House debates

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Questions without Notice


2:49 pm

Photo of Trevor EvansTrevor Evans (Brisbane, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology. Will the minister update the House on the steps our government is taking to support small and family businesses, creating local jobs and new business opportunities? And is the minister aware of any threats to the livelihoods of Australian family businesses?

2:50 pm

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

I thank the member for Brisbane for his question. He is well known and well regarded as a very strong advocate of small and family businesses. He, like so many people on this side of the chamber, truly understands small and family businesses. We understand how hard it can be as a small and family business, and we want to help them to succeed. We want to help them to grow. We're doing that, firstly, through legislated tax cuts and we're also looking to support them to grow and create new opportunities and create new jobs.

In the member for Brisbane's electorate, there is a company that I know that the Prime Minister visited not so long ago. That business is iOrthotics. You visited them about 18 months or so ago, Prime Minister, with the member for Brisbane. iOrthotics is a great local business. They are employing local people and they're taking their business to the world. They're pioneering the next wave of 3D printing and they're already supplying more than 100 clinics across Australia with their products. They have plans to reach out to a number of overseas countries—the United States, the United Kingdom and also Canada. Importantly, they have worked with the government's Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre to digitise and to upscale their manufacturing processes. They are planning and expecting to grow their current exports considerably over the coming years and, as a result of that, they will increase the number of skilled jobs they have. iOrthotics has a forecast to increase their sales revenue from $940,000 in 2018 to $2.82 million in 2019. That's a great Queensland company, one that's becoming even greater, thanks to the opportunities and the new jobs that are being created by this government.

Unlike those opposite, we are backing our small and family businesses, because we understand that they're the foundation of the local communities on which this country is built. We are working hard to make sure that we are creating jobs, and that we are creating opportunities for them into the future. Just today, I launched the Small and Medium Enterprises Export Hubs program. This is a $20 million program, which is part of the Taking Local Businesses Global initiative that was announced in the last budget. What this will do is create export hubs. It will create regional centres that will help our local businesses—businesses like iOrthotics—to take on the world. This is just another demonstration of this government's commitment to small and family businesses.