Key Issues for Small Business

State Issues

  1. Government Taxes & Charges: High level of Payroll Tax & Stamp Duty; High energy costs
  2. Under-representation of small business with Government: The State Training Board and other Government Bodies.
  3. Small Business Training & Education: Traineeships i.e. 15 hours; Small Business Institute to be set up; Difficulties in finding skilled and unskilled labour.
  4. Fuel – excise/costs: Excessive.
  5. Government Procurement: In-sourcing of non core activities regardless of cost; Reduction of number of suppliers and taking lowest price regardless of impact on SME’s.
  6. Liquor Licensing Reform: More relaxed liquor laws.
  7. Trading Hours Reform: More relaxed trading hours.
  8. Market Domination by major supermarket chains.
  9. Industrial Relations: High level of Pay.
  10. Other Issues  (not in any order of priority):
  • Restitution & compensation for victims of crime.
  • Strong pro-union stance taken by the Government.
  • Daylight Saving – should be introduced permanently.
  • Tourism and events promotion.
  • Small Business Awards, No applicants because no one knew about them.
  • Lack of development of city.
  • Uniform WorkCover legislation across all States.
  • Removal of criminal charges and penalties from legislation, except for deliberately intentional cases.

Federal Issues

  1. Business/Taxation costs: Complicated tax laws & high cost of compliance; Insufficient tax breaks for companies attempting to develop new technologies; Depreciation should have 100% write off in year of expenditure; High levels of company & individual tax.
  2. Lack of support by Federal agencies: Lack of loyalty and recognition of value added services when decision is purely price driven; Calling of national contracts – excluding local businesses.
  3. Labour shortages: Low levels of immigration; Immigration/Labour shortages.
  4. Fuel excise/costs: Fuel prices.
  5. Superannuation: Requirements geared around big business systems; Different super funds, with different payment systems, different schedules, different procedures, etc etc. Painful and consuming for small business; Contribution Tax on Super should be abolished.
  6. Training: Lack of effort in getting WADET to fulfils it obligations across all industries in a non-selective way – out off line with other states e.g. traineeships.
  7. Red tape & compliance costs (time and money)
  8. Industrial Relations: WorkChoices/Fair Work far too complex for small business.
  9. Research and development: Shortfall funding/support.
  10. Other Issues (not in any order of priority):
  • Bureaucracy and slowness by Customs and Quarantine agencies impeding imports; Hysteria about food safety and complication with AQIS adds considerable expense for spurious testing requirements.
  • Serious concern that the new minimum wage will undermine the cost of labour – far to open to abuse.
  • Immigration/Refugee numbers – excessive.
  • Importation of skilled labour – far to open to abuse at the cost of Australian labour.
  • Too much financial aid given abroad should be “tied” to products or services supplied from Australia.
  • Reform of Export Market Development Grants Scheme, make it less onerous to access.
  • Federal Government to tale over WorkCover legislation across all States.
  • Removal of criminal charges and penalties from legislation, except for deliberately intentional cases.