowned. Growing up on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, Clare has had a long-held interest in the world of wine. Completing a Bachelor of Oenology from the University of Adelaide, Clare worked for many wineries and vineyards back in Mornington and overseas in Germany before joining Wolf Blass in 2007 as a vintage winemaker. Over the next 13 years, Clare has honed her skillset, crafting wines across varieties in both red and white wine production, whilst also participating in extensive wine judging. Most recently, Clare has been instrumental in crafting premium Chardonnay, a variety she greatly enjoys. Regarding her new appointment, Clare states, “I’m delighted to be joining the Seppelt team. As a label with a long and celebrated history, I’m looking forward to continuing this legacy and showcasing the diversity of our vineyards and regions with each vintage release.” “As pioneers within the Australian wine industry, particularly with styles such as Sparkling Shiraz, it’s a privilege to help shape the Seppelt story going forward and join a winemaking fraternity I greatly admire.” Clare’s appointment follows the departure of former Seppelt winemaker Adam Carnaby, who is joining Wicks

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Estate Wines, located in the Adelaide Hills. Adam first commenced with Seppelt in 2011 and can be credited with upholding Seppelt’s soughtafter styles, together with producing some celebrated new wines during his tenure. We thank Adam for his valuable contribution and wish him all the very best in the future. -For further information please contact: Katheryn Lawson | Senior PR Manager – Seppelt | p: 0400 298 591 | katheryn.lawson@tweglobal.com | About Seppelt: Founded in 1851, Seppelt is one of Australia’s most historic producers. Few Australian wineries have carved such a distinguished name for both still and sparkling wines. Not only a pioneer of sparkling wine in Australia in the 1890s – of both white and red expressions – Seppelt also crafts some of the country’s most collected table wines and helped pave the way for cool climate styles in Australia.

Keeping workplaces mentally healthy The National Mental Health Commission is encouraging retail workplaces to adopt Mentally Healthy Workplace guides, especially when considering the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The guides are intended to support the mental health and well-being of Australian employees and workplaces now and into the future. The guides provide guidelines on maintaining good mental health, which is as equally important as good physical health. To access information on this important topic, visit www.mga.asn.au

CONTACT: MGA Industry Training P: 03 9824 4111 (Option #2) E: training@mga.asn.au

MGA Industry Training approved by ROC (Registered Organisation Commission) is now delivering

MGA Finance & Governance Training for Registered Organisations

The Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (the RO Act) requires all office holders whose duties relate to financial management to undertake approved training within six months of taking office. •

This course is designed for newly elected officers that are comfortable with self-paced learning.

No virtual classrooms and keeping appointments.

You can complete at any time or place.

There are 8 interactive modules to complete with a final assessment.

No need to wait for a trainer to assess your work, once the assessment has been completed, you can download your Certificate of Completion immediately.

Full details can be found on our website www.mga.asn.au





Asahi Holdings Australia appoints new chairman Asahi Beverages has appointed Roland van Bommel as the chairman of Asahi Holdings Australia (AHA). Van Bommel became the acting chairman of AHA in December 2020 after Peter Margin left the role, originally joined the AHA Board in 2013 and was a former chief executive of William Grant & Sons and Maxxium Worldwide. “I’m honoured by the opportunity, and energised by the challenge, of leading the AHA Board and ensuring we continue to achieve our ambitious growth targets and provide great jobs for our people,” said van Bommel in a statement. “Under the leadership of group chief executive Robert Iervasi and his executive leadership team, we’re in a very strong position.

“The breadth of the Asahi Beverages business, manufacturing footprint and beverages portfolio gives us a great opportunity to deliver extraordinary results for our people, our partners, our customers, consumers and community.” Iervasi said van Bommel’s understanding of the business, and the broader beverage industry will help the group to ensure it is positioned well to meet the challenges of the next few years. Carlton & United Breweries joined Asahi Lifestyle Beverages and Asahi Beverages New Zealand last year.

source: reid.sexton@asahi.com.au

MGA Industry Training committed to: practical supportive informative training Courses on offer • Food Safety Courses for all levels • Responsible Service of Alcohol • Tobacco Courses - ALL States • WHS • Customer Service • Staff Performance For further information you can contact MGA Industry Training on: Phone: 9824 4111 (Option #2) or; Email: training@mga.asn.au

www.mga.asn.au mga.asn.au | February 2021 | Edition 1

Roland van Bommel image source ©C&I Convenience and Impulse Retailing




Victoria Police conduct more illegal tobacco raids Illegal tobacco, with an alleged street value of $70,000, has been seized during police raids in three district towns. Shepparton police Senior Constable Adam Ashley said police searched five homes and businesses in Shepparton, Mooroopna and Euroa on Thursday.

