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Thursday, 17 June 2010
Page: 5833

Mr HAYES (11:20 AM) —Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I can never ever call you one-eyed. Minister, I am one of those who are very fortunate to have a funded BEC operating in my area—the Macarthur-Liverpool BEC, chaired by Bruce Hanrahan, a local solicitor. But, importantly, in my area of the south-west of Sydney I have approximately 10,000 small businesses. Quite clearly, the employment generator—and I suppose this is similar in most people’s electorates—is not going to be another big mining company. It is going to be the establishment of another small business and the development of those small businesses into larger ones. Minister, one of the issues we are often confronted with out there, in view of supporting small business, is particularly what is on offer to small businesses to encourage their development. The issue of tax reduction is always raised, and I know that has been addressed in the budget and I invite you to comment on that. Specifically to your portfolio in relation to small business online support and the small business support programs, these are matters that the BEC has indicated to me—for the people who use their services—have made significant inroads into developing and assisting small business to develop in my region of Werriwa.

I would also like it if you could give us any information about the prospect of growth that is anticipated in the small business sector; how that is being monitored; and what further opportunities that we might have to develop small business, particularly in the innovative sectors. I am approached often about the issue of investment in innovation in the south-west of Sydney. It is an area which is developing. The fact that we have a very good infrastructure arrangement there between road and rail makes it a very clear area for the development of business operations in the south-west. Innovation is one of those areas which are being clearly targeted for localised investment.