New South Wales newsagents will benefit from the $15 million announced in the NSW Budget on June 23 for lottery agents for approved shop fits, but still have to negotiate a new franchise agreement with Tatts that could see them pay up to $25,000-$35,000 for compulsory fit outs.
In the NSW Budget, more than $2.3 billion was allocated to vocational education and training, as announced by Minister for Skills and Small Business John Barilaro.
Mr Barilaro said small businesses will also benefit from a $14 million business package that includes the Small Biz Connect program, small business advocacy services, dispute resolution and multicultural advisors, as well as $15 million over 10 years for existing lottery agents to apply for approved shop refits.
Under the Newsagents Assistance Fund in the NSW Budget, lottery agents can apply for up to $10,000 for approved shop refits.
Despite winning a reprieve that will allow NSW/ACT newsagents to remain as the key Tatts lottery agents for another three years to March 31, 2018, a major issue has been the franchise agreements between Tatts and newsagents that would include compulsory fit outs for Tatts service counters and branding.
Newsagents, who often operate in country areas as convenience stores and post offices, fear that they may have to spend on costly fitouts then lose exclusivity to petrol convenience stores and large supermarket chains.
In late January, a Memorandum of Understanding between the NSW Government and Tatts Group said that NSW Lotteries will undertake not to expand its network of lottery outlets into large supermarket chains for three years from April 2015 till 31 March 2018, and that this will not in any way restrict NSW Lotteries from expanding into the convenience fuel channel if it deems so.