House debates

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Questions without Notice

Small Business

2:50 pm

Photo of Ian GoodenoughIan Goodenough (Moore, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology. Will the minister update the House on how our government is standing by Australian families to grow small and family businesses, creating more jobs for Australians? Is the minister aware of any threats to the livelihoods of family businesses?

2:51 pm

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

I thank the member for Moore for his question. I have visited his electorate previously, and I know that the member for Moore is absolutely 100 per cent committed to backing small and family businesses in his electorate, as is every member on this side of the House, because we understand how important small and family businesses are to our economy. I'd like to tell the House about the great support the coalition government has provided to the businesses in the member's electorate. Under the coalition government, my department alone has provided over $727,000 to support businesses in the electorate of Moore. This is over a wide range of services. It includes business advisory services. It's to work with researchers. And, importantly, it's to assist with the commercialisation of research.

This week I launched the coalition government's Small and Medium Enterprise Export Hubs program. This is specifically designed to help businesses in sectors including manufacturing and food to begin to export for the very first time. This $20 million program, which is part of the Taking Local Business Global initiative that we announced in the 2017-18 budget, complements our Industry Growth Centres initiative. That means that we have growth centres in place in six key industries that are working to make sure that Australian businesses get support—for example, our food producers and, more broadly, in manufacturing. We are working as a coalition government to make sure that we are providing support to them.

I would like to acknowledge the great work that our Industry Growth Centres have done. Over 15,000 stakeholders have engaged with the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre programs, and our centre has funded a number of projects through partnering with industry, totalling nearly $19 million. That's to help generate new products, with potential sales of over $50 million. That growth centre alone has been supporting over 450 small and family businesses—companies that are working at international trade shows, trying to boost their exposure and help them to create more sales and revenue. The coalition government is absolutely committed to supporting small and family businesses. We're backing them to have a go, and we know that when they have a go it's a win-win situation for Australia. It's good for the firm, it's good for their local region and it's good for Australia.