House debates

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Questions without Notice


2:20 pm

Photo of Damian DrumDamian Drum (Murray, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development. How does strong economic management allow the Australian government to deliver tax cuts for individuals and small businesses in regional Australia? What are the risks and what is at stake if our plan to deliver a strong economy is put in jeopardy?

2:21 pm

Photo of Michael McCormackMichael McCormack (Riverina, National Party, Leader of the Nationals) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Murray for his question. Strong economic management means that people who pay taxes, people who earn money, can actually have a bit more money in their pocket, a bit more money to spend on the things they want to be able to spend it on. They keep more of the money that they earn. Strong economic management means we can reward hardworking small businesses and hardworking individuals. We know that 3.2 million small businesses and family enterprises make up seven million hardworking Australians. That's who they employ. Certainly in the member for Murray's electorate there are many, many small businesses—18,000, in fact—employing many hardworking Australians.

They are businesses such as LDK Trailers & Truck Trays in Shepparton. It's owned by Bob Johnson. Bob's a good bloke. He says that LDK takes great pride in providing quality trailers and tray bodies not only to the Goulburn Valley area but to Victoria and Australia-wide. As you travel around the roads, you can see those great examples of the trays and trailers being constructed right there in the member for Murray's electorate. They're travelling around on the great roads being provided by the great infrastructure package—$75 billion, that pipeline of investment—that is making sure we build better roads, making sure that we get people home sooner and safer.

LDK started in 1987. It's grown into new, larger premises. It employs 25 local and experienced staff. There's Bob. He's having a go. He's backing himself. He's taking risks. That's what small-business owners do. They take a risk. They back themselves. They don't need to be told that their whole workforce needs to be unionised. They don't need to be told that they have to pay higher taxes, because that's what will happen under those opposite. At LDK they use highest-grade quality materials. They've got an emphasis on Australian-made materials. How good is that? Fantastic. They're job creators. They're growing our economy. They're making sure that they're creating jobs. They're creating opportunities for young people, for apprentices and even, indeed, for older Australians. They're the sort of people that we want to back. They're the sort of people we are backing. They're the sort of people we know we need to back, because we on this side of the House run small businesses. Unlike those on that side of the House, we don't want to run them into the ground.

Those opposite have never seen a business they didn't want to run a picket line out the front of. They have never seen a small business that they didn't want to unionise. Whether it's in Cobram or Euroa, whether it's in Kyabram or Numurkah, we're backing small businesses. We know that those opposite—for those people in the member for Murray's electorate, in Yarrawonga—want to tax them longer. That's what they want to do. They want to run small business into the ground. We back them. We back them all the way and we will continue to do so. (Time expired)