SMALL BUSINESS IS LOOSING FAITH: A report published by SmartCompany on 28 April 2017 under the heading ‘Small business owners are losing faith in Malcolm Turnbull as some sectors face tough times’ raises serious concern as to the Federal Government’s performance with small business, stating: “The most recent Sensis Business Index Survey has revealed support for the Coalition among small and medium businesses has fallen into negative territory, with only 14% of SME owners feeling supported by the government’s policies.” And also, “SME operators from across Australia surveyed for the index believe economic conditions are strong, but “less than one in seven businesses have faith in the Government’s policies, with the biggest concerns being excessive bureaucracy and red tape, as well as there being too much of a focus on the interests of big business”.

Additionally, The Weekend Australian 29 April 2017 under the heading ‘Green tape’s 80-fold explosion, costing $176bn a year’ reports: “The burden of red tape is ­incurred across all industries and ­results in a range of economic costs,” the report says. “Environmental law is a significant part of this regulatory framework. Environmental red tape and regulation in particular has grown significantly in recent decades.”

Given that the Federal Opposition has to date not enunciated any policies for small business, except in the negative, by not supporting the Government’s tax relief and campaigning against the Fair Work Commission’s reduction in Sunday penalty rates, this finding does not bode well for the Government. It is therefore understandable that: “All eyes are on the government as it prepares to hand down the 2017 federal budget, . .” (See SmartCompany report below)

MEETING THE MINISTER: We have received a letter from the new WA Minister for Small Business advising us: “Having been a small business owner myself prior to becoming a Member of Parliament, I have first-hand experience of the challenges associated with operating a successful enterprise. As a result, I can assure you that I will be working hard to achieve this Government’s commitments to small business, . .” He also said that: “The McGowan Labor Government is committed to creating a diverse, dynamic and resilient economy with a broad range of industries and jobs.

As a result, we have written the Minister for a meeting, at which we will seek an understanding as to what is meant by: “creating a diverse, dynamic and resilient economy with a broad range of industries and jobs,