Senate debates

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Questions without Notice

Small Business

2:34 pm

Photo of Michaelia CashMichaelia Cash (WA, Liberal Party, Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business) Share this | Hansard source

I thank Senator Henderson for the question. The coalition government is proud to be putting in place policies that support small and family businesses in Australia. Senator Henderson is right—small and family businesses are the backbone of the Australian economy. In fact, there are 3.4 million small businesses in Australia and they employ around six million Australians. So every day around six million Australians wake up and they go to work because of a small business in this country. Small and family businesses are the engine room of the Australian economy, and their impact on the Australian economy cannot be understated. In fact, our Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, recently stated:

… small and medium-sized businesses are responsible for more than three-quarters of the output in agriculture and more than half the output in construction.

It is without a doubt that, collectively, small and family businesses in Australia well and truly punch above their weight. They are the true lifeblood of our economy, but they're also the true lifeblood of so many of our communities out there, in particular in rural and regional Australia. As a government, when you deliver policies that ensure that small and family businesses are able to prosper and grow, you don't just support the small business; you also support the community in which the small business is thriving. You support that small business to take on its additional staff member. You support that small business to be able to sponsor that local sports club, to train its first apprentice. A very real way that all of us are able to make a difference this Christmas is by shopping locally, using the money that we have, if we're going to be out there spending, to support the small businesses that rely on us every day.

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