ACCC establishes trust fund

8 October 1998
"The ACCC today established The Stevedoring Industry Reform Small Business Compensation Fund to compensate businesses which suffered losses during the waterfront dispute," Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman, Professor Allan Fels, announced today.

"On 3 September 1998, the ACCC reached a settlement in relation its litigation concerning the waterfront. The settlement provided for a damages fund of up to $7.5 million, funded by Patrick Stevedore Holdings Pty Ltd, to be available for small businesses damaged by the boycotts during the dispute.

"Small businesses which do not have an alternative claim for compensation, such as insurance, will be given priority over other claimants on the fund. An initial limit will be set on payments.

"The Trust Fund is to be administered by the Official Receiver of New South Wales.

"In general terms the Trust provides for priority to be given to individuals and businesses with an annual sales turnover of less than $100 million per year. Initially claims will be limited to $200 000 per claimant. There is also provision for larger business to claim on the Trust Fund once small businesses have recovered their damages.

"It is intended that small businesses will be able to make claims on the fund over the next few weeks. The Trustee will be preparing a claim form for use by prospective claimants. Once the claims are received, the Trustee will assess the claims and start making payments.

"Since the case was settled the ACCC has received calls from approximately 40 small businesses in relation to possible claims on the Trust Fund. The ACCC will be forwarding the contact details for these small businesses to the Trustee.

"The establishment of the Trust Fund today is an excellent result for those small businesses which suffered loss during the recent waterfront dispute. Throughout the waterfront dispute the ACCC was determined to protect the interests of these small businesses without taking sides in the broader dispute."

The Trustee's contact details are:

Mr George Caddy / Mr Maurice Sullivan Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia 10th Floor 255 Elizabeth Street Sydney NSW 2000 Phone: (02) 9581 7822
Release number: 
MR 182/98
ACCC Infocentre: 

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Ms Lin Enright - (02) 6243 1108