Hamilton Island Limited and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have agreed on a compensation package for a small business woman in Queensland and her family company, Jalpalm Pty Ltd.

In a joint statement released today, the newly appointed Chairman of Hamilton Island Limited, Mr David Ryan, and Chairman of the ACCC, Professor Allan Fels, announced agreement on a confidential compensation package for former Hamilton Island concessionaire Mrs Gwen Evans.

The agreed payment follows Federal Court action by the ACCC against Hamilton Island Limited for unconscionable conduct involving Mrs Evans and her family company Jalpalm, the former operators of the Islands Pizza Parlour and Verandah Bar.

The ACCC had alleged that Hamilton Island Enterprises Limited (HIE) engaged in conduct that was unconscionable and misleading, in breach of sections 51AA and 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

This was the first such action commenced by the ACCC.

The ACCC also named Hamilton Island Limited (HIL), a company closely associated with HIE, as a party which was involved in the conduct.

The ACCC filed a representative action in which it sought injunctions and in a representative capacity damages on behalf of Mrs Gwen Evans and her family company, Jalpalm.

However, ACCC Chairman, Professor Allan Fels, acknowledged the conduct occurred in 1994, under a previous board and management team and prior to the appointment of the present Chairman of HIL, Mr David Ryan, and the new Chief Executive Officer, Mr Wayne Kirkpatrick.

Professor Fels noted that the newly appointed Board, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, had undertaken extensive enquires into the allegations and concerns raised by the Commission.

He also acknowledged that the new board and management of both companies had sought to expeditiously and enthusiastically resolve these matters and provide Mrs Gwen Evans and her company, Jalpalm, with a substantial payment which was entirely acceptable to all parties.

The ACCC noted a new approach between the two companies, Hamilton Island Enterprises and Hamilton Island Limited and their island concessionaires.

Both companies have formally agreed to conduct management seminars on all relevant aspects of the Trade Practices Act and to develop a compliance manual for all company management staff.