THE AUDACIOUS PURSUIT: Mr Grylls charges forth in the name of small business, et al., while the big miners fight back. The Weekend West, Saturday 3.9.16, published an article by Brendon Grylls, under the heading ‘Why the Nats, want a fair deal for State’s resources’, (reproduced below). This is a compelling argument by Grylls as to the justification for an increase in “the outdated 25¢ per tonne special lease rental” to $5.00 per tonne, of which small business would be a substantial beneficiary.

The West Australian, August 7, 2016, reported, in part: “Other facets of the Grylls plan include lifting the payroll tax-free [payroll-tax] threshold from $850,000 to $1.5 million”. That, if such a bold and “audacious tilt” should come to pass it would be music to the ears of small business, and a boon for employment in the small business sector.

Additionally, in The Sunday Times, 4.9.16 it is reported: [Grylls] “spruiks his controversial mining tax plan as a “policy plan to stabilise the State Budget””. “We are relying on mums and dads, pensioners and small business to fund essential services and infrastructure through taxes and charges, . . .” “The commentators and our opponents will say it is not plausible or possible,” he said. “Just remember they did the same when we announced Royalties for Regions.”

The articles in The West Australian of 3.9.16 and The Sunday Times, 4.9.16 strongly suggests that Brendon Grylls is still audaciously pursuing the Nationals’ proposal for an increase in the special lease rental, and isn’t going away anytime soon.

CONSTRUCTION THUGS: How sweet it is! Grace Collier is spot on with her article ‘Union thugs alone are not to blame for high construction costs’ published in The Weekend Australian, 3.9.16.

She explains, “building firms are “head contractors”, giant contract management businesses, and what they do is secure contracts to build things, then subcontract all the building work to smaller businesses while taking a percentage of the build cost as their reward. These smaller businesses [which are mainly small to medium size businesses], called subcontractors or “subbies”, are the businesses that actually do the building work, using their own teams of employed workers.

“After Hutchinson secured the contract [they] engaged subbies. There would have been subbies to do the earthworks, the concrete, the scaffolding and so on. One subbie was engaged to do the tiling and given a date on which work was meant to start.

“However, before work began, a manager at Hutchinson asked the subbie for a copy of its enterprise bargaining agreement and to attend a meeting with the construction union. The subbie queried the request. The firm already had an EBA with its staff, it said, so thanks but no thanks. (Typically, accepting a union EBA would raise wage costs by 20 per cent to 30 per cent.)

“Soon after, the union gave a “direction” to Hutchinson not to use the subbie and, accordingly, Hutchinson sent the subbie a letter confirming that without a union-endorsed EBA, the subbie would not be working on the project.”

Whilst union thuggery against small businesses in the building construction sector is rife, in many instances, as it was in the Hutchinson case, they get intimidated, coerced and stood over by the big end of town “head contractors”, who have the capacity to say “YES” or “NO” to union demands, and should face prosecution when they don’t say “NO”! There must be laws protect the small businesses.