The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Bill Shorten

Bill Shorten

Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services & Superannuation

14 September 2010 - 14 December 2011

Media Release of 22/07/2011

NO.113

Supporting Small Business in Maribyrnong for clean energy future

Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses in Keilor Park is an outstanding example of the kind of innovative, environmentally-conscious company the Gillard Government wants to foster with the Clean Energy Future package, Member for Maribyrnong and Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten said during a visit to the company today.

"Small businesses in Maribyrnong and around the country make a vital contribution to Australia’s economic activity and Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses know the importance of economic and environmental sustainability," Mr Shorten said.

"Their ultimate goal is zero emissions and their sustainability principles have been extended to all levels of business, from top level strategic planning through to staff recruitment, induction and position descriptions that identify sustainability as a key performance indicator."

Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses have over 50 stores around Victoria and celebrate their 110th birthday in August 2011. They make over 120 different items, ranging from pies to cupcakes.

"It is this drive and the energy efficiency measures they have implemented throughout their business that has earned them the 2009 Origin Gold Banksia award for their environmental sustainability practices."

Under the Clean Energy Future package announced by the Gillard Government, small businesses will not be required to pay a carbon price.

"A carbon price won’t impose any red tape on small businesses," Mr Shorten said.

"Under the Government’s package, small businesses will not have to count or monitor their carbon pollution or electricity use. Nor will they have to fill in a single form as part of the carbon price reform."

In recognition of the important contribution of small business to economic activity, $240 million over the period 2014 to 2015 will go towards helping small businesses save energy and get advice to help to grow their business sustainably.

"Small business will see benefits flow from an increase to the small business instant asset write-off thresholds to $6500," Mr Shorten said.

"This boost to the threshold will help small business increase cash flow, which assists growth and investment in new assets, some of which could be more energy efficient."

The Australian Government will also support SME’s transition to a clean energy future through:

  • Provision of $40 million in Energy Efficiency Information Grants which will assist Small to Medium Enterprises and community organisations understand the impacts of a carbon price on their operations and help them respond by making their processes and equipment more energy efficient.
  • An extra $5 million will be injected, over four years, to improve delivery of clean technology advice and other non-grant business support programs to support SMEs. This will enhance the clean technology focus of industry supply chains, which will help local businesses secure contracts for major projects.

"Carbon pricing is a reform we need to make to keep our economy competitive, to protect our environment and to do the right thing for our children and future generations," Mr Shorten said.

"Small businesses in Maribyrnong and around the country will be supported by the Gillard Government through the transition to a clean energy future."

Further information about the Government’s clean energy future and carbon price announcement is available at www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au

22 July 2011