The Blog


When builders go belly up: Are your payments safe from the liquidator?

The recent high-profile demise of Tagara Builders highlights the difficulties being faced in the South Australian construction industry and the knock-on effects when a prominent head contractor is placed into liquidation. Not only are sub-contractors usually left out of pocket for their unpaid progress claims, but also may later be hit by ‘unfair preference’ claims… Read more


Food and Grocery Code of Conduct may give suppliers improved trading terms with major supermarkets

With the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct (FGCC) becoming operative on 17 June 2015, suppliers are presented with a rare opportunity to secure an improvement in trading terms with the major supermarkets. Whilst the FGCC will not significantly change a supplier’s negotiating position, it is well worth understanding how the FGCC will affect relationships… Read more


How to avoid insolvency

There is no doubt that times are tough in a number of industries, particularly the construction industry as the recent high-profile demise of Tagara Builders demonstrates.  As a company director, one needs to be very vigilant in the management of the business and to be alert to any signs of financial trouble, not only for… Read more


South Australia to abolish stamp duties (well at least some!)

In a welcome move for business, South Australia’s 2015-2016 State Budget promises to remove many of the stamp duties that currently apply in relation to a broad range of transactions. The changes will be spread out over three years, with some occurring immediately. As of 18 June 2015, the State Government will abolish: stamp duty… Read more


Is a back door listing an easier way to list on the ASX?

Many companies aspire to be listed on ASX.  An initial public offering (‘IPO’) and ASX listing retains a prestige and mystique in the business community that says “we’ve made it”! To do so, a company must (among other things) comply with the admission requirements of ASX (‘admission requirements’). However, as with many things prestigious, there’s… Read more


Can software used for medical purposes be regulated by the TGA?

Speaking at a recent Flinders University Medical Device Partnering Program (‘MDPP’) event, head of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (‘TGA’) John Skerritt gave an insight into the TGA’s view of the rapidly developing area of ‘software as a medical device’. The TGA regulates therapeutic goods in Australia including prescription medicines, vaccines, sunscreens, vitamins and minerals, medical… Read more


Construction contractors unaware of payment rights

The process of adjudication has been operational in South Australia for some four years now and is slowly gaining traction in the commercial construction market. However, a number of contractors and sub-contractors remain unaware of the extensive rights given to them by the Act, and a number of principals remain unaware of the implications if… Read more


Competitiveness and confusion in the agribusiness sector

Is Australia’s current policy approach to foreign investment: 1)      opening Australia for business with the international community; or 2)      keeping Australian rural assets out of the hands of the international community? The answer, confusingly, is both. The government has signed historic free trade agreements with China, Japan and Korea, our neighbours in the region which… Read more


Twiggy’s iron ore production capping comments attract ACCC ire

As a recent guest speaker at an Austcham dinner in Shanghai  Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest outlined his solution to the current low iron ore price which is having a substantial negative impact on his company’s profitability.  Among other comments, Mr Forrest suggested that ‘I’m absolutely happy to cap my production right now. All of us should cap… Read more


iiNet’s competing takeover bid: Behind boardroom doors

Ever wondered what goes on in a boardroom when an unexpected takeover bid arrives?  James Burchnall gives his view on the issues that the board of iiNet Limited would likely have considered after M2 Group Limited sought to trump TPG’s recommended cash bid. On 14 April 2015, M2 Group Limited (‘M2’) made an initial approach… Read more