House debates

Monday, 15 June 2020

Questions without Notice

COVID-19: JobMaker

2:34 pm

Photo of Karen AndrewsKaren Andrews (McPherson, Liberal Party, Minister for Industry) Share this | Hansard source

I thank the member for his question. As a fellow small-business owner, I know that he understands and is very supportive of and passionate about small business. It was only just last week that we met and spoke about Australian manufacturing, particularly in his electorate of Longman. Cutting red tape has always been in the coalition's DNA because we understand the needs of businesses. As the Prime Minister outlined this morning, cutting red tape and deregulation are crucial to fast-tracking our economic recovery and getting more Australians back into work. That is exactly what JobMaker is all about.

During the height of the COVID-19 crisis, we saw what could be achieved when regulators rethought their processes. For example, we had some very great successes in cutting through red tape to help ramp up Australian businesses to produce and distribute hand sanitiser. The TGA, Australia Post, the tax office, Safe Work Australia and the National Transport Commission all stepped up and worked together to support small and medium enterprises, and some large enterprises, to set up hand sanitiser production and delivery right across Australia. As I said at the Press Club previously, the COVID pandemic has shown what is possible if we facilitate, rather than overregulate.

As the technology minister, I'm particularly pleased that digital technology has been identified as an enabler to simplify and to speed up government interaction with businesses and industry. It's very clear that our laws have not kept pace with digital technology and that is particularly the case with business communications. We actually need to make sure that we are embracing and adopting those new technologies, particularly blockchain.

We need to streamline how governments at all levels do business to bring us in line with what the community expects of us. Since well before this pandemic, the Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister, Ben Morton, has been working with all government members and senators to look at deregulation and how we can make it easier for businesses to do business. Our aim has always been to make sure that tradies and mum-and-dad businesses wanting to grow and create jobs have the opportunity to do it and to do it easily, because we know that, when industry succeeds, it means more jobs for the Australians who are so desperately looking for work at the moment.

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