A Labor Government will enact laws to protect local newsagents


A NSW Labor Government will enact laws to protect newsagents and other small businesses as the primary distribution agents for NSW Lotteries – protecting this vital sector from financial hardship and potential business closures.

Around 1,500 newsagents and other small businesses will face financial hardship and possible closure when the current Agency Protection Period expires in April.

The proposed new franchise agreement includes increasing the number of agents in the distribution network and allowing big businesses, such as the major supermarket chains, into the network; not providing any geographic or other form of exclusivity to the lottery agent; imposing expensive fit-out requirements on all lottery agents costing up to $25,000; and the sweeping of lottery agent bank accounts on multiple occasions per week, seriously disrupting cash flows.

The NSW Lotteries business was built by small business and a Labor Government will enact a positive plan to ensure they remain the cornerstone of the franchise in a fair commercial agreement with the private operator.

Labor’s plan to protect local newsagents includes:

1. Enacting laws that preserve the current agency protections, until such time as the parties reach agreement on new terms;
2. Continuing to restrict outlets selling lottery products to newsagencies and other small businesses; and
3. Working with local newsagents and the private operator to ensure a sensible commercial arrangement is established that is fair to all parties.

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley was joined by Shadow Minister for Small Business Adam Searle and Labor Candidate for East Hills Cameron Murphy at Revesby Newsagency to announce Labor’s plan to protect local newsagents.

“I want to see thriving and successful small businesses in our suburbs and our regional town centres – a Labor Government would ensure local newsagents are protected by enacting laws to support a fair deal on the sale of NSW Lotteries products,” NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley said.

“Today I am putting forward a positive and common sense plan to protect our local newsagents – a Labor Government will sit down with all the parties involved and develop an agreement that works for all concerned.

“Newsagents are frequently the beating hearts of local shopping villages – especially in regional communities - I don’t want to see them disappear because of a commercial decision that could cause the financial ruin of these family-run businesses.

“Thousands of young people have been given their first job and their first taste of adult responsibility by their local newsagent either behind the counter or the newspaper delivery route – this important role in the community should not be put at risk.

“We’ve seen in Queensland that lotteries can be run effectively through local newsagents and small businesses to the economic benefit of both the private operator and the agents – I want to make it very clear that I intend for newsagents to continue their traditional role as the primary retailer of lottery products.”

Shadow Minister for Small Business Adam Searle said that income from lotteries is typically around 40 per cent of turnover in a newsagent and can reach as high as 90 per cent – a loss of that business would place newsagencies across the state in financial jeopardy if action isn’t taken by government.

“The Baird Liberal Government has failed to take any action to help facilitate a fair agreement between the private operator and local newsagents – Mike Baird is happy to sit by and watch local newsagents go to the wall when the protection period expires in April,” Mr Searle said.

“Under Labor’s plan, we will extend the protection period until a fair deal can be hammered out by the parties concerned – an agreement that will allow the operator to grow the business but maintain local newsagents as the primary retailer of lottery products.

“We will also enact our Small Business Protection Laws to give the sector new legal protections from unfair contracts and business practices. This will include a Small Business Commissioner with real teeth and the authority to compulsorily mediate disputes between small and big businesses and government agencies.”