House debates

Monday, 7 December 2020

Constituency Statements

Higgins Electorate: Small Business

10:56 am

Photo of Katie AllenKatie Allen (Higgins, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The Morrison government is delivering the economic lifeline Australians need to get through the COVID crisis. As Victoria has exited its second lockdown and I've been able to visit more local businesses across my electorate of Higgins, I've been moved by the stories about and the thanks for what the Morrison government has done in providing COVID support measures. In one of my first visits out to businesses, as retail restrictions were lifted in Victoria, I heard from Katie Graham, who owns a local business in Chapel Street called The Family Love Tree. It stocks a large variety of homewares and furniture whilst also offering an instore café, which is unique and simply delicious. During this visit, Katie said that JobKeeper was a godsend for her business. She loved that her business was able to invest with confidence with the extension of the instant asset write-off. Katie's business is not alone. Jessica Stergiou runs a family owned business, Metro Furniture Group, which offers Australian-made sofas, dining room furniture and bedding. The support measures provided by the Morrison government ensured that this long-running family business, which Jessica inherited from her father, has been able to proudly continue to trade.

After meeting with these two great businesswomen, I launched a Women in Business Economic Forum to maintain and encourage dialogue throughout the community of Higgins. I was pleased that Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg both attended the launch. In fact, it was the PM's first visit to Melbourne since February. Collectively we heard from women right across Higgins, ranging from sole traders to global business traders. They included Natalie Nunn, who runs Giant modelling, Jo Horgan, who is CEO of MECCA, Karen Kim, who runs Hello Music, and Cat Roosenburg, who runs Carnival for Kids Party Shop. The stories of resilience and resourcefulness from these business owners were simply extraordinary. I'm so proud that the Morrison government backed in these businesses through what has been this country's biggest health and economic crisis in living memory. These women were delighted that their voices are being heard at the very heart of government decision-making. They know we've got their backs.

The extension to both JobSeeker and JobKeeper have been provided as part of a scalable approach from the Morrison government. We are acting when it's needed, because this is what has been required throughout the COVID crisis. The lifeline to businesses and individuals which has been provided through COVID has worked. We're ensuring that our economy and Australians who live within it are supported and ready to be part of the post-COVID recovery. As the Treasurer said last week, 'The recession may be over, but the recovery is not.' We are on the right track, and our economic recovery plan will get us there. I'm very pleased to support the Women's Economic Security Statement, and we discussed this in depth with the women at the women's economic business forum in Higgins. It's a committee I hope to continue, and I appreciate the support of these wonderful women.

Photo of Sharon BirdSharon Bird (Cunningham, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

In accordance with standing order 193 the time for members' constituency statements has concluded.