21 August 2017

Remarks, Wagga Wagga


SUBJECTS: Section 46 and the effects test; National Party; small business support; crowd-sourced equity funding; Wagga Wagga Business Chamber; Institute of Public Accountants white paper


Thanks very much.

I am so glad that Andrew Conway, the CEO of the Institute of Public Accountants, just spoke about changes to section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act. They are important. They are significant.

It’s important and significant because it’s another election promise we delivered last week in Parliament.  Last week the Government certainly was taking action on the issues people around here and people around Australia want us to.

Energy prices, cost-of-living pressures, fairer competition policy for small business. They were issues on our agenda last week and as well the Regional Investment Corporation – the rural bank – certainly good news for people around the Riverina and Central West.

We are getting on with the job and it’s business as usual for the National Party and for the Government. But I am here today to talk about the matters I am working on – and certainly the kinds of things we spoke about at the Institute of Public Accountants breakfast roundtable here in Wagga Wagga this morning.

The issue of mentoring in small business was brought up, along with section 46 and the effects test. There is so much support out there for small business. I would encourage people to get on the small business website and there is some really good information, some really good support, there for small businesses.

Obviously, State Governments have various support in place as well and we are working – State and Federal Governments – as best we can together to see small business succeed.

I was also interested in the discussion around access to capital, and this is something which is raised with me very often by small businesses. We have legislation about crowd-source equity funding, which is encouraging people to have a go and pursue their ideas, and actually puts a pathway in place for them as far as funding and capital is concerned.

I would also like to thank the Wagga Wagga Business Chamber for making this happen. And thanks to Andrew Conway for coming along. It’s important Wagga Wagga is recognised. It is a small business capital, make no mistake. We are a very rare town in that we have all three arms of the Defence Force – Australia’s only inland city to actually have that – but the fact is that brings a lot of spin-offs to small business. That’s something Greg Conkey knows only too well – the Mayor – having been a small business owner like me before he went on to Council.

And thank you all for coming along. Andrew is right – you are a very trusted profession indeed. People often come to you long before their lawyer or local politician when they have a problem to solve because you are trusted. And certainly with my son Alexander a tax accountant too I have that reinforced to me at home!

Before you go, if you are not already please sign up and join the Wagga Wagga Business Chamber. It’s so important. It’s such a great organisation. And it’s one of the largest in NSW. But most importantly, it’s actually – and you would know this as accountants – it’s tax-deductible fun. Great networking opportunities and I value its feedback. Join the business chamber.

And please get involved with the white paper from the IPA. I really do value the feedback I get from organisations such as this. Your thoughts, your ideas, are so important. So please have your say. Take some extra forms and tell your friends to do it too. The more information we get back as a Government the better we can work to help you, to back you and to see you succeed.

Thanks very much.