Thursday, 5 December 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator Cash. Small and family businesses make a very substantial contribution to the Australian economy. Can the minister update the Senate on how the Morrison government's plan is working to support small and family businesses, including over this Christmas and new year period?
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.
I am, and it is an initiative of someone on this side of the chamber and that is Senator Hollie Hughes. I thank her for her work in launching the Go Country For Christmas initiative. The Go Country For Christmas initiative is a movement that encourages all Australians to embrace small and family businesses in rural and regional Australia. The Go Country For Christmas official website is a one-stop shop, and what it does is it connects Australians with rural and regional businesses. The online portal is very easy to use. You just need to google 'Go Country For Christmas'. If you would like to support a rural and regional business and buy something from them you're able to do this. Senator Hughes informs me that almost 300 businesses have signed up to the Go Country For Christmas website, and it is an initiative that has been supported by all sides of the chamber.
Again, small and family businesses are the lifeblood of the Australian economy. On this side of the chamber, the Morrison government understands that when you put in place policies that ensure that small and family businesses are able to prosper and grow, you end up creating more jobs for Australians. There are 3.4 million small and family businesses in Australia employing, as I said, over six million Australians, and that is why we are committed on this side of the chamber to making it easier for small and family businesses to prosper and grow. We've lowered their taxes because we understand the more money that a small or family business has, the more they are able to invest back into their business. One of the things we do understand on this side of the chamber is red tape and the impact of it, and that is why we have set up our deregulation agenda and are making life easier for small and family businesses by cutting red tape. As we head towards the Christmas period, I'd encourage all senators to shop local, support small and family— (Time expired)