MEMBERS NEWS: CoSBA welcomes a new member, the Central Eastern Business Association (CEBA). Their President is Greg Pound; Secretary, Karen Hackett and Executive Officer, Chris Dengler. The Joondalup Business Association has appointed a new Executive Officer: Michael Faulkner

It is said a week is a long time in politics, but last week was somewhat shortened by the spectacular Turnbull double backflip with pike at the WA Liberals conference last Saturday, announcing a legislated floor to the minimum GST carve up for the States. Indeed, that’s only a week after the Grylls’ Don Quixote-esque tilt at increasing the royalty payment hit on BHP and Rio. How ironic? Accordingly, one could be forgiven for speculating that the Grills proposal may have induced the Libs to act. Coincidental? And, of course it may be fundamental to saving the Premier’s political bacon at next years’ State election. Even if Grylls doesn’t slay the windmills, his audacious tilt may have been the call to arms the Libs needed for them to decide on a most welcome outcome. Whatever it takes!!

However, continuing The Australian, newspaper on 16.8.16 reported: West Australian Nationals leader Brendon Grylls says Malcolm Turnbull’s pledge to change the GST distribution system won’t stop his plan to slug iron ore giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto with a huge mining tax.” And: “Mr Grylls yesterday vowed to push ahead with his plan because the proposed changes would not deliver any extra money to Western Australia. State Treasurer Mike Nahan labelled Mr Grylls’ mining tax plan “crazy brave” and said the Liberals could not back it.” Watch this space!!! I seem to recall that Don Quixote rode a donkey when tilting at the windmills.

On 10.8.16 The Australian newspaper under the heading ‘The unfair contract legislation is a big deal’ reported that: The new unfair contract legislation, due to come into operation in three months, will affect far more contracts than originally predicted.”

The report states, in part: “The legislation comes into operation on November 12 and covers standard form contracts where there has been no negotiation and where one of the parties has less than 20 employees.”

And, “There are 2.1 million small enterprises in Australia and on average the ACCC research shows that a majority of small business were offered eight standard form contracts each year. For the most part they don’t have the expertise to review the contracts and spend very little time on that task.”

This certainly is a major win for small business, and the Turnbull Government is to be highly commended for introducing and passing a law that will afford significant protection for small business.

However, the accolades for achieving the new law must go to Ken Phillips, executive director of Independent Contractors Australia, (a member of CoSBA) for the hard work, persistence and dedication he personally contributed to achieving the unfair contract legislation. It certainly is a big deal. Congratulations Ken.

Again, we evidence the effect of government-imposed red tape, reported in The Australian newspaper on 15.8.16 under the heading ‘Red tape is strangling Australia’s primary resources industries’. The report states, in part:

Unfortunately, landholders all across the country are . . . ­affected by bad red tape. Nor is agriculture the only sector struggling with the red tape burden. Australian prosperity is built on primary industries but state and federal governments are loading them up with excessive, unnecessary and often counter-productive rules and regulations.

Just last week one of Australia’s largest potential uranium mines, the Yeelirrie mine located in Western Australia, was blocked because of the effect it could have on blind, microscopic desert prawns that are just 0.3mm in size.

Constructing the Roy Hill iron ore mine required 4147 licences, permits and approvals from federal, state and local governments. And it has taken more than six years and a billion dollars for Adani to get approval for its central Queensland coalmine — and that development still might not even go ahead.

By now, the only realistic ­option to repair the federal budget is to boost the economy with a comprehensive and revitalised red tape reduction program.

There are no silver bullets in economic reform. But there are certainties. Cutting red tape to allow businesses to develop our natural resources and create jobs will stimulate growth, which is the only way we will ever repair the budget.”

This red tape malaise has a serious knock effect by stifling the growth of the consequential small businesses and jobs. The governments and bureaucrats are adept at demonstrating a inability and/or unwillingness to proactively address this problem.