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Thursday, 19 June 2014
Page: 6797


Mr BILLSON (DunkleyMinister for Small Business) (11:00): The measures being implemented by the Abbott government are so comprehensive that I will not have time to run through them all. But I am happy to go through many of the elements that are important to the member for Swan. He talked about skills training. Of course, there is the Industry Skills Fund, which is designed to provide particular support to meet the training needs of small businesses. We have the Entrepreneurs Infrastructure Fund, which is another important measure tailored and targeted for smaller enterprises, to help them bring their ideas to market and to collaborate with researchers. There are so many good measures.

We are continuing our advisory service program. There are no cuts to that funding, in an important effort to better target those so that we get the help we need. There is also the issue of engagement with technology. We know how it can be for small businesses to be a part of the technology world to access new markets and opportunities. There is also support for exporters—a better targeting of the Export Market Development Grants facility. We are making sure that EFIC, the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, has its systems geared to the needs of small business.

There are so many things building possibilities, capacity and opportunities through the small business community. That is why we need to pass this budget. We need to fix the budget to strengthen the economy and to build a strong and prosperous economy that provides livelihoods and opportunities for a safe and secure future that supports small business and that re-energises enterprise. That is why I am thrilled to commend these budget measures to you.

The other measures that are available include improving small business access to contracts. One thing that Labor did was spend money like there was no tomorrow, but they did not actually give small business a fighting chance to win that work. Other important measures include the unfair contracts provisions and implementing franchising reforms—something that Labor would not touch. It was like kryptonite. They would not go near it until—what?—five minutes from the election, when all of a sudden they got interested. We are actually doing the work that is needed. I commend these budget measures and urge this parliament to get behind the implementation of our economic action strategy.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I thank the minister. The question is that the proposed expenditure for the Treasury portfolio be agreed to.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio

Proposed expenditure, $2,049,341,000