Four people have been interviewed about importing illicit tobacco products and selling goods where duty tax has not been paid.

Police allegedly seized 3500 packets of cigarettes – the majority with 20 cigarettes to a packet – and 28 kg of loose tobacco, Sen-Constable Ashley said.

All four are pending summons on the matters.

The searches were part of an ongoing police investigation stemming from warrants issued in the district in June over illegal tobacco, Sen-Constable Ashley said.

Illegal tobacco sales affect all retail members who sell cigarettes and tobacco legally. MGA encourages all members to report any illegal activity that they are aware of by using these links.

Australian Taxation Office https://www.ato.gov.au/general/gen/ making-a-tip-off/ Australian Border Force https://www.abf.gov.au/about-us/whatwe-do/borderwatch Or by calling the MGA national support office on free call 1800 888 479

Story source© Australian Border Force Newsroom


HURRY! NSW Bin Trim program ends soon. Reduce your cost of waste disposal. No cost to participate. Join over 100 MGA members that are already taking part in the NSW EPA ‘Bin Trim’ program. MGA - in collaboration with waste management assessors and the NSW Government - to provide access to government assisted waste assessments and funds available to improve sustainability levels.

be provided with powerful tools for improvements in your sustainability and reducing waste collection costs.

This is the last available round of Bin Trim for NSW, no further rounds have been announced.

Benefits To Your Business

It is funded by the NSW Government as part of their Waste Less Recycle More Program.

• Identifying opportunities to reduce waste collection costs.

Reach out today to ensure you benefit from this terrific program.

• Developing recycling solutions with other NSW entities to address & aggregate problem materials.

There is no cost for MGA members to participate. The Audit and assessment will be completed by NSW Government approved assessors and you will

• Additional waste resources such as staff information material

• Funding provided by the NSW

Government’ Waste Less Recycle More Business Recycling Program

• Rebates of between $1000 and

$50,000 covering up to 50% of the capital cost of recycling equipment is available to support improvements in sustainability and support reduction in waste collection costs.

Contact: MGA’s Sustainability Team Phone: 1300 849 908 Email: aces@mga.asn.au We look forward to working with you to achieve some great sustainability results for your business and the NSW region.

Don’t just renew, review & get the right protection for you. We know you don’t want to spend your time worrying about insurance, but would your current insurance be enough to see you through? We’ve worked with MGA to develop a tailored insurance solution to meet the specific needs of their members. Let your insurance industry experts take care of everything for you. Call your local Broker today and rest easy knowing you’re in good hands. “Adroit provide ideas for preventative measures and procedures so we focus on what we are best at. I have confidence in them!” Jean Cowley. Owner – IGA St Leonards & Barwon Heads.

Contact your local broker for a FREE insurance review. 1300 402 756 | myadroit.com.au

Access your member discounts and SAVE! AFSL 244348







Conditions apply, see www.icebreak.com.au. Open to AU res. Starts: 1/3/21. Ends: 11:59pm AEST 11/4/21. Max 1 entry per transaction, max 3 entries per person per day. Max 5 prizes per person (excl. SA). Retain receipt/s & photo of unique code. Instant prizes: 930,242 e-Vouchers for BCF, Rebel or Supercheap Auto (winner’s choice) valued at $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $250, $500 (see T&Cs for breakdown). Winners published at www.icebreak.com.au weekly starting 8/3/21. Promoter: Lactalis Australia Pty Ltd (ABN 56 072 928 879) of 35 Boundary St South Brisbane, QLD 4101. NSW Permit No. TP/00619 ACT Permit No. TP20/01841. SA Permit No. T20/1619.

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PROMOTION RUNS FROM: 01/03/2021 - 11/04/2021 For more information please contact your Lactalis Australia Pty Ltd. representative: Lactalis Australia Pty Ltd. 35 Boundary Street, South Brisbane QLD 4101. Phone 1800 000 257 Fax 1800 335 188 Email: sales@au.lactalis.com

Profile for MGA Independent Retailers

MGA Independent Retailer Magazine - February 2021 - Issue 1  

